By the time you read this, I will be deep into my first week as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at Indiana University Kokomo. While I am excited about this new chapter for me personally and professionally, I have found myself reminiscing on the nearly ten years I have spent at Georgetown College. While ten years may seem like a lifetime to my children, it is humbling to realize I have only been here for roughly five percent of the institution’s history.
This has been a tremendous period of growth for me. I have learned (from my many mistakes and successes) how to be a better student advocate and servant. While many decisions are complicated, I believe that transparency, collaboration and trust can bring about a process where group buy-in can help create a climate of success. I hope that what I have learned in my Tiger days has prepared me to be a better leader and follower.
Students, thank you for your patience and enthusiasm. You have unbelievable potential and can create a first-rate college experience. I am often amazed by your passion, your heart and your ability to adapt. Do not underestimate the power of your collective and organized voice. This College exists for you. Instead of harping about things that you do not like, do something about it! Appreciate the dedicated staff and faculty who are here to serve and love you. Let them help you reach your potential, and remember to say “thank you” to all those who play a role in your journey.
Staff members, thank you for your dedication and support. Some of you are among the hardest working folks I know. While you may not have “faculty status” you have the ability and opportunity to mentor and teach students. I hope you take great satisfaction in the product that we help create. Remember that the broken ceiling tiles and damaged water fountains are not the work of all our students, but rather a small percentage of students who may be struggling with personal demons. Keep the faith and remember that if each of you does your job five percent better, that it will help Georgetown College reach new heights!
Faculty members, thank you for your commitment, expertise and student-centeredness. We know that many of you are underpaid when you consider the extensive educational background and professional competence that you possess. I appreciate that most of you are here because you feel a calling to teach. I believe the strength of GC is its academic program, and your efforts will largely determine the success of this institution in the decades to come. I encourage you to claim your role in a shared governance model of decision making, and to remember that your attitude and enthusiasm has a significant impact on student morale and retention.
Good luck to each of you in your work, study and play. Love and take care of each other, as it is what makes Georgetown College special. Keep in touch, as I would enjoy hearing about your individual and collective success. My IUK email is firstname.lastname@example.org.