Thanks to Fiona, Joe and everyone for the exceedingly gracious
responses to my flurry of messages. I've come out of weekend
retirement to make some broad suggestions that might be more
inclusive than before of WAEO members' aspirations.
First I sounded out my wife Chisato in Japanese, as she handles
our finances and is very sharp about practical matters. She said
that if WAOE were purely voluntaristic, then only rich people and
professors could afford to actively participate. It is understandable
and acceptable, I guess, if people do volunteer work to some extent
but then also expect to be paid for their professional services.
My keynote similarly stated that online classes must be viewed as
equivalent in value to face to face (f2f) ones (f2f classes can also
now be online as well). I myself have done little but volunteer work
and online publishing in between classes, to the consternation of
my wife, so I may well be an extreme case. The Internet has been
at the stage of giving away the store, but people need to make a
living at legotimate online teaching and related services like
consulting and training.
Therefore I propose that WAOE have at least three basic thrusts:
1) academic and voluntaristic, 2) charitable, funneling grants and
free assistance to non-Westerners or the less technologically
wealthy, and 3) commercial projects to support 1) and 2) as well
as to give members more teaching, consulting and training
My only concern would be if 3) would alienate any of the fine
academic women and men we have gathered so far.
In any event, first an Executive Board needs to be in place to
make financial and other key decisions. Therefore I propose
that we hold a Constitutional Convention this coming week
from April 19th/20th at Brian's WAOE Web BBS:
More details then, and I hope announcements and organizational
discussion can also briefly continue on <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This is something that other organizations have not even been
able to do for constitutional reform because of the expense.
Everyone is welcome to flesh out the offices, committees,
and election procedures that will be needed. Your e-mail box
may be empty, but you can check in at the Web board any time.
Bring your ideas and applicable parts of other constitutions.
But this one will have many new elements not seen before.
See you there!
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan