Deaf Culture and Gallaudet
Nike mercurial superfly sale soccer cleats for kids cr7 i soccer cleats for kids cr7 have been a member of the Gallaudet community for 36 years and was privileged to serve as president for nearly 19 years. I strove to soccer cleats for kids cr7 carry out Gallaudet’s mission and vision. During my presidency, Gallaudet’s endowment increased from $5 million to more than $175 million, and every year we had a balanced budget; facilities were added, including a stateoftheart student academic center; new graduate and undergraduate academic programs were developed; and outstanding administrators, faculty and staff members were recruited, many of them deaf. Gallaudet increasingly attracted students with higher academic credentials.
All indications were that Gallaudet, a nike mercurial superfly sale global educational and cultural center for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, was positioned to become even stronger.
We had a vision for an inclusive deaf university in nike mercurial superfly sale which everyone is valued and respected and that offers educational programs to an increasingly diverse population of deaf, hardofhearing, deafblind and hearing students. A major priority in our strategic plan was to preserve Gallaudet’s rich cultural heritage and promote the study and appreciation of Deaf culture, deaf history and American Sign Language (ASL).
The board and I shared the conviction that our strategic goals and plans must drive how we allocate and use resources. When the board selected Jane Fernandes to be Gallaudet’s ninth president, it assured that the university would continue on the course we had set. I am convinced that the board made a serious error in acceding to the demands of the protesters by terminating Fernandes’s presidency before it began. Key board members have resigned, signaling their disagreement with the direction the board has taken.
A visiting team from the Middle States Association’s Commission on Higher Education made clear in its exit report to the campus community this month that closing a university and denying the free exchange of ideas is not an acceptable expression of disagreement. If this were to occur again, it stated, there would be “dire consequences” from Middle States with respect to the university’s accreditation.
Frankly, what is happening at Gallaudet is a struggle between defining the deaf community in narrow, exclusive terms or in broad, inclusive terms. There is a very small but vocal group of deaf people who define the community narrowly. I call this group the “absolutists, They believe you are either deaf or you are not. You are either a supporter of ASL or you are not deaf. You either refuse to consider cochlear implants or you are not deaf. Many of our students, faculty and alumni who consider themselves deaf (including some born deaf to deaf families) would not be considered deaf by the absolutists.
Deaf people who have such strong positions are an important part of the deaf community. But they are only one group, and their thinking cannot lead Gallaudet. Their vision does not reflect our university’s vision of Gallaudet as an “Inclusive Deaf University” a vision that Gallaudet’s board discussed at length and endorsed enthusiastically.
With the swirl about culture and the definition of the “deaf community” dominating the discussion, the message about academic excellence and the future of Gallaudet has been lost. The focus is primarily on culture. Gallaudet’s role in leading Deaf culture is important, but Deaf culture cannot lead Gallaudet. Academics and the academic achievements of our students must lead Gallaudet.
Since Jan. 1, Gallaudet has had an interim president. The board members’ choice of a permanent president will have longlasting implications for the university. Many people outside Gallaudet believe the board will be voting to elect a “mayor” of the deaf community. The conversation “out there” has been more about popularity or role models than about academic leadership.
I understand this because of the way I became president and the way I did my job. When the Deaf President Now revolution soccer cleats for kids cr7 led to my selection in 1988, I was thrust into two roles university president and spokesman for the deaf community. I trust I have been successful in both roles. Any success I had as a spokesman for people who are deaf came only because I was first and foremost a strong academic leader. Had I not been a successful president, I could not have been a positive spokesman.
The university is as strong as it has ever been, but to thrive in the 21st century, Gallaudet must adapt to the needs of our students and the larger deaf community and to changes in society. We face a choice between a narrow view of our world and one that is more inclusive. If we give in to the absolutists, Gallaudet’s future will be severely, and adversely, affected.
It is essential to Gallaudet’s survival that the board, and everyone at the university, refocus on an inclusive vision for the university that aspires to academic excellence and respects Deaf culture soccer cleats for kids cr7.