I often joke with the staff that when you walk into the building, you might think you’ve entered North Korea. My picture and the title of my most recent blog post is on every screen. It’s a bit unnerving. I’m not that pretty and having my image everywhere can be seen by others as more than a bit egotistical.
So why do I do this? I believe the best education occurs when you are brave enough to sit on a log next to someone different from you who has something interesting to say and have a conversation with them. The prospect of such an exchange should frighten you a bit and hold the potential to transform you.
We have spent the last five years building a culture of engagement in the college. We are creating a place where no one is allowed to be invisible, unwilling to engage, or too afraid to get out of their comfort zone. To lead such a culture, I have to walk the talk. I can’t be invisible, unwilling to engage in conversation, or be too afraid to get out of my comfort zone. I want every student to know who I am, what I want us to accomplish and understand why we do what we do in the College of Business.
So, if you catch me in the hall, say hello, introduce yourself and realize that you have only two minutes to engage me in a conversation that might be memorable for both of us. Make it a conversation about something you couldn’t have with anyone else in the College (e.g., career coach, faculty member, department chair or assistant dean). My photo and the title of my most recent blog is splashed on screens throughout the building as an invitation for you to do just that. When you take me up my offer, you might find out that you’re not in North Korea at all.