Several years ago, I was leading a workshop on True Colors (TM) for a group of faculty and staff as part of the Leadership UTSA program. One of the participants told me she generally didn’t like such things because she didn’t like putting people in boxes. A few months later, as we had used the language…

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Make exceptions judiciously. These two phrases combined were an important leadership lesson I learned early in my career. My first full-time job was as Associate Dean of Students at McMurry College (now McMurry University.) It was a great first job. I served as Director of Housing for our four residence halls which housed about 450…

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I have a bit of a confession to make. I’ve been struggling with getting this newsletter out for the past few weeks. I’ve wondered if I need to change things up. Would a hiatus help? But none of the questions I asked myself resulted in helpful answers. It was all just a bit blah. Then…

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Keyboard on desk

Max DePree, former CEO of Herman Miller, ends his book, Leadership Jazz, The Essential Elements of a Great Leader, with this story: “In the late fourteenth century, the members of New College, at Oxford, moved into their quzdrangle, the first structure of its kind, intended to provide for the residents all that they needed. On the…

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Last week, I had the opportunity to present the closing keynote speech for the Professional Development Day Conference presented by the Academic Counselor’s Association at the The University of Texas at Austin. In preparing for the speech, I had a couple of insights I found interesting, so I thought I’d share the first part of…

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I’ve seen a few people on social media posting their experiences from a year ago – before COVID-19 changed our work and our worlds. I know where I was and what I was doing. On March 9, I talked with my class about the way we might structure class IF we moved to online learning…

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(This essay is, in part, modified from a speech I gave to the SMU Lions Club in 1997.) Over the years I have learned many things, in many ways, and from many people. I learned a great deal about being an effective university administrator from Ron Brown, a former Vice President for Student Affairs at…

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Finding time. Taking time. Losing time. Wasting time. And that’s just a short list, isn’t it? It’s interesting to think about all of the ways we talk about time. We talk much the same way about money and space, don’t we? It’s no surprise that these may be the most precious resource on a college campus.…

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My first year at SMU was Andrea’s senior year. (Not her real name.) She was a leader on campus and in student government meaning we had a number of conversations over the year we were both on the SMU campus. Once she graduated, she went to graduate school in education and later to Washington, D.C.…

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It’s no surprise that on Monday my social media feed was filled with quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as reminders that it’s one thing to post quotes, but it’s another to attempt to live out his teachings. Like many people, I struggle with the practical applications of practicing nonviolence. At the macrolevel,…

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