Dean Eric Dent returns from Cuban conference
Cuba is open to the rest of the world, the island nation remains an
elusive destination for American travelers.
Dr. Eric B. Dent,
UNC Pembroke's Dean of the School of Business,
recently returned from Havana, where he spoke at an academic conference.
It was his second trip to Cuba.
and journalists are the two primary groups from America who can get
licenses to visit Cuba," Dr. Dent said. "Tremendous restrictions
remain to travel and to conduct commerce."
Dr. Dent lectured
on "The Challenges of Observation, Inquiry and Measurement in Complexity
Theory" at the Second Biennial Seminar on the Philosophical, Epistemological
and Methodological Implications of Complexity Theory conference. He
is a leading American expert in the field, which has its roots in natural
theory is an approach to research, study and perspective that is holistic,
interdependent and non-hierarchical," Dr. Dent said. "Discussing
the philosophical implications of complexity theory is more popular
outside the U.S., where philosophical approaches to problems are important."
living in a communist society, complexity theory allows them to talk
about open systems in a politically acceptable way," he said.
Dent's approach to business theory is welcome in Cuba. Fidel Castro
Jr., son of the president and the nation's number two political figure,
was in the audience for his lecture.
"It is gratifying
that my talk might, in some very small way, have some influence on the
course of events down there," Dr. Dent said. "Even the most
hard-line Cubans realize that things are changing, and Castro, who is
77, cannot live forever."
do not want to happen in Cuba what happened in Russia when communism
collapsed," Dr. Dent said. "They do not want to lose the good
things they have - a strong healthcare system and little corruption."
For Dr. Dent, Cuba
is an island paradise that evokes strong feelings.
"In Cuba, you
have a sensation of being lost in time - like it's still 1960,"
he said. "There are beautiful oceanfront buildings that are vacant
Dr. Dent said things
have changed since his visit two years ago. There is more tourism and
more money, especially U.S. dollars. However, travel to Cuba remains
"It's a tremendous
hassle," Dr. Dent said. "Getting in and out of there, I was
checked thoroughly three or four times."
While he was there,
Cuba celebrated the 45th anniversary of the revolution that rocked the
world and launched Fidel Castro into power, where he remains in open
defiance of the U.S. today.
The second biennial
conference on complexity theory was held January 7-10. Dr. Dent's conference
paper will be published in the book, "Managing the Complex: Philosophy,
Theory and Practice," edited by Kurt Richardson.
to University Newswire