David Skorton becomes president
Its official. Before a crowd of 700 in Hancher Auditorium, President David J. Skorton was installed March 1 as the Universitys 19th president.
Skorton, 53, pledges to defend all the Universitys departments as part of a vision for improving the quality of the University.
The sciences will be the basis of a brighter, more diversified economic future for our state and country, Skorton said. When joined with the vision and courage of our Board of Regents, business colleagues, the governor, and legislators, some of the fruits of faculty, staff, and student creativity surely will enrich our material existence even as they enrich our imaginations.
While he pledged to work for advancement of the natural sciences, Skorton said he will also work to build the arts, humanities, and social sciences
The musician, the dancer, the historian, the printmaker, the sociologist, the translatorthese, too, are scholars, pursuing answers just as dear, just as critical as the goals of colleagues in the sciences.
To emphasize that point, Skorton quoted several haiku throughout his speech. Haiku is a structured, unrhymed Japanese poetry.
Skorton said the University must remain a place of free speech where opinions are valued.
Contemplating a major war is crucial to this moment, he said. Let the University be a true marketplace of ideas for this critical debate.
In our pluralistic society, reasonable people not only may disagree, but are expected to disagree, he said.
Let no opinion be censured or suppressed. Let each one feel her or his opinion, popular or not, is essential to the discussion. Let no one be labeled unpatriotic for questioning the necessity of war and the wisdom of our government. And let no one be labeled a warmonger for supporting the ideas of the countrys leadership. If such open discussion cannot occur within this campus, then where? he said.
Article by Anne Tanner