“The Pursuit of Excellence” was the theme of the keynote addressed delivered by Interim Provost Patrick Williams, Ph.D., at the Provost’s Convocation, January 16, in Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In a spirited address, Williams urged the community to focus on excellence as the hallmark of everything that is done in the name of the institution.
“We strongly hold to the notion that to make this community the epitome of academic excellence, we must revisit how we conduct academic advising, ensure that the competencies and attributes we want student to possess are met before graduation, and, at the same time, improve our retention and graduation rates,” he said.
An excellent education, Williams explained, should cultivate thoughtful and responsible citizens, instill in the learner a desire to pursue knowledge for its own sake, and prepare men and women for the world of work. The general education curriculum at WAU is intended to accomplish these goals, he added.
“Our students are expected to master basic computation skills, write and speak in complete sentences, master the art of positing a point of view, defend that point of view, and be willing to concede in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. If you are not able to demonstrate these skills then we, the faculty, would have failed you.”
Faculty, staff and administration, he said, have a moral responsibility to demonstrate compassion, love and care toward students, while upholding high academic standards.
“We owe it to our alumni to preserve the currency of the degrees we award each year by demanding excellence from our students, our faculty and our staff,” Williams said.