Degrees with Expiry Dates LO6272

Scott R. Cypher (
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 10:19:37 -0400

Replying to LO6260 --

Another point of view is that degrees are already self-expiring. Those
that want to stay on the edge are always pushing their envelope of new
learning to the maximum, keeping up to date, and emerge on the leading
edge of their field. Those that don't end up in roles less rigorously
managed (I've had this experience in some universities, some institutions)
where someone behind the leading edge is protected by the system or the
system isn't managed to retain and keep emergent leaders. Tenure and
other systems not managed over time (does the person still rate tenure)
counter act the self-expiring aspect of degrees. One article in April
1995 Inc. about John Strazzanti's company, tenure for jobs was created,
and is periodically reviewed, and they have had a case where tenure was

I ask, what's the symptom and what's the cause? I believe establishing an
expiration date on degrees is a symptom solution, where the cause is
self-directed learning and advancement. The creation of systems that
protect non-life long learners creates a symptom of out-dated
teachers/professionals. I could establish another system to create more
work and make people revisit their education every 5 years, but what about
removing system blocks (tenure as currently practiced, for example) such
that the process of natural selection (non-learners aren't in demand and
aren't protected) is what drives people to remain up to date.

I'm always in favor of letting the natural system attributes manage the
process, rather than create more bureacracy to manage something that could
be self-managed if we let it be.....What's your point of view?

> I don't know about expiration dates, but I've thought that schools ought
> to give out recall notices. "Class of 1983, you'll have to return for
> classes in physics. It has come to our attention that the professor
> teaching that course was still teaching about the Newtonian universe to
> the exclusion of all newer models." Or anyway, it would read something
> like that -- sort of the "Your engine could explode on impact" messages
> we've learned about from the auto industry.
> Howard Gardner claims that, for all our education, we'll largely cling to
> the 5 year-old mind. Perhaps we do need to be recalled, once education
> begins preparing folks for the 21st century rather than recapping the
> 19th.

-- (Scott R. Cypher)

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