National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2001


Published in the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 2:1, Spring/Summer 2001. Copyright © 2001 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Sam Schuman's essay, "Cultivating: Some Thoughts on NCHC's Future'" challenges NCHC and honors practitioners to expand the role of honors on campus so that honors may become the locus of a more generalized push for excellence in higher education. There is a symmetry in Sam's call since many people's first involvement with honors, as students, faculty, or administrators, was likely catalyzed by the general disinterest in excellence that pervades much of what passes for education on our campuses. The symmetry arises from going full circle, from the larger university to the safe haven of honors education to practice our craft, and then back to reinvigorate the surrounding academic community. Of course there is also irony in Sam's vision since I am sure that some people in and out of honors view the role of honors practitioners as pariahs on campus participating in a marginal enterprise out of the mainstream of the "real" enterprise of the university, with "real" being defined as producing grants, graduates, winning sports teams, revenue, knowledge, depending on an individual's bias.