Dream Team Leaders

9.26.2008 Article, General, School News

Reprinted from the Triad Business Journal
by Betsy Chapman

It’s too early for Christmas carols, but it would not be wrong to say “the weather outside is frightful.” It is wet and gray and very windy – and the rain goes between a constant light drizzle and a full-on pelting rain. Ick.

On to good news: as part of Family Weekend, our Parents’ Council meets (they are the volunteer board that helps serve as ambassadors and liaisons between WF parents and the administration). As part of their meeting, they had a dynamite program of speakers lined up, including the president, provost and dean of business. Select soundbites and highlights:

President Hatch: mentioned the excitement of being the only team in the nation that has two #1 ranked sports – field hockey and soccer. Go Deacs! He also talked about our unique role as a “Collegiate University” and how the world of higher education is increasingly moving toward being research universities and the ’scholar-teacher’ model (which prizes research above all) and that we at Mother So Dear still believe we need ‘teacher-scholars’.

He made a very interesting point about how society is increasingly impersonal – that kids may have 200 friends on their Facebook account but few (or no) close confidants in whom they can confide things. Where that plays into our Collegiate University setting is that our people here -faculty and staff- want to know our students and take them seriously. We relate to them on a deep level. It’s different, and it’s important.

On to the provost. She echoed much of what NOH said about our charge to educate the whole person and how the special niche of our faculty is that they love teaching undergraduates – unlike bigger research schools where the grad students can be sort of a buffer between the faculty and the undergrads. She talked about the strategic plan and how one of the ideas in it is to forge new partnerships between the liberal arts and the professions. That students of all fields of study need to have access to learning from the best minds and have discussions of how we can solve the world’s problems together. She also talked about wanting to grow the best national mentoring program – using faculty and staff and alumni and parents. This would be fun project to get all of you out in the field involved in – once it’s built of course. So keep that on deposit for possible future engagement with MSD.

Now to Steve Reinemund, dean of business: he said that “our calling is to help our students find their calling.” Not just to get them a job – though he wants to have 100% of our students employed – but to help them find their place in the world and know their ‘True North’ of their internal compass. He wants to provide exceptional business education but to also instill the responsibility of being ethical leaders and community advocates. He’s a fitness buff too – he has a “Dawn with the Dean” running group that goes for a run every Thursday morning at 6:30 – and put out the all call for people to join him.

It really feels a bit like we have a Dream Team going on with this group of leaders – and the many others not represented on the program but who do equally good work for their schools and programs. There is a palpable excitement here right now. Big things are happening. It feels incredibly cool to have my own little piece of this new world.

Now let’s go beat Navy tomorrow. Go Deacs!