(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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My maternal grandmother taught me embroidery when I was ten or so and along the way, I’ve added needlepoint and knitting to my set of handicraft skills. This means that most of the time I have one or more projects in progress, whether or not I’m actively working on them. And year after year, project…

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In 2005, Jossey-Bass published a book titled Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer. Regular readers of this newsletter know I’m a fan of Parker’s work and I’ve had the opportunity to meet him personally so I’m also a fan of him as a person. This particular book…

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This week I’m attending the conference of a professional association and, of course, I’m doing it from the comfort of my home. I’m extremely grateful for the colleagues, always volunteers, who made the decision in June to change the annual conference and then did all the work to make it happen. Because of them we are…

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There are many wonderful things about working for and by oneself. It can be lovely to work at your own pace and listen to your own rhythms. Of course, you have to learn to do everything by yourself, and I must admit that after many years of having great assistants, there are several office tasks…

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Between scheduled oral surgery, the broken ankle adventure, and accompanying my Mom to a couple of doctor’s visits, I’ve been in more doctor’s and dentist’s offices, imaging centers, and walk-in care centers in the last six weeks or so than I have in years. Maybe it’s being in a small town, but there hasn’t been a difficult…

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Many of you know that one of my leadership lessons over the years has been learning to ask the right questions. Or should I say working to learn to ask the right questions since it is an on-going practice. And learning to ask good questions, let alone the ‘right’ ones is challenging. Years ago, when…

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