[Citizendium-l] Comments

Susan Awbrey Awbrey at oakland.edu
Fri Nov 3 08:08:15 EST 2006

Good Morning All,
Because of a recent event, I wanted to make what I hope will be three 
useful comments regarding Citizendium.
1) As a citizen of the US, I treasure the Constitution.  Not because 
someone requires me to do so, but because its principles are so sound that 
I know it both defends and protects me.  Part of the brilliance of its 
writers was that they understood the difference and built into it 
mechanisms that would allow even this founding document to be debated and 
changed rather than being sacred.  I hope that Citizendium will also be 
wise in allowing all of its policies to never be set in stone or 
undiscussable.  It is part of the basis for strong collaboration.
2 Second, as someone who has worked in academic administration for over 
twenty years, I am very aware that academics believe it is not only their 
right but their duty to speak up and speak out.  They can be 
blunt.  However, I've also learned that if you put aside the immediate 
emotional response long enough to listen to their comments, you can learn a 
great deal.  Citizendium is asking for people with Ph.D.s to join 
it.  These are not people who will lack opinions or be reticent to share 
them.  I hope that Citzendium can tolerate this level of interaction 
because it will lead to a better organization.
3. Third, we lose many students from the university.  Sometimes for 
academic reasons but often for other reasons as well.  For every one who 
tells us they are leaving, we know that there are ten more who will just 
leave without comment.  Those who tell us are valuable because they have 
information about how we can improve the environment for others.  I hope 
that Citizendium will also ask those who leave why they are doing so and 
learn from it.
Finally, I would like to thank Jon Awbrey, who is apparently choosing to 
leave, for the energy, work and dedication that he contributed by 
converting and cleaning over 70 articles on text top when then managing 
editor, David Marshall, put out the call.  Because I know Jon and the 
contribution he can make, I am sad that Citizendium is losing him.  Susan

Dr. Susan M. Awbrey
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
520 O'Dowd Hall
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan 48309
Phone:  248-370-2188
Fax: 248-370-2589
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