On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 Provost Randall Lavender was joined by Otis' new President, Bruce W. Ferguson for the 2015 Annual Faculty Convocation. President Ferguson welcomed the Faculty with opening remarks. Provost Lavender followed with an academic year kickoff message and the introduction of the keynote speaker, award-winning author Richard Louv.
“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”
Acclaimed author, journalist, and commentator, Richard Louv is author of The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age and best-selling Last Child in the Woods. His presentation, "Hybrid Minds: Technology and Nature," illuminated his oft-cited phrase, "nature-deficit disorder," which, as part of the larger themes he outlined, served an apt metaphor for one of Otis' longstanding discussions--that of its relative making focus, along with its attention to fostering students' critical thinking and technical skills.
Next, our annual Teaching Excellence Awards celebration honored four of Otis’ finest faculty members: Deborah McDonald, Christian Mounger, Marlena Donohue, and Chris Badger. Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation, Debra Ballard, then joined Provost Lavender in leading a launch workshop for Otis' three-year WASC and NASAD reaccreditation cycles, outlining for the academic community our plan for successfully completing and learning from genuine, faculty-led assessment practices, comprehensive self-study, and site visits from our two accrediting bodies.