Good morning! And for me it's a great morning as I start my first full week at the University of New Mexico.
I will be emailing you the President's Weekly Perspective each Monday with news and thoughts that I hope will help us begin the week with a better understanding of the issues that impact the university and its students, faculty and staff.
Please take the opportunity to visit the President's Blog, where I plan to write a few times a month to share my reflections on what I am learning and for addressing topics that affect us as a university and global citizens.
It's great to be back!
Janet and I would like to thank the many people who have greeted us so warmly since the announcement of my appointment in January. You have made us feel truly welcome and comfortable to be back at UNM and back in New Mexico. I begin this journey inspired by the promise of possibilities that lay ahead for all of us, and I look forward to opportunities to get to know many of you. When you see Janet or me around campus or town, please say hello and introduce yourselves. Although we are a large community, maybe because we are such a large community,
it's important that we put in the extra effort to get to know each other.
Listening for a successful start
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus, Greek philosopher
It is with great excitement and a dose of humility that I address you formally as president of the University of New Mexico. I'm not coming in with all of the answers, but I think I'm asking the right questions.
We all value that in which we have a sense of ownership; listening to the needs, priorities and diverse viewpoints of the UNM community is the best way for me to find out what connects us and where new connections can be created. To that end, the first 120 days of my presidency will be marked by an extensive Listening Campaign that will culminate with the delineation of our shared vision for UNM. We are calling this process UNM 2020.
In a spirit of partnership and diversity of ideas, I am committed to getting to know the UNM community. I will look to you to learn about the University's history, culture, people, programs, areas of excellence, and your vision for the future. I will be learning about our existing areas of distinction as well as identifying opportunities that will help us enhance educational quality, drive research and build national visibility. I will dedicate time to get to know our campus communities in Taos, Gallup, Los Alamos, Valencia and Rio Rancho.
With close to 37,000 students, over 21,000 employees, and more than 140,000 active alumni, the UNM community has a rich and diverse pool from which to learn. Your participation is essential, and there will be varied opportunities to include your ideas and voices, the first being a brief questionnaire that will give me some insight into your perspectives on the University at President's questionnaire. The questionnaire will be available through the end of June.
The Listening Campaign is not a segregated activity, but is just the beginning. By this fall we will have a long-term vision – a future picture – for UNM, and the only way to make that vision a reality is to take the brightest and best ideas and transform them into action.
I have been asked if the Listening Campaign precludes making decisions on operational issues. In a business as large and complex as UNM, we cannot simply stop everything to think about our future. We will make decisions that require immediate attention. When possible, we will delay strategic decisions until our UNM 2020 vision is completed. When that is not possible, we will try and coordinate our decisions with the ideas emerging in the UNM 2020 vision process (more on this next week).
Summer Semester Begins
As this week kicks off the summer semester, I would like to welcome new and returning students and wish you success in your studies. Summer is also a time to get to know the local culture surrounding the campus and that of New Mexico, so I hope you are able to make time for some fun as well.
Have a great week and Go Lobos!