Tony Gurr

If you don’t know anything about LEARNING…

In Educational Leadership, News & Updates (from the CBO) on 24/04/2011 at 4:23 pm

…what the hell are you doing pretending to “run” a university?

That might look like a “harsh” comment (I actually said it to someone the other day) but let me give you some “context”…

At a recent educational event, I was being forced to listen to people drone on about the importance of “100% online learning”, how “content was king” and…wait for it…how building a university on learning was “old fashioned”.

The people who say such things, apart from showing their total ignorance and lack of educational literacy…actually believe that because they “had an education 20 or 30 years ago” (that shows a lot in itself) they have the “experience” (and the right) to decide the future of educational institutions today.

Sadly, we are seeing more of these “educational fat cats” sneaking into the world of learning and teaching – to make a quick buck or two, springboard into a “new” political career or “save the world of education from itself”.

I’m not sure which of these purposes is more offensive.

Anyway and at this event I was talking about…one of these “chaps” (and yes they usually are middle-aged “men” that have amassed large sums of money by ordering people around) approached me and began his sentence with:

“I don’t know much about all this learning stuff and education but…”

It was at this point that I stopped him and said what I said.

Come on – do you blame me? Seriously?

I asked him, “You wouldn’t set up an engineering firm, if you didn’t have a clue about engineering, would you?

He didn’t like that and launched into the usual diatribe about how it was important to set up new and prestigious institutions that had the best academics and latest technology.

I simply asked “Why?”

But, there was no real substance to the answer – just more motherhood statements and unsophisticated, empty slogans!

Many men, when they hit their mid-life crisis or are not sure what to do with themselves after “a-certain-age”, go out and buy a flashy, red sports car (the braver ones get a motorbike).

What makes them think that “buying” a university and inflicting their folklore-driven educational “theories” on educators (and even worse – students) is OK?

It is not. Period!

  • Education is about making a real difference to the lives of others…not personal power, personal gain or control.
  • Education is about breathing life into a coherent philosophy and walking-your-talk on allthingslearning (and even allthingsresearch).
  • Education is about how much we can serve – not how much we can “be served”.

If you already have a Vakif university and want to change the world…start by paying salaries on time, providing more professional development opportunities…or by turning “your office” into 6 or 7 classrooms.

If you are thinking about opening a Vakif universitybecause you canbut just do not “get” the three points above.


If you really want to put your money to work for learning, give it to “real educators” with no strings attachedor just buy that Porsche and drive past the gates of your old school

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