In last week’s “A Word With the Boss” interview (“Unity College president advances sustainability science by degree,” March 19), Stephen Mulkey, the president of Unity College, offered some interesting observations that will probably be lost in all of the turmoil about the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine System.

In talking about the priorities for Unity College, Mulkey observed, “What bothers me about higher education is that leadership has little scientific training.”

That statement raises these questions: How much scientific training does the incoming president of USM have? What are his interests and expertise in science, technology and those areas of knowledge? This issue is critical to the future of USM and Maine.

Mulkey also noted: “The poverty in Maine is just astonishing, so there’s an ethic of living with less and no emphasis on excellence and what’s possible.”

Our tendencies to get by, to do just enough, to resist change will continue to be our undoing. We need to want to be the best – not the best in New England or the best in the U.S. Our goal needs to be to become the best in the world! Our lobsters already are.

And we need to embrace innovation and change and creativity and excellence if we want to prosper as a state in the 21st century. Mulkey is spot on, and that is probably why Unity College is growing.

Mark Eyerman