College Faculty and the "Choice of Achilles"

Academic Leader

In the ninth book of Homer's Iliad, the Greek hero Achilles tells the embassy that wants him to return to the battle against the Trojans that he has been given an important choice in his life: fame or long life. In order to secure one benefit, Achilles had to forego something else. And that is precisely the situation in which many of our faculty members find themselves. For the college faculty, however, the choice of Achilles can be described in these terms: Would I prefer to be great at just one thing, even if it represents a very narrow realm of achievement, or to be good at many things, even if many others in my field end up surpassing me at any one of these achievements?

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