President Sloan Takes Part In 'Education And Workers' Roundtable Session

Aug. 14, 2002

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. was one of the participants in the "Education and Workers" panel session of the President's Economic Forum, held Aug. 13 at Baylor Law School.

Session participants discussed the importance of education, job training, job flexibility and other worker proposals to the future prosperity of individuals and the nation. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Rod Paige chaired the panel, with John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, serving as guest speaker.

In addition to Dr. Sloan, other session participants were Carly Fiorina, chair and CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Rosabeth Kanter, professor of business administration at Harvard; Bob King, chancellor of State University of New York, Albany; Bob Nardelli, chair, president and CEO of The Home Depot; Ed Rust, chair and CEO of State Farm Insurance Co.; teachers, college students, union leaders and members, job training leaders and government policy makers.

The following are Dr. Sloan's remarks to the panel:

"Technical knowledge is clearly important, but the ability to communicate with clarity, simplicity, and grace is crucial to economic success.

"One of our historical strengths at Baylor - and one of our commitments for the future - is to push students through a liberal arts education that requires them to develop their ability to communicate well.

"In an era when many of the nation's top institutions have pushed for exclusive specialization, we have strengthened the core abilities and competencies that we believe undergird successful education.

"We get outstanding students from high school as applicants at Baylor, and recent years have seen our pool improve steadily.

"Nonetheless, we still find significant numbers of entering college students who are incapable of communicating with clarity and confidence.

"As we consider what components are most important in making American education work, I hope we will give appropriate attention to the need to include the development of the fundamental skills of careful reading, writing, and oral communication."

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