Having been exceptionally near-sighted most of my life, I have always been envious of anyone with excellent eyesight. Fortunately, I am blessed with corrective eyewear. However, I have observed that even people with perfect eyesight don’t always see the same things, or they look at something routinely, but never really see it.

The ability to see where you are going and what is directly in your path is valuable, but true vision is priceless. Isaac Newton once wrote to a colleague, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” He clearly was acknowledging the prior work of others in helping focus his own creative vision. We likewise benefit from the work of many giants before us as we focus on our current vision for Tennessee Tech. Like Newton and our own predecessors at Tennessee Tech, our task is not to rest on or recreate the past, but rather to create future opportunities and fulfill unrealized potential.

TTU historians Harvey Neufeldt and Calvin Dickinson acknowledged the work of those before us when they titled the university’s 75th anniversary commemorative book “The Search for Identity.” But they prefaced their book by saying the lack of agreement on identity was not a weakness, but evidence of efforts to continually define and redefine our mission to strive to achieve excellence. As we approach our centennial celebration, that same desire for excellence has brought us to a refined vision.

Flight Plan: Focused for the Future began this past fall with a simple charge to objectively assess our position within the competitive higher education marketplace. From that analysis has now emerged a defined set of initiatives and a clearer vision of the future for Tennessee Tech.

Although no vision statement is perfect and totally free from criticism, I believe this statement captures the traditional values, commitment to our students, and future aspirations of Tennessee Tech. I hope you agree. After all, we are Tennessee Tech. We aim high and refuse to settle for anything other than our best efforts.

Tennessee Tech will be nationally recognized as a leading technological university in the South, providing academic, economic and cultural leadership in the region and producing practical, ready-to-work graduates from a broad range of academic disciplines prepared to compete in a technologically driven world.

Go Eagles!

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