President's Weekly Perspective - 2.25.2013

Good morning.

Over the past nine months, we have been in the process of mapping a future picture for UNM in 2020, considering sustainable budget models, becoming a more globally relevant campus, and collaborating statewide for expanded economic development. These iterative processes have drawn on our shared knowledge; we should be proud of what has been accomplished so far. Our progress has also left me thinking, that our initiatives will not be successful if we do not also consider how to engage and motivate people – in other words, influence the change we want to see happen. No one, especially at an intellectually and socially dynamic place such as UNM, wants to feel pressured to "buy in" to a plan or vision, but at the end of the day, we do have to move things forward. So how do we continue to move UNM forward, exercising our collective influence toward positive, long-term ends?

Success Through Connected Influence
In their book Real Influence, Mark Goulston, M.D. and John Ullmen, Ph.D. discuss a common denominator of great influencers who "get things done" … "they go for great outcomes." Now apply this concept to a great research university. This is authentic influence, not whitewash or persuasive manipulation. This is the kind of influence that creates a strong initial connection and survives long into the future. It is reflected in how we tell our story, how we go about attracting exceptional students, how we work with and for our community, and how we encourage both public and private support for UNM.

Though benchmarked attributes are important, being a great university is about more than academic rankings or a winning team. It is fundamentally about who we are willing to be and seek to be, everyday. It is about the qualities of that being that we are willing to manifest in order to mobilize ourselves to do the work of the institution for the greater common good.

When we paint a picture of a great outcome, we are not trying "to persuade people to do something important." We are trying to "positively influence them" to get them to a better place.

So let's start with great outcomes and make it easy for all of us to have a positive influence. This week, ask yourself what a great outcome would be for UNM, and how we can use authentic influence to reach it.

Honoring UNM's Women of Influence
Two weeks ago I praised the influential women that UNM has the good fortune to have in student leadership. It is my pleasure to expand upon the subject. This week, Albuquerque Business First is honoring 32 Women of Influence for their leadership, positive influence and value to the community across eight categories. Seven of these honorees are affiliated with UNM – that is 22 percent!

They are:

• Barbara Bergman, interim dean, University of New Mexico School of Law
• Marilyn (Mandy) Melendez Dykman, director, University of New Mexico Veterans Resource Center
• Dr. Viola E. Florez, professor and PNM Education Endowed Chair, University of New Mexico College of Education
• Dohnia Dorman, MBA, associate vice president of Marketing, Rio Grande Credit Union / part-time Adjunct Lecturer II, University of New Mexico
• Gayle Dine'Chacon, MD, associate professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine/Surgeon General, Navajo Nation
• Kim E. Hedrick, vice president, Strategic Business Development, University of New Mexico Medical Group, Inc.
• Lisa Kuuttila, president and CEO, STC.UNM

These women are leaders in New Mexico's industries, professions and organizations — women who excel in their fields or disciplines. They are role models for upcoming generations, creating paths for opportunities to advance while following their passion. Congratulations to this inspiring group!

The New Feminist Agenda
The face of our workforce is changing — in 2010, women became the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time in the country's history and almost 60 percent of college students are now women. These numbers certainly represent progress for women in employment and education. But to take them as a sign that gender inequality is no longer present in the U.S. would be a mistake. As stated in the 2012 White House Council on Women and Girls report Keeping America's Women Moving Forward, "The success of American women is critical for the success of American families and the American economy."

This evening at 7 p.m., The Feminist Research Institute and Women's Resource Center are honored to sponsor the former Governor of Vermont, and distinguished author Madeleine Kunin, who will present The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family, at Student Union Building (SUB), Ballroom B. She will discuss "chart(ing) the course for the next feminist revolution — one that mobilizes women, and men, to call for the kind of government and workplace policies that can improve the lives of women and strengthen their families."

Being able to connect with accomplished women encourages and offers us tangible lessons and the tools to go forth without considering gender a barrier to success.

My Greatest Influence
By far my greatest influence has been the University of New Mexico — its people, its programs, its place. Throughout my adult life I have drawn upon my experiences here to shape my perspectives and choices. It is my hope that I am not alone in this reflection, and that we as UNM continue to succeed through our connected influence.

Have a great week and Go Lobos!