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Deficit of Ambition
By Dr. Whittenburg (on 5/26/2011 @ 09:12:22, in Vice President Ramblings, read 1569 times)

In a recent interview, MIT president Susan Hockfield said: “What’s missing in the United States is a deficit of ambition. I think, as a nation, we hardly celebrate the achievements that one can attain if one has a college education. We are a nation that happily celebrates athletes and entertainers — and I think that’s great… But we do not have heroes that come out of a different kind of life.”

While Dr. Hockfield was referring to a shifting change in the kinds of achievements that the public seems to label as heroic, her phrase "deficit of ambition" struck a nerve.  UNO students, staff, faculty and administators have been through a tumultuous half-decade, starting with Hurricane Kartrina, budget cuts, threatened budget cuts, proposed mergers and system changes, we have continued to demonstrate the overriding characteristic that has always been UNO's trademark, perserverance. As a result, our research enterprise has continued to increase as well as our contribution to local economic development.  At some point, however, we will unable to do "more with less".  I believe that now is the time that we need a little "good news".  Someone needs to step up and say that UNO is vital to the New Orleans region and back up those words with true support.  Otherwise I believe that we may eventually suffer a "deficit of ambition".