Tansian University At A Glance
P.M.B. OOO6, UMUNYA,
ANAMBRA STATE – NIGERIA
DATE FOUNDED: 17th Day of May, 2009
Tansian University was licensed by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
PROPRIETOR: Sons of Blessed Iwene Tansi (Founder Very Rev Msgr Prof John Bosco Akam)
Quite unlike most tertiary institutions, Tansian University was not born out of a desire to make name and acquire material wealth, but to fulfill an innate desire to develop youths and empower them for the challenges of a changing world. The founding father of the University is Very Rev Msgr Prof. John Bosco Akam (FCON).
Tansian University which was licensed on May 27th 2007, christened after a rare African first Nigerian to be beatified: Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, is determined to actualize its vision of being a dynamic institution with the noble philosophy of inculcating sound, high quality education, without compromising on morals. And since inception, the University has continued to offer relevant academic programmes designed to produce highly qualified graduates that will be acceptable locally and globally; young men and women imbued with love of universal truth for the benefit of mankind.
Tansian University products are, therefore, being equipped with the ability for critical and local analysis, effective language communication, numeric information and communication technology (ICT) skills. At the end of their studies, graduates from Tansian University are capable of exhibiting sound moral judgment befitting African culture and aesthetic values.
The motto of Tansian University is “Scientia potestas et virtus” (Knowledge is power and virtue). Students of the University are nourished with all essential requisites for the pursuit of academic excellence and moral rectitude which during and after their period of studies metamorphose into humble, honest, and successful life.
To be among the foremost world-class Christian Universities, dedicated to raising a new generation of leaders in all fields of human endeavour.
To foster the individual student’s intellectual, personal, cultural, and ethical development; to build knowledge and restore the pride of the black man by way of a Human Development Total Man Concept driven curriculum employing innovative, Leading edge teaching and learning methods, research and professional services that encourage integrated, life-applicable, life-transforming education, relevant to the context of Science, Technology and Human Capacity Building.
What stands as the USP of Tansian University derives from the paragon socio-spiritual virtues of Blessed Iwene Tansi in whose name and memory the University is dedicated. Some of the virtues are;
i. Discipline – both theoretical and practical
ii. Courage/boldness –unafraid of the unknown
iii. Faith –in God and in self
iv. Special interest/commitment to the education and development of young people
The foregoing virtues are being inculcated in every Tansian University student. So, graduates of Tansian University are expected to be life-skilled, with certification based not simply on how much we know but more on how well we have learnt to learn.
In the process of striving for improved transformation role in the society, the University adopted the concept of knowledge management, which in itself is an invention of movers of the knowledge economy. However, this new idea of Tansian University education has some implications. These implications emanate from the exercise of the triple mandate of knowledge Creation, Knowledge Transformation, and Knowledge Dissemination.
To be a dynamic academic institution, which epitomizes the noble traditions of sound, high quality education properly blended with moral rectitude that offers relevant academic programmes for the production of globally competitive graduates imbued with love of universal truth for the benefit of the society.
To continually pursue excellence, efficiency and effectiveness in teaching, learning and research towards the production of high quality, knowledgeable and skilful graduates that would be relevant in the work place as well as resolve societal problems thereby impacting on national development.
Tansian University is founded on the philosophy that all knowledge originates from God and that knowledge in power. Consequently, nothing should hinder the dissemination of knowledge to individuals. It therefore intends to serve Nigeria in particular and mankind in general as a higher institution that is intellectually stimulating for the advancement of knowledge and truth. The Tansian University philosophy is based on the belief in sound human development through qualitative education and good morals. In order to achieve excellence, the University promotes the highest standard of teaching, research and community service whilst providing a balanced education for the acquisition of knowledge, practical skills and moral rectitude.
- To complement government efforts by providing facilities for learning and to give holistic instruction and training in such branches of knowledge as the University may desire to foster, and in doing so, to enable the students obtain the advantages of a morally based liberal education, open to all, irrespective of nationality, ethnic derivation, social status, sex, religious or political persuasion.
- To promote, through research and other morally acceptable means, the advancement of knowledge and its functional application to social, cultural, economic, scientific and technological problems oriented towards development, peace and human progress.
- To create employment opportunities in Nigeria through attraction, retention and development of top quality core faculty academic staff, committed to true scholarship as well as contetent and skilful non-teaching staff.
- To run a university of the highest standard that will attract well-qualified undergraduate and graduate students and prepare them based on academic excellence, moral integrity and uprightness for successful lives and careers of distinction towards relevance in a globalised world; and
- To undertake any other activities appropriate for a university of the highest standard and in harmony with the educational philosophy, beliefs and policies of the Proprietor of the University
OUR JOURNEY FROM INCEPTION TO DATE
The commencement of the University in 2007 was not without the initial problems that usually surrounds anything that is beginning, especially where there are clash of interests. The first four years of this University witnessed great turbulence which affected the growth and development of the University in terms of students’ population and the infrastructural development as envisioned by the founding fathers of the University. However, all these have positively contributed to the solid foundation where the University is currently standing.
The University started with two Faculties – Faculty of Management and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences. A total of ten programmes where offered in the two faculties. The result of first accreditation of programmes visit by the National Universities Commission (NUC) was not too successful. Two years later, the second accreditation visit saw a progressive movement of not failing in any of the programmes. The third accreditation visit (October, 2015) saw the actualization of the dreams of the University by securing full accreditation in all the programmes.
In September 2015, a resource verification for the establishment of Faculty of Education was carried out in the University by the NUC. The result was excellent and another faculty (Faculty of Education) was added. Currently, (March 2016) the University is about to establish two new faculties – Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Environmental Sciences. The foundation laying ceremony of the Tansian University Teaching Hospital Aguleri (TUTHA) has just been completed and this heralds the establishment of College of Medicine by the 10th year of the University.
The University produced her first set of graduates in 2010/2011 academic session and from then to date a total of FIVE SETSof graduates has been produced. The quality of our graduates has been attested to by the employers of labour within and outside the country. Our graduates on the National Youth Service have won state awards in Ebonyi, Cross River, Anambra and Kogi States respectively. One of our graduates has won Inspector General of Police Award and immediate enlistment into the Nigerian Police Force. Some of our graduates also have outstanding records of being retained by various establishments after their Service year.
OUR INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
The infrastructural development of the University has been gradual and consistent since inception. Despite some initial setbacks suffered by the University which stagnated the earlier plan speed of infrastructural development. The University took off with four buildings housing the lecture rooms, the library, the Auditorium, and the Vice-Chancellor’s office; and one rented building housing the Registry and the two faculties. Two hostels were also constructed one for male the other for female. By the end of the second year (2008) three modern laboratories – Microbiology, Biochemistry and Physics - were constructedwith state of the art equipment. The third year saw the building of Council/Senate chamber and the administrative building housing the Registry, Bursary and one of the faculties. These were followed by the erection of Mass Communication Studio (now Tansian University Radio and television house) the next year. This Tansian University Radio was licensed by the Federal Government through the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in 2015
After the unsuccessful outing during the first accreditation visit of the NUC, the Proprietor embarked on massive expansion programme of the existing facilities with a state of the art equipment. The University library was greatly expanded in terms of space, in volumes of books and journals, changing to metal shelves and the creation of e-library. The expansion programme saw the carving out computer Lab equipped with computers and other apparatus for Computer Science department. Within this period also Departmental libraries were created for eight departments.
At the end of NUC second accreditation visit in 2013, the effect of the expansion programmewas quite visible as the University got a near perfect result in the accreditation – no programme had a denied accreditation. However, the struggle continued with the commencement of the development of permanent site in Umunya. The topography of the site is quite challenging, this notwithstanding the University was determined to move to her permanent abode in the shortest possible time.
The actual development of the permanent site started in 2013 with the construction of Msgr. Rechberger Academic Block containing sixteen lecture hall and the Convocation Arena. The quest to return to the permanent site was paramount and this engendered rapid development of the site. By the end of 2015, Administrative Block, Faculty Building, ICT centre, Cafeteria and Two Hostels were already completed and ready for habitation. On the 20th January 2016, the Administration of the University moved to the Permanent Site Umunya with two faculties – Faculty of Management and Social Sciences and Faculty of Education.
OUR ON-GOING PROJECTS
There are on-going projects in the University and these projects are consistent in their pace of movement and they are:
- Construction of the main entrance road to the University (dual carriage way)
- Construction of the access way within the Campus
- Construction of the Tansian University Teaching Hospital Aguleri (TUTHA)
- Renovation and furnishing of Faculty of Health Sciences Building in Oba.
Tansian University curriculum content is organized in a more flexible manner, with great integration of disciplines. The University’s structuring of departments and colleges gives way for more issues-related organizational structure. Students are equipped with learning-to-learn skills, and not mere encyclopedic knowledge, while emotional intelligence is accorded equal attention as mental/cognitive knowledge. Leaning is broad based with due emphasis on personality development, to facilitate adaptability to rapidly changing and highly unpredictable conditions.
Tansian University has a crop of resourceful, well-blended and achievement-motivated staff. This includes experienced and leading scholars and professors in various disciplines as well as an efficient support and service staff. Through programmes of systematic development, the University is building a core of dedicated staff for today and tomorrow.
Tansian University Library was founded in 1997. It has passed several Accreditation Exercises by the National Universities Commission. It has been adjudged as being of outstanding standard. The Library subscribes to approximately 15,000 e-journals as part of its electronic information provision and has over five thousand separated printed items, including over 10,000 past and present journals titles.
The Central Library is the central source for all disciplines. The Library’s collections cover the social sciences, natural science, education and medical sciences in the widest sense. In addition to our national collections, there are rich international collections of government publications, a wealth of statistical materials, important collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books. Primary materials supporting graduate study and original research are one of the Library’s greatest strengths.
The use of the library programmes are also organized for new students and they form part of the students’ tour of the library as well as assistants to users. Also, the Library offers a data advisory service to graduates and researchers, with a Data Librarian providing one to one support in the use of a wide range of datasets held locally and via external data centres and advice on archive materials suitable for graduate’s research.
Tansian University Library is more than just a collection of books and journals; it is an ideal place to study with hundred of study spaces and PC’s, laptop points, wireless access, study rooms and photocopying and printing facilities. It is a focal point at the University and used extensively by both students and academics. The course collection contains multiple copies of books, all of which can be located via the Library Catalogue, which also provides access to all of our e-resources including newspapers, journals and e-books. The Library is open for long hours, seven days a week.
The University Librarian is responsible for administration and coordination of work done in the various sections of the library. The work carried out in the various departments and units of the library is undertaken by other professional librarians and some non-professional library assistants.
The users of the library materials are trained in the use of the library through the user-education-programmes organized by the professional staff of the library. Additional assistance and services are provided for disabled students.
The University Library is committed to user satisfaction and has achieved satisfaction rating in excess of 90 per cent in recent user surveys. Constantly looking to improve, new services are added regularly, often in direct response to feedback to enhance the user experience.
IT Services provides a wide range of services, facilities and support, including high speed network access, high specification PCs and high quality help, advice and training.
- IT facilities on campus: There are around 500 PCs available for taught students to use in open access areas around the School and in the Computer classrooms. Over 350 of these PCs are located in the Library and there is 24-hour PC availability on campus. Students can also borrow laptops to use in the Library. Research students also have access in their departments, providing at least one PC per three research students. Special facilities are available for disabled students.
All networked PCs on campus provide access to common desktop applications and specialist software, including;
- Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access)
- Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox web browser
- Windows Live Messenger and Skype
- Quantitative analysis software (eg SPSS, SAS, STATA)
- Qualitative analysis software (eg ArcGIS, Google Earth)
- Computer based training
PCs on campus also provide access to the Library catalogue and a wide range of electronic databases and datasets (eg census, financial information).
- IT facilities in residences: Hostels are wired for direct connection to the School network. There is computer room in each of the floors of the male and female hostels with PCs and Printers which available 24 hours a day. Students may also use their own computer in their bedroom or in the wireless zone. Every student staying hostel receives a network cable and a guide to connecting their computer to the internet.
- Using your own computer: Computer ownership is not obligatory, but students could bring their own computer, IT service provides information and help with connecting to the School IT environment and accessing services and resources both on campus and off site.
- IT Support and training: Hardware and software support are provided by the IT Help Desk in the Campus. All IT training is provided for students who wish to improve or extent their IT skills. IT Training also offer a certificate scheme for students who participate in the training programme.
In order to enhance integration of Tansian products in the Nigeria labour market in advance, the University commenced Tansian Entrepreneurship Programme (TEP) solely involving students with a view to helping them acquire job-creating skills and entrepreneurship acumen which can assist them to becoming job-creators rather than being job-seekers after graduation. Experts have been invited to train students on entrepreneur.
TANSIAN UNIVERSITY TV/RADIO
The Mass Communication studio (Radio and TV) is a multi-million naira project executed by the University to harness and enhance the potentials in students of mass communication in the arts of information and technology.
The University has included extra-curricular activities like drama, dancing, film-making, showcasing of cultural heritage, sporting activities to encourage the social life of students as man tends to improve the standard of his relationship in the environment where he lives.
Tansian University seeks to build a reputation for distinction hence we maintained a small population so as to foster the tenet of standard education. As a result Lecturers give way to exploration of issues and task-oriented practical activities. Academics are more field-oriented with a multi-disciplinary orientation.
Tutorial classes run without unscheduled breaks, as we have a good number of both foreign lecturers and foreign students. We also strive to send results to parents and students shortly after examinations. Lectures start by 7:00AM and end by 4:00 PM on weekdays, after which students spend their free time productively in sporting activities, discussions, debates, research and academic works.
STUDENTS’ ACCESS TO STUDY FACILITIES
Furthermore, science laboratories and workshops are well equipped to meet the challenges of rolling out well-groomed and skilled graduates. Therefore students have full access to the University Library and Laboratory services at all times.
Hygienically prepared meals of a wide variety are served at the school cafeteria on a Pay-As-You-Eat basis, making eating habits of each student as flexible as possible to suite his or her peculiar academic schedule.
Cult activities are non-existent and illicit drugs and alcohol are out rightly banned making the schooling experience a fulfilling one, free of insecurity and frustration.
A Medical Centre is situated in the University and it provides full medical services to students and staff who become ill or need medical advice.
DISABLED STUDENTS AND
STUDENTS WITH LONG-TERM
Tansian University embraces disability as a valuable aspect of diversity and welcomes the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty and the Equality Act. Equalities legislation requires that we promote disability equality by reducing disabling barriers and encouraging full participation of disabled people as a valuable part of our community. Anticipatory activity includes working to improve physical access and access to information and resources, providing services such a shearing loops and developing our infrastructures of assistive technology. Peer support networks are being developed.
The Tansian University Disability and Wellbeing Services provides a first point of contact for prospective and current students who need the School to make reasonable adjustments in order for them to access their programmes of study. TANU views disability equality as a shared responsibility so assistance is also available beyond the TUDWS. Specialist careers advice is available for example. Prospective students are encouraged to make early contact with the University.
CHAPLAINCY/STUDENTS’ RIGHT OF WORSHIP
The Chaplaincy exists to provide pastoral care to any student who seeks it and to support religious life and cohesion within the wider TANU community. It holds regular Masses and special events for the whole school such as the Christmas Carol Mass, Bazaar, and Region of Mary etc. Though, TANU is exclusively Catholic University but every student of Tansian University is free to worship in the manner of his/her belief. No student or group of students shall disturb others in the course of exercising their religious belief or evoke any religious unrest through the demonstration of fanaticism of any sort on Campus. The name of the chaplaincy is Iwene Tansi Chaplaincy.
ADVICE AND COUNSELING
The Tansian University Student Counseling Service is free of charge for all current students. It aims to enable students to cope more effectively with any personal or study difficulties that may be affecting them while at TANU. There are professionally qualities and experienced counselors in the department.
ADVISER TO WOMEN STUDENTS
A member of the academic staff acts as the Adviser to Women Students. She is available to discuss in confidence all issues of concern to women students in the School, including sexual harassment, and to offer advice and support to women students with personal problems. The adviser has a positive commitment to increase awareness in the School of matters that concern women students and to take new initiatives which may improve the quality of life for women students in the future.
ADVISER TO MALE STUDENTS
A member of the academic staff acts as the Adviser to Male Students. He is available to discuss all issues of personal or academic concern with male students in the School, including sexual harassment, and to offer advice and support to male students with personal problems.
TANU Careers provides a comprehensive service for students and alumni seeking guidance and information on graduate employment and further study. An extensive programme of event, including forums, fairs, seminars and workshops, runs throughout the year, enriched by our strong working relationships with top corporate organizations. The Tansian University Entrepreneurial Centre work in consultation with academic departments to deliver a career programme tailored to the needs of our Students. From induction, we will advise our students on how to research their career, how to stay informed about jobs, internships and careers events relevant to their interests and how to develop and promote the employability skills needed in a competitive graduate market. Our extensive core programme of service and events runs alongside departmental work, focusing on industry sectors and employability skills, including;
- Career fairs, attracting top recruiters across a diverse range of key employment sectors
- One to one careers advice with a team of specialist careers advisers
- One to one practice interview sessions
- Careers forums and employer presentations, with first-hand insights from leading figures in their fields.
- Interactive careers seminars and workshops, covering topics like CVs, applications, interviews, presentations and groups work skills.
- Skills sessions, designed and delivered by employers to teach our students the skills and the industry know-how to succeed in their career.
Of course, our students’ relationship with TANU does not end once they graduated. As an alumnus, we strongly encouraged them to stay in touch.
Tansian University has an ongoing commitment to current and former students through a highly effective alumni relations programme which is administered by School staff and a network of volunteer alumni. The Alumni Relation Team works closely with academic departments ensuring that current students have regular access to the alumni body, giving professional networking opportunities to both.
Alumni can also keep in touch with TANU through online community discussion groups, information about alumni events and reunion and news about current events at TANU can be gotten via our website www.tansianuniversity.edu.ng.
Electricity Supply of the University: The University has constant electricity supply through is Solar Energy, Inverter and generators of various capacities.
Water: Currently Water supply to the University is not from the Municipal Water Board. Adequate water supply is however provided by the University. The University boreholes pass physicochemical and bacteriological analyses of water samples. The bacteriological analysis was carried out using multiple rube (most probable number) technique for enumeration of bother total Caliform count and differential Escherichia coli count. The results obtained were compared with World Health Organisation (WHO), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Standard of Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ) and is certified ok for drinking.
STANDARD OF DEGREE EXAMINATION
The University Senate approved the award of Bachelor of Science Degrees in our entire accredited courses in the two Faculties (Management and Social Sciences and Natural and Applied Sciences) since 2010 for students who have fulfilled all the requirements for the award of the degree. With its strident regulatory policies, requirements and enforcement, the University follows all due academic processes in teaching and examination to ensure high standard of degrees that will be awarded. Graduates in these faculties are being trained to be well grounded in their various fields and will remain competitive anywhere in the world. For its quest for high educational standard, the University therefore ensures that;
- The syllabus contents are covered adequately through intensive teaching, demonstrations, practical work, quizzes and continuous assignment exercises;
- The students answers to various questions are of high quality and learning is actually taking place;
- The practical work exercises are being understood, well implemented and accurately reported;
- The student understands the implication, importance, and impact of his training for his personal and professional development and to the industry.
The University adopted (as a matter of great importance) the external moderation scheme for the final year/degree examinations. The external examiners have given overall excellent reports on the quality and standard of the degree examinations.
AERIAL VIEW OF TANSIAN UNIVERSITY PERMANENT SITE:
Tansian University appears more majestic when viewed from the hills that overlook it serenity. The charm of the University can best be savoured by moving through the premises. A visitor may temporarily get lost but soon find himself fascinated by the quaint passage-ways; the state-of-the-art Rechberger Convocation Arena with over 10,000 seating capacity; the administrative block; tempting and magnificent structure housing the science laboratories; imposing structure housing the conventional and e-library; the ICT block. They are better seen than mentioned –superlatively superb. As the day draws to dust, the settling sun casts a warm glow over the monuments of the University. From a distance, several monumental edifices dominate the skyline, the male and female hostels brilliantly designed and structured to give the students comfort and enabling environment for study. The lecture halls are something extra-ordinary to savour. Also as you enter the University, you are ecclesiastically welcomed by a sight that takes breath away from you, the huge statue of Blessed Iwene Tansi. It dominates a small square. With over 4000 plots of land adorned with natural atmosphere, confluence of two streams and undulating topography, construction of other edifices are in deferent stages of completion.
Making a difference is the major thrust of the philosophy of Tansian University. That is the dream of the Founding Father, Very Rev Msgr Prof John Bosco Akam (FCON) –to breed new ideas, fresh solution, and new perspectives.
FOUNDER’S IMAGE OF TANSIAN UNIVERSITY
Rather than merely establishing a goal to be recognized for excellence, Tansian University identifies some specific areas in which the University should focus – and underscores them with well-crafted “imperatives” that clearly define the objectives. Attainment of those objectives, outlined in the imperatives, entails continued enhancement across a broad spectrum of clearly articulated assiduous and related endeavours, with the envisioned “top 10” recognition being a welcome by-product.
Tansian University is now in its pedestal of “creating a culture of excellence.” Initiated in 1997 by Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. John Bosco Akam, it represents his diligent work and vision. The Father Founder/Chancellor devoted more than six years to examining various aspects of the university and study benchmark institutions before formally unveiling in 1999 the results of his study and making underlying recommendations.
The Father Founder/Chancellor has enthusiastically embraced Vision 2020, noting its prominently in his January 31, 2008 matriculation address and on numerous subsequent occasions. More than just noting it, however, he has put into action his resolve to achieve the aspirations reflected in Vision 2020 planning and articulation. He has elected to focus initially on four areas that are embedded in the original imperatives, plus one imperative:
- Elevate the colleges
- Improve graduate and staff programs
- Diversity and globalization
- Improve space, focusing at the permanent site
To ensure that attainment of excellence remains a guiding light concerning the university’s directions and actions, the Founder/Chancellor has had a number of consultations with experts of some of the best Universities in the world – Oxford and Cambridge Universities in Great Britain and Harvard in the U.S. He had equally left no stone unturned in his quest to ensure adequate welfare packages for both staff and students.
Every commencement day speaker worth his or her salt has got to say, one way or another, “The future is in your hands. Today the torch passes from one generation to the next.” This in itself is not new. I heard the same thing when I was a teenager. But it meant something different when I heard it. It really was just commencement day rhetoric back then. Nowadays it means something different.
Nowadays it means something like this. My generation and my parents’ generation and their parents’ have really screwed things up here, and that’s no joke. I can’t even bring myself to look at the latest World Watch Institute estimate of how much time we have left to turn this around before we head down a slide from which no recovery is possible. It was about 40 years the last time I did have the nerve to look, and that was several years ago.
What does this figure mean? It doesn’t main human extinction in forty years. It means we have 40 years to find a new path for ourselves, and if we let those 40 years go to waste and just go on the way we are, the momentum that is carrying us forward to extinction will be too great to overcome. So that date is not the end of it all, it’s just the point of no return. Irreversible.
So when people tell you now that it’s all up to you, they really mean “if you can’t find what we were unable to find and our parents were unable to find and their parents were unable to find (which is another way for us to go), then you may very well live to see the extinction of the human race. “I’m sure those in Tansian University haven’t failed to notice what a monstrous copout this is.
Oh yes, we – your parents and their parents and their parents – have screwed up the world royally, and we admit it!! But if YOU don’t find a way to FIX what WE’VE done, then it will be YOUR fault! Not OUR fault, because we have an excuse. We were just dumb and greedy. And because WE’VE been dumb and greedy, YOU’RE going to have to be smart and self-sacrificing. Got that? An anonymous puts it in a nutshell: “By being in the younger generation, I have to save the world before I can even begin to think of building a life for myself, or there will be nothing to build my life on.” Your parents didn’t have to save the world before building a life for themselves. Maybe it would’ve been a good idea – but they didn’t HAVE to. So they didn’t.
You, the students of Tansian University HAVE to, because if you don’t as an anonymous says, there will be nothing LEFT to build your life ON. So that’s the deal. Forget about having fun. Forget about taking up some career just because it happens to appeal to you. Forget about getting the good things in life that your parents have. Forget about the six-figure salary. Forget about the limousines and other flashy things. Forget about the 8000 square foot house. Those things are okay for people like E. statement Gates and Steve Jobs and Donald Trump and Steve Case, because they belong to the same old, unregenerate generation as your parents. They can AFFORD to be dumb and greedy. They don’t HAVE to save the world first. YOU DO. Is it any wonder that an anonymous feels cheated?
When he speaks of being cheated, an anonymous unconsciously brings into play the language of games. I mean that an anonymous dimly recognizes that a game IS being played with him, and I’d like to take a few minutes to examine the game that’s being played with him – and with you when people tell you that “it’s all up to you.”
In his book, The Book: or, The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Alan Watts examines the notion of the “double-bind.” “A person, “he writes, “is put in a double-bind by a command or request that contains a concealed contradiction. ‘Stop being self-conscious!’ ‘Try to relax…’ Society, as we now have it, pulls this tick on every child from earliest infancy. In the first place, the child is taught that he is responsible, that he is a free agent, an independent origin of thoughts and actions. He accepts this make –believe for the very reason that it is not true. He can’t help accepting it, just as he can’t help accepting membership in the community where he was born. He has no way of resisting this kind of social indoctrination. It is constantly reinforced with reward and punishments. It is built into the basic structure of the language he is learning… We befuddle our children hopelessly because we as adults were once so befuddled, and, remaining so; do not understand the game we are playing.”
I hope students will leave Tansian University today with a better understanding of the game that is being played with them including a well defined moral character. “The child,” Watts says, “is taught that he is responsible, that e is a free agent, an independent origin of thoughts and actions. “This is what you’re hearing when people of an older generation say, “It’s up to you.” You might say that this is HALF of the game. They themselves were told, “It’s all up to you,” when they were your age. But if you watch them in action, you’ll see very clearly that they don’t act as if it were all up to them. They act as if it were all up to SOMEONE ELSE. They were taught, just as you were, that they are responsible, that they are free agents, but they know perfectly well that this is make-believe. SOMEONE ELSE is responsible for saving the world. SOMEONE ELSE is a free agent CAPABLE of saving the world. It may not come to mind immediately who this SOMEONE ELSE is, but you’ll certainly recognize it when you hear it.
Who is everyone WAITING for to save the world? They are waiting for our LEADERS, of course. This is the other half of the game. The first half of the game is: It’s all up to you. The second half of the game is: they don’t have to do anything because they’re waiting for the Vice-Chancellor to save the world. They’re waiting for the Secretary General of the United Nations to save the world. They’re waiting for some unthinkable industrial giant to save the world. They’re waiting for some great thinker to save the world. They’re waiting for Mikhail Gorbachev to save the world. They’re even waiting for Daniel Quinn to save the world! SOMEONE UP THERE, SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY!
Well, guess what, folks, There is NO ONE “up there” who is remotely CAPABLE of saving the world. Most of the people I’ve mentioned aren’t even THINKING about saving the world. Trust me, you will never hear Al Gore or Statement Bradley or George Bush or our Vice-Chancellor, or Alhaji Musa Yar’a dua utter one word about saving the world*. And whichever one of them is elected the next Nation’s President; he will not spend a single minute of his administration thinking about saving the world. This is not something they should be blamed for, in all honesty. We don’t ELECT Presidents to save the world, and any candidate that campaigned on the basis would be laughed off the stage. We elect ALL our political leaders to address SHORT-TERM goals. The kids of your grandparents’ generation were told, “It’s all up to you” – and they waited for SOMEONE ELSE to save the world.
Now the people of your parents’ and grandparents’ generation are continuing the game by pointing at you and saying, “It’s all up to YOU.” I’d like to try to persuade you to REFUSE to play the game. Don’t let anyone get away with saying, “It’s all up to you.” No. It’s all up to EVERYBODY. Refuse to accept your parents’ and grandparents’ copout. It’s not good enough to say, “We’ve failed, so it’s all up to you.”
Tell them, “STOP failing!” Which means stop WAITING! Tell them, “There’s nothing to wait for. There’s no ONE to wait for. No one is going to save the world but the PEOPLE of the world and you can’t make it the sole responsibility of MY generation. We are the ones with no experience, no clout, no connections, no power, no money – and it’s all suppose to be up to US??? What are YOU going to be doing while WE save the world?”
Obviously here, I can’t give you a blueprint for saving the world. But I can give you a couple of fundamental notions that I think you can follow with complete confidence. The first of these might be called Quinn’s First Law. It won’t surprise you. It may even strike you as obvious. Here it is. No undesirable behaviour has ever been eliminated by passing a law against it.The second is Buckminster Fuller’s Law, which is this: You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete is all about making a difference. That is what Very. Rev. Msgr. Prof. Akam is doing, and has done. That is the Tansian University dream.
Most of the time when people wonder to ask what they should be doing to save the world, there is in the back of their minds two general notions of how change takes place. One is the notion thatpassing laws makes things change. The other is that fighting makes things change. We’re trained to think that you really are DOING something if you’re out there fighting and getting laws passed. But if you heed these two laws, you may think differently about this. Once again they are Quinn’s First Law, No undesirable behaviour has ever been eliminated by passing a law against it, and Fuller’s Law, You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. That is the dream of our Father Founder and Chancellor, Tansian University, Very. Rev. Msgr. Prof. J. B. Akam.
Here is Quinn’s Second Law: What people think is what they do. And its corollary: To change what people do, change what they think. At the present time, there are six billion people on this planet pursuing a vision that is devouring the earth. That’s out problem. Our problem is not pollution. Our problem is not consumerism. Our problem is not capitalist greed. Our problem is not conservative selfishness or liberal utopianism. Our problem is not lack of leadership. Our problem is a world-devouring vision that some Nations are pursuing.
Now what can we do about this vision? We can’t legislate it away or vote it away or organize it away or even shoot it away. We can only teach it away. If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision, people and institutions of our higher learning being poised/determined to make a difference. It will not be saved by old minds with new programmes. Vision is a flowing river. Programmes are sticks set in the riverbed to impede the flow of the river. But I don’t to impede its flow; I want to change its direction.
Is it so easy to change a cultural vision? Ease and difficulty are not the relevant measures. Here are the relevant measures: Readiness and unreadiness. If people aren’t ready for it, then no power on earh can make a new idea catch on. But if people are ready for it, if the students and staff of Tansian University are ready for it (and I think they are), then a new idea will sweep the world like wildfire. In our culture at the present moment, the flow of the river is toward catastrophe, and programs are sticks set in the riverbed to impede its flow.
Our path of hope is not to add more sticks to impede the flow. Our path of hope is to change the direction of the flow – away from catastrophe. It is to swim against the tide. I think the students & staff of Tansian University are ready for this new idea. They are ready for breaking new grounds that will usher our people into the level that is saturated with meaning.
Don’t pay attention to people who talk as if saving the world is someone else’s business – big shots in international politics or big shots in international commerce. I say again: if the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, and anyone can change a mind. I mean that. Back in the seventies, a lot of eight-year-olds came home and told their parents, “By God, you’re going to stop smoking!” – and they made it stick. Back in the eighties, a lot of eight-year-olds came home and told their parents, “By God, we’re going to start recycling aluminum cans!” – and they made it stick.
Carry the news to parents, to children, to lecturers, to friends, to relatives, even to strangers, that we can only save the world, change an idea, make a difference through profound co-operation, determination, serving, loving/caring for others, and above all, pleasing God with the totality of our behaviours. If the time is right, a new idea will sweep the world like wildfire.
We have found a path of hope for the future Tansian University, through the doggedness, the astuteness, and tenacity of purpose, of a Priest of great international standing, and a quintessence of excellence, Msgr. Prof. J. B. Akam. If the time is right, a new idea will sweep the world like wildfire – Because of people like him. That’s exactly how new ideas sweep the world like wildfire – and that’s how I see it. That’s our path of hope for the future.