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Even universities get the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
University of Toledo President Daniel Johnson set out to answer that question in his annual State of the Union address yesterday by speaking about becoming an “engaged university.”
“Throughout much of the history of the University of Toledo, there has been an implicit mission in some of our programs and departments to use their bodies of knowledge, their research skills, and their curricula to address community problems,” he said.
“We are now at that point in the history of the University of Toledo when this implicit mission for service should be made an explicit mission of engagement.”
Speaking to an audience of 250 in Doermann Theatre in University Hall, he pointed out several programs that have picked up on that mission, such as the Center for Urban Affairs, the Center for Parents, and the university honors program.
Dr. Johnson also recognized members of the UT Council on Outreach and Engagement who were onstage with him.
He called on everyone in the university to embrace the idea of engagement.
“Take a look around us. Where else do you see hope for the future of Toledo and northwest Ohio?” Dr. Johnson asked. “And where else do you see the expertise and knowledge needed to energize our economy and reinvigorate our community?”
It is in that spirit that UT is helping to develop a science and technology corridor in Toledo in partnership with other community entities, he said.
“So when anyone asks, What does UT want to be when it grows up? ... We can and should say with confidence, We know the answer to that question, ” he said. “The more important question for us now is, How are we going to get there? ”