Echoing his inaugural address, Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt recently shared his thoughts on how higher education continues to deliver the promise of America on his podcast, Solutions For Higher Education.
“Education is teaching people to become employable, to make more money, to become independent, to take care of their families or themselves. But I don't know any outcome that exceeds in importance the training that occurs to help people become active participants in our form of democracy. Because it's that democracy that protects life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
If we want someone to be elevated, to participate in the government, we need to help them be educated and Southern Utah University seeks to have students actively engaged in the democratic process.
“In universities today, we would say that one of our main purposes is to help prepare our students to become good participants in the democracy that we have. One of our goals is to teach them critical thinking skills, analytical skills, how to sort information. We also want to see our graduates vote at a higher rate than the public in general… and they do.”
“This great thing that happens when we become an educated person. Aristotle might have said something like ‘human flourishing.’ It's this greatness, this depth of understanding and the freedom that we have when we can think, act, and be intelligent.”
Referring to John Adams’s words in the Constitution for Massachusetts, President Wyatt agrees that we cannot have a democracy unless we can have good humor and social affections. Citizens need to be able to communicate with others that disagree politically to try to find commonalities and talk it through.
“We need to make sure that we're learning something about history and something about literature and something about the arts so that we have a broad education that helps us find what we have in common with people that may seem different at first glance, because we are one country. One out of many.”
Scott L Wyatt is Southern Utah University’s 16th president. He is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit his profile.
President Scott L Wyatt President
A leader in higher education specializing in creating transformative learning experiences and achieving high-quality outcomes.