Progress, not perfection!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,Happy Friday!Today is the last day of classes here at S&T, and for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, the campus, nervously, completed the semester without a hitch! A day on the academic calendar that otherwise would have simply marked a milestone. But for the last two full years, in presence of ambiguity, uncertainty and hurry-up-and-wait operational mode, the day is cause for celebration. After all, we operated in a predictor-corrector manner and made operational decisions without all or even most of the needed information. We made “good” decisions until they weren’t! We pivoted in the presence of new information, policy and retroactive Monday-morning quarterbacking and criticism.Like kids on a road trip, for two years we all were wondering if we were there yet! The light was in sight only for us to see another wave present itself. Although none of us can see the road ahead, the successful completion of this term signals a sense of normalcy, a welcomed sense to say the least.I submit that the challenging journey of the last two years has offered bright silver linings as well. Based on all accounts, campus life has never been more popular as we all have come to realize that face-to-face interaction is so powerful that no advancement in communication technology or methodology can replace it. That education is more than the transformation of knowledge and that we learn a great deal from each other when we are together. That virtual is never real, that shared interest is more rewarding than self-interest and that the laboratory called the campus is an irreplaceable crucible for the social amalgam in which we learn how to be social, collaborative and achieve our broader objectives.You see, the stakes are enormous for our mission of educating the best and brightest, where failure is not an option. No matter the level of disruption – World Wars I and II, pandemics, and other course-altering events – this wonderful institution has taken care of the business at hand all while providing state-of-the-art, life-changing education to our students from all economic backgrounds. And since we lead our lives as we perceive it, for our students, faculty and staff, completion of a perturbation-free semester is a remarkable yet seemingly ordinary achievement toward fulfilling our collective mission.To our students, I say congratulations! Keep up the good work as you head into finals week, come back again and again, and complete the work that you have so successfully started. There is no need for me to highlight the fact that completion of your degree paves the way for a happier, healthier and better quality life in many tangible and intangible ways. Keep your eyes on the prize, keep on keeping on, take advantage of all the available support services and programs, and realize that you are not alone in your highly rewarding journey.To our faculty and staff, I say thank you for a job well done. Just like our students, we have had our share of uncertainties, challenges and even fears. After all, as the late, great Andy Grove so aptly stated, “only the paranoid survive”! We all like to imagine a trouble-free path forward but we must be prepared and ready to take on the challenges, one step at a time, and celebrate our success along the way.So today we celebrate, not only the end of a successful semester, but also the achievement of a milestone in transitioning from fear to freedom, from discouragement to encouragement and from the pursuit of perfection to ensuring progress.Warmly,-Mo.Share your thoughts!Check out the latest news from S&T:

Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910