Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2 down 20 to go!

This year I begin my 10th year as a rural community college president. Today is my two-year anniversary as President of Northwest College. If I want to match SinClair Orendroff's record,
I only have 20 more years to go.

The longer I am in this job, the more frequently I receive calls from headhunters to apply for university presidencies. Though universities play a very important role in our society and they are imperative to continued advancement for our students, I am not tempted by the allure of serving as a university president.

I am driven to serve community college students, particularly low-income, first generation students in rural areas. This is due to the fact that I came from a similar background. That is just one of the reasons Northwest College is the perfect place for me.

I find that my passion for the success of our students has only increased over the years.

As I prepare my remarks for the August 19th State of the College Address I have chosen "Passion" as the theme.

In preparing my remarks, I want to know what drives your passion? Please send me your thoughts over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you!

I hope you are having a great summer.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's the climb

As I was backpacking with my family in the Cloud Peak Wilderness recently, the lyrics from the Miley Cyrus song "The Climb" were running through my head (it must have been due to the elevation).
"There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side

 It's the climb
Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith

 It's all about the climb"
On any given day it is easy to get focused on all that we have to do and the challenges we face; but there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment in the climb itself regardless of whether it is a physical, mental, or emotional journey.
Unfortunately it is too easy to get bogged down in obsessing about how far we have to go. However, it is imperative that we take time to reflect on how far we have come.
The link to our annual report below is just one example of how reflection can instill a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The hard work and determination of our faculty, staff, and students is amazing and something in which we can all have a great deal of pride.
Enjoy the climb!