Meeting the global challenge through diversity
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In what follows, we shall describe some of the key challenges facing the United States at this time. We shall cite some general macro economic statistics which describe the U.S. economy over time and in relationship to other countries. The economic challenges we cite are cause for alarm. We shall also speak to some of the data which describe the general status of education – at the K through 12 and university levels – in this country. Again, there is a significant case for alarm. The economic discussion points to a problem that threatens our quality of life, standard of living, and, ultimately, even our democracy. The discussion around education is important because, as I shall argue in a later section of this paper, it is the key to meeting the challenge. The solution, however, is not just to have more people better educated in particular disciplines. Rather, it is creating a system and changing the culture so that a particular segment of our population – namely, women and minorities (especially women) – become more fully engaged in specific academic disciplines which lead to expertise in particular professions.
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