I haven't learned enough yet to have an opinion on whether pursuing polytechnic status would be a good choice for Humboldt State University ("The Polytechnic Push," Feb. 11). I do want to contribute this to the conversation: I graduated from HSU in 1988 with a degree in environmental resources engineering and a minor in English. Over the years, on more than one occasion, I've been told the reason I was offered a technical job was because the English minor on my résumé made me stand out from other qualified candidates.
At HSU, I also benefited greatly from meeting general education requirements through excellent courses in music, speech communication, religious studies and foreign language offered by thriving, solidly supported non-STEM departments. This diversified education made me who I am today.
In addition, HSU's geographic isolation obligates the university to provide a wide range of majors for the benefit of students of limited economic means from our community who don't have the choice of moving hundreds of miles away to study.
While I greatly value my STEM education from Humboldt State University, I hope HSU's leaders will consider the inherent value of diverse academic offerings as they plan the university's future.
Richard Engel, Arcata