An Odyssey of Reform Initiatives: The Back Story


Courtesy of Rick and Sue Rothstein

It was about 17 years ago when I was winding down a campaign for Systemic Engineering Education Reform that I finished reading the book Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University by Jim Duderstadt, President Emeritus, University of Michigan.
 
Duderstadt helped spread the word about my engineering education reform campaign to his fellow members at the National Academy of Engineering. Subsequent conversations with Duderstadt inspired me to initiate a campaign to Reclaim Academic Primacy in Higher Education that, in turn, led to contacting Notre Dame's Fr. Hesburgh to ask if he would consider writing a Foreword for my "Reclaiming" brief. The campaign also led to my affiliation with The Drake Group. Jon Ericson, Linda Bensel-Meyers, Dave Ridpath, and Allen Sack.
 
Reflections, 2016-2019, the Sequel to my Odyssey book provides a summary of my thinking I now move beyond my 89th birthday. An excerpt of The Drake Group’s related press can be accessed at this website.
 
Of note is that the last essay in the sequel, “An Ongoing American Tragedy in Higher Education: Where is the Outrage and Where Are the Governing Boards?” prompted an inquiry that ultimately led to a Lifetime Achievement award by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The occasion was the SPIE Awards Ceremony on February 4, at the Photonics West 2020 Symposium in San Francisco. The award was presented by Northwestern University Professor Manijeh Razeghi and accepted on my behalf by my niece Sarah Gitter. A PDF of the transcript of the related acceptance remarks is also accessible on this website.
 
Perhaps after reading Reflections, 2016-2019, some might feel that a special dose of outrage is required after they come to know the brutal truth about college sports. However, it is a sad reality that many, if not most, Americans have become numb to abuse, cheating, and corruption in their churches, businesses, and government. The upshot is that the Sequel will likely not give rise to a special dose of outrage, but rather, could very well be taken as just another story in an ugly catalog titled "Who Cares?."
 
The Drake Group works to make sure that the latter scenario won't be the case.
 
Frank G. Splitt


Courtesy of Anne Rassas

The above photo was taken on November 9, 2016, at the downtown campus of Loyola University- Chicago (LUC). The occasion was the formal presentation of the book, An Odyssey of Reform Initiatives: 1986-2015, to the LUC Library as a memorial to the late Arthur J. Schmitt, founder of the Fournier Institute of Technology, Frank Splitt’s alma mater. Pictured (from left to right) are Judith Splitt, Frank Splitt, Patricia Shevlin, Executive Director of the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation, Michelle Nickerson, LUC Professor of History, and Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Dean of the LUC Graduate School.


Courtesy of Kevin Leonard

A copy of the book and the CD are now part of the Distinctive Collections at the Northwestern University Archives. A related photo from the April 19, 2017, ceremony celebrating the presentation of the Odyssey book to the Northwestern University Libraries, pictures (left to right): Judy Splitt, Manijeh Razeghi, McCormick School Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Center for Quantum Devices, Kevin Leonard, University Archivist, Frank Splitt, a former McCormick Faculty Fellow, and Carol Simpson Stern. School of Communications Professor of Performance Studies, a former dean of the Graduate School, and a past president of the American Association of University Professors.