Making A Difference
I think when we came into SMU in the year 2000, we emphasised that this university has a difference. We didn't really know what the differences are about; I don't think it's down pat, on paper. We know that the teaching pedagogy will be different. We know that if we have four years a lot of people complain about our four years but we knew that if we have four years, we will make a difference. We know that we want a different kind of students to apply to us. I think we have to keep reminding ourselves about that, because after twelve years, it's very easy to try and put everything into a systems approach. Because we keep thinking if everything is systemised, then it will be independent of the individuals and then it can be a lot more sustainable. I worry that if we put everything down on a systems approach, we morph into like everybody else. And I really think we have to keep reminding ourselves that the reason why SMU make a difference, is different, is because we attracted very different people. We have very different staff, very different faculty and we are the risk-takers in some ways.
Of course, now we are no longer taking risks because we have physical presence, and everybody will say SMU will never be a fly-by-night anymore. It's got six buildings, it's anchored in the city and the Government has invested too much to let it go under.