President’s Perspective—October 2012

It’s beginning to look and feel like fall. As the air becomes crisper and the leaves turn their brilliant shades of orange, red, and gold, autumn is a time to close the pages on the dog days of summer and open a brand new chapter of possibilities.

As many of you know, our strategic planning process gets under way this month. As we begin to think about how we want to shape the Wright State University of the future, I wanted to talk with you in more detail about what it means to be an entrepreneurial university.

If you attended University Convocation last month, you heard me speak about the concept of an entrepreneurial university. Of course, when most people hear the word entrepreneurial, they think it’s exclusively a business term. But entrepreneurism is more than setting up businesses and making money. It’s a way of solving challenges, or what I like to call the wicked problems of the world.

Over the last five years, we have worked hard to build a culture of innovation throughout our campus and community. Entrepreneurism takes innovation one step further by creating something of value. We can embrace the concepts of entrepreneurism in everything we do at Wright State, from teaching and research to service and community engagement.

Entrepreneurism is multidimensional, and the seeds of entrepreneurism have already been sown in every college and school on this campus. From engineering to business, liberal arts to nursing, our faculty and staff have developed entrepreneurial ways of serving our students and community. Every time you improve the learning outcome for a student or create a partnership to enhance the quality of life in our region, you are being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs, like you, develop creative, new ideas to solve real-world problems and make a difference.

There are examples of entrepreneurism all around us, from the first scale-up classroom in the Russ Engineering Center to the new Raider Connect one-stop center in the Student Union. These are entrepreneurial approaches to doing what we care about the most—helping our students succeed. And when we teach our students to think and act as entrepreneurs, they will be better prepared to thrive in the 21st century.

This barely scratches the surface of what an entrepreneurial university looks like, so I will continue to explore this concept with you further in the months ahead. In the meantime, I ask you to challenge yourself, as many of you have already done, and continue thinking about how you can take on a more entrepreneurial role in the Wright State community.

Until next month,

David R. Hopkins

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