If inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is correct in his predictions for the near future, "a lifetime of learning" has new meaning for today's graduates.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In a lighthearted nod to J.K. Rowling's novels, Dr. Proenza offers graduates a final lesson of "A Defense Against the Dark Arts of Derision, Disrespect and Insult!"Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Dr. Proenza offers graduates in the College of Health Professions a more expansive view of the effects of their work with patients and clientsFiled in: Statements to the Community, Commencement Addresses
Employers seek three specific qualities in graduates, and a common element to all is simplicity.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Dr. Proenza reviews the recent history of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, its current status and position for future growth.Filed in: Speeches,
Graduates are urged to "lean into the winds of changes and turbulence" in a commencement address on the nature of risk, emotional resiliency and "antifragility."Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Dr. Proenza offers graduates lighthearted advice that compares healthy reading habits to a healthy diet.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Dr. Proenza explains to graduates that you will best compete and thrive in this knowledge-based economy if you utilize the arts and sciences to tap into every asset of your brain.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In his 13th State of the University Address, Dr. Luis M. Proenza reviewed the accomplishments of the past academic year and decade, and discussed the challenges and opportunities inherent in the disruptive changes occurring in higher education today.Filed in: Speeches,
Dr. Proenza encourages graduates to use this milestone event in their lives to examine their life goals and purpose.Filed in: Commencement Addresses
A commencement speaker's advice to graduates that "You are not special" provides the impetus for a talk on whether individuals are special, and how they can become so.Filed in: Commencement Addresses
The importance of innovation to America's past, present and future economic success is examined, followed by a review of The University of Akron's efforts to create the energy of innovation to promote economic development in Northeast Ohio.Filed in: Speeches,
Dr. Seuss' famous "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is recommended as a fitting travel companion for graduates as they move from "here" to "there" throughout their lives.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Dr. Proenza tells graduates that the near term potential for sweeping advancements in the human condition is so vast, that we have a moral mandate to become optimists and make these possibilities into realities.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Mary Schmich's famous newspaper column of practical advice for graduates is recounted.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
All of us can strive to be more creative. Dr. Proenza recommends five tips to graduates on how to enhance their creativity.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Technology and commerce are presented as the "most natural of allies" in advancing the economic development of nations in this address to students in the colleges of engineering and business.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Changes in the global R&D marketplace and globalization are creating a “new normal” for many businesses and industries. While the eventual effects of the American Invents Act are not yet clear, it is certain that this dynamic environment will continue to reward collaborative innovation.Filed in: Speeches,
Perspectives on the Energy of Innovation, including the relationship of innovation to national prosperity, the current importance of innovation, and how The University of Akron is creating the energy of innovation to promote economic development in Northeast Ohio.Filed in: Speeches,
Dr. Proenza reviews for graduates the value of their college degrees, and examples of success by prominent Akron alumni.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
Benito Juarez' famous phrase is a starting point for further contemplation of the nature of freedom, prosperity and economic opportunity.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
“This Is Akron!” is the resounding theme of University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza’s 2011 State of the University Address. The 2010 National Champion Men’s Soccer Team was highlighted as a symbol of the University’s potential for extraordinary successes, achievements and outcomes. Dr. Proenza reviewed a number of highlights from the previous year, identified significant research now underway, detailed the continuing success of the Akron Model and progress toward last year’s goals, and identified three vital initiatives for the coming year.Filed in: Speeches, Statements to the Community,
The role of innovation and entrepreneurship, as they relate to wealth creation for our national and regional economy, and the Akron Model as a broad-based, robust platform for economic developmentFiled in: Speeches,
Dr. Seuss' famous book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go," provides the foundation for an inspirational and light-hearted message of optimism and exploration.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
A collection of some of the best practical advice for soon-to-be graduates.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
To achieve a full and rewarding life, it is vital that we continuously broaden our minds, actively seek out new experiences, explore new ideas and embrace new opportunities.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In this highly competitive, knowledge-driven, global economy, you may not have to be an entrepreneur to succeed – you just need to work like one.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In February an IBM supercomputer named “Watson” decisively beat two human competitors in a highly publicized, three-day match on the television trivia program, “Jeopardy!” and ushered in the age of question-answering machines.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
The 2010-2011 academic year marked the first time in our university’s history that we earned an NCAA Division One team championship . . . December in men’s soccer. Our lesson today focuses on how such impressive success was achieved. Head Coach Caleb Porter has elevated Akron’s program and is in the process of changing the face of college soccer through a philosophy and style of play that can serve as a blueprint for success in the 21st century.Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In this speech to those attending the 2011 NEO Success Awards event, sponsored by Inside Business Magazine, Dr. Proenza considers where innovation has taken this nation, how it shapes the present business environment, and the role of innovation in our immediate future.Filed in: Speeches,
In his afternoon commencement speech on Dec. 11, 2010, Dr. Proenza explores the "seldom-understood fact, and that is that the business world is in a constant state of flux, as companies are merging, acquiring, downsizing, expanding, moving, outsourcing and spinning off their various assets."
"...As we have witnessed during this last recession, no company, indeed no industry, is too big to fail. And, while such change may be challenging and disconcerting, it is a natural progression that former Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter called 'creative destruction' – something that occurs whenever innovation makes old technologies obsolete while concurrently producing new opportunities."Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In his Dec. 2010 morning commencement keynote address, Dr. Proenza urges graduates to "strive to experience the world from more than just one perspective. Develop a fuller picture of your existence. And as you go about achieving the potential that you have developed in your years at this University, try to overcome the many inattentional blind spots that may form in your life. Doing so will help you make better decisions and create a more fulfilling and enjoyable life for you and those around you."Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In his 2010 State of the University Address, University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza shared some remarks on the University’s achievements during the past year, provided a brief update on its strategic plan, offered some perspectives on where the University is in its 140th year, reviewed the Akron Model by way of a series of successes for which the University is being nationally and internationally recognized, and discussed some of the major challenges facing American higher education in general and the University in particular.Filed in: Speeches,
"...In a few moments, we will honor an individual who put his dreams into action – Mr. Philip Kaufmann, chair emeritus of our Board of Trustees. Mr. Kaufmann’s selfless dedication and determination have made him an admired and respected leader, not only for this University, but for the community as well.
"Often, you see, it is sheer determination that separates people like Phil Kaufmann from the competition. And it is that same inner spark that helped you earn your degree and the opportunity to walk across this stage. That inner spark has driven many ordinary people to do extraordinary things, as evidenced by an unlikely hero – a sickly and academically inept Frenchman named Jean-Bernard-Leon Foucault."Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
"Great structures create powerful symbols. They capture our attention visually and can serve as metaphors for lofty aspirations. As a society, we often are defined by what we build, and those occupying the structures are afforded a sense of identity through these metaphors. For example, not only have you received an outstanding education during your time here; as alumni, you always will be identified with the transformation that has taken place. The structures that I believe conjure up the most compelling images – the best metaphors – are the great bridges of the world."Filed in: Speeches, Commencement Addresses
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2010, Dr. Proenza shared his personal memories of Dr. King and commonalities between King's work and that of Benito Juarez, the first president of Mexico, who said, "Respect for the rights of others is peace."Filed in: Speeches,
"Seismic rumbles of change" are transforming traditional paradigms for research and higher education-to say nothing about the relationships between academia, industry, government and the public. The sources of cataclysmic pressure are many, including competition among universities, shifting demographics and their accompanying shifts in priorities, resource constraints, public/government scrutiny of productivity and accountability in universities, the evolution of a global economy and the innovation ecosystem, and, most recently, the worldwide economic downturn. Like many industries, higher education is on the threshold of major, complex changes that must be directed to optimal outcomes. The University of Akron is innovating through a continuous process that seeks to enhance its relevance, connectivity and productivity.
Relevance: Institutions of higher education generally are place-based, and this means that the competitive and comparative advantages of universities are inextricably linked to the vitality and sustainability of their surrounding communities. Thus, universities must act to optimize their impact upon the regions in which they reside, and would be wise to extend their efforts collaboratively into like regions internationally. The complexities of the 21st Century knowledge and conceptual economy require that every academic discipline be collaboratively engaged with the relevant questions of the day in concert with other disciplines and partners on and off campus. In other words, relevance requires the integrated application of all disciplinary knowledge for the public good.
Connectivity: Connectivity is an extension of relevance and refers to engagement with others by universities in the myriad forms represented by partnerships and collaboration that are not limited by institutional, sector, geographic or disciplinary boundaries. In other words, connectivity means relevant engagement among some combinations of other academic institutions, government, business and industry. This becomes essential as governments become a smaller and smaller financial partner, requiring universities increasingly to generate their own financial revenue opportunities.
Productivity: Finally, higher education must move from measuring "excellence" by exclusion and expense to a set of productivity-based metrics that reflect outcomes and achievements in solving "real-world" problems and in enabling student success.
Universities now are being called upon to explore opportunities that will create innovative educational processes and campus cultures congruent with new realities. This will require a close and deep collaboration between universities and other public- and private- sector organizations, along with a willingness to experiment with new models and new alliances. As we increasingly work with partners accustomed to aggressive delivery schedules and product mixes that rapidly change according to market demands, the core of academic processes will be challenged, and adaptability must become integrated into institutional culture.
Filed in: Speeches,
As part of his 10th State of the University address, President Luis M. Proenza promised to send this letter to the university community to ask that faculty, staff and students to "engage in timely and necessary conversations to bring... about (a mission- and vision-based university organizational structure). He said, "I am sure many lively and constructive ideas will be brought forward, but we must approach this with a sense of urgency because, as I have said before, doing business as usual is not an option."
Filed in: Statements to the Community,
University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza underscored the successes of the past year and set in motion the process of steering the university toward the future during his 10th State of the University Address. As promised during his 2008 address, Proenza provided a progress report on the formal 10-year strategic plan, which he said "will chart the course to our new destination." As he outlined these plans, Proenza encouraged the audience to think about the origin of the name "Akron," derived from the Greek "akros," meaning "high place," in setting and achieving those goals.
Proenza outlined five strategic goals that will guide the university through the next 10 years and beyond:
Proenza also said that, in addition to budget challenges, an increasingly competitive environment for higher education and universities can't continue to operate with an educational model that is more than 200-years-old. He said he believes that the university must try even harder to be to bring down academic silo walls and build connections--emphasizing UA's relevance, connectivity and productivity.
Filed in: Speeches, Statements to the Community,
In this 2008 State of the University Address, Dr. Luis Proenza provides some perspectives of what has brought The University of Akron to this point in its history and about what its opportunities are. He begins with some highlights of the recent accomplishments that have so well positioned The University of Akron, then looks back into UA's history to capture the fact that it is an institution deeply rooted in its community; that it is the university in, of and for Akron. Finally, he looks ahead to the next four years and introduces a collaborative strategic planning process and vision that will guide the University toward achieving six ambitious goals during 2010-2020.Filed in: Speeches, Statements to the Community,
Dr. Proenza addresses Innovating on Innovation: The Research, Industrial and Scientific Bases for Discovery to Innovation first by sharing some perspectives on our innovation ecosystem and by looking at data on the global innovation marketplace, then turning to a series of specific topics, suggestions and examples of the innovation ecosystem. He uses three basic starting points for the major themes of his remarks:
"First, innovation, or for that matter R&D, does not occur in splendid isolation.
Second, the global distribution of research and development (R&D) investments varies in size, areas of emphasis, and productivity.
And, third, that a global economy will increasingly require efficiencies in the utilization of R&D investments through cross-country public/private collaborations that leverage talent and resources and exhibit 'strategic intent' -- that is, a focused strategy that signals economic purpose."Filed in: Speeches,
If inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is correct in his predictions for the near future, "a lifetime of learning" has new meaning for today's graduates.
In a lighthearted nod to J.K. Rowling's novels, Dr. Proenza offers graduates a final lesson of "A Defense Against the Dark Arts of Derision, Disrespect and Insult!"
Dr. Proenza offers graduates in the College of Health Professions a more expansive view of the effects of their work with patients and clients
Employers seek three specific qualities in graduates, and a common element to all is simplicity.
Dr. Proenza reviews the recent history of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, its current status and position for future growth.
Graduates are urged to "lean into the winds of changes and turbulence" in a commencement address on the nature of risk, emotional resiliency and "antifragility."
Dr. Proenza offers graduates lighthearted advice that compares healthy reading habits to a healthy diet.
Dr. Proenza explains to graduates that you will best compete and thrive in this knowledge-based economy if you utilize the arts and sciences to tap into every asset of your brain.
In his 13th State of the University Address, Dr. Luis M. Proenza reviewed the accomplishments of the past academic year and decade, and discussed the challenges and opportunities inherent in the disruptive changes occurring in higher education today.
Dr. Proenza encourages graduates to use this milestone event in their lives to examine their life goals and purpose.