August 7, 2010Mr. Frederic Falck,President Board of Trustees,Escuela Agrícola PanamericanaDr. Alison StoneVice-President Board of Trustees,Escuela Agrícola PanamericanaBoard of Trustees,Escuela Agrícola PanamericanaDear Board of Trustees and its Officers:I am writing this open letter to you as a Zamorano graduate (Agrónomo Class of 1984), a person who hasnavigated through the high level international policy analysis and dialogue arenas, who has been aformal Zamorano Faculty and who is now an Affiliate Professor at Zamorano and at the University of thePhilippines Los Baños, as well as a professional working for a world class policy analysis organization, theInternational Food Policy research Institute (IFPRI). These are my opinions, not that of my employer oranybody else.I am writing this letter to share with you, some of my impressions and ideas on the future of Zamorano,now that the process of selecting a new rector is underway. This open letter is made with the mostpositive and proactive desire for Zamorano to excel in its mission and objectives. I cannot emphasize thispoint enough as I seek to construct and contribute through very explicit and direct opinions on issuesrelevant to the institution. To do so we have to start by discussing a bit of background on Zamorano as ahigher learning and capacity building institution in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Is Zamorano unique amongst higher learning institutions?
Zamorano is indeed unique amongst higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbeanand other parts of the world. Zamoranos emphasis on a practical, hands-on education focused onproblem solving and the development of a can do attitude separates us from mainly theoreticaluniversities.The principles that made Zamorano and its graduates different than others have been widely describedelsewhere. Certainly, Dr. Simon Malos book El Zamorano: meeting the challenges of tropical Americasummarized principles these better than what I can do in this short piece. However, it is important to listthese principles as the need will exist to modify or in some cases strengthen these principles. We needto make these changes with an explicit consideration of the new and emerging agricultural professionalprofile that will be ready today to address the problems and issues of 2050 (and beyond) Latin Americanand the Caribbean agriculture and the economy.The principles by which Zamorano built a highly regarded reputation are: