|April 5, 2012|
In a world in which we are exposed to more information, more options, more philosophies, more perspectives than ever before in our history…we need to be willing to...think through how to achieve the future we want—to commit ourselves to continuous questioning and learning—to be, in a word, self-responsible.
- Nathaniel Branden (Canadian psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem.)
This is a shortened work week for us as we break in observance of the Passover and Easter holidays. Both celebrations remind us of life’s most important lessons, including that of responsibility. In the call to lead different and more purposeful lives, we find a two-part duty which is really one: duty to ourselves and duty to others.
While many in the popular media classify environmental stewardship and free-market economics as polar opposites, we believe differently. Like Russell Kirk, one of the chief architects of the intellectual conservative movement in America, we understand the practice of “piety” includes “respect for the natural balance in the world.” Certainly not an advocate of top-down management from centralized bureaucracies, Kirk attempted to brighten his own corner of the world by re-seeding and replanting trees on his family’s property, located about 60 miles west of our Michigan campus.
One way we are putting similar principles to practice at Northwood is through a serious and careful review of a potential new degree program in Sustainability Management. Recently approved by our Deans’ Council and awaiting approval by Northwood’s officers and the Higher Learning Commission, the Sustainability Management program is designed to educate uniquely trained management professionals. These leaders will be able to address the increasing demand for sustainability expertise in the world today and will understand the complex environmental issues intertwined in our global business and social environments.
In keeping with our tradition of an engaged learning community, we are also putting this responsibility into practice in several areas system wide, including Earth Day (officially observed on April 22) celebrations on our three residential campuses:
Florida campus: April 19-24
Michigan campus: April 23
Texas campus: April 22
I look forward to sharing more with you about this in the future, especially progress regarding the Sustainability Management program.
In the meantime, I wish you and your families a happy and joyous holiday.
Keith A. Pretty, J.D.