Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chuanqi Shen: A Comment

During the conversation with Peter Bing, we asked him whether he had any suggestions on ways to increase the number of humanities students at Stanford. Quite surprisingly, Peter Bing said that he would not give any suggestions. Explaining, he talked about the "Holy Triad of universities", three areas that the university should have full autonomy over: who is admitted, what they are taught, and who teaches. Peter Bing explains that he believes people like him should stop commenting on such issues, and that he should allow the faculty to make their own decisions and judgments.

I found that to be a pretty interesting thought. I felt that it was human nature for people to want to speak their mind and let their opinions be heard. Well, even Jerry Yang, member of the Board of Trustees, joked that he "likes to tell Coach Shaw what to do next week". Furthermore, a comment would only be a comment; it did not mean that the suggestions have to be implemented, so that would not directly violate the Holy Triads. I thought that it showed remarkable restraint on Peter Bing's part, and it also showed his absolute belief of the necessity in giving the university complete autonomy in deciding certain matters. 

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