Month: December 2012



Good morning.

This is the last Sunday of the fall semester. For those of you in the Lessons in Leadership, the class has ended and you are submitting the last of your speaker reviews. I look forward to viewing your video projects with Jarrett.

Most,of you have exams and other responsibilities in the next few days. But by this time next week, the exams will be completed, ROTC and School of Nursing programs and four commencement ceremonies will be held, all in the span of a few days.

I was pleased that Mary Melon of the Journal Record spent time with us and shared her story and her belief in the efficacy of emotional intelligence, among other insights. I trust that some of her reflections resonated with you. We are truly appreciative that so many of our state public and private sector leaders are more than willing to volunteer their time and expertise to visit with us. Each of the expresses their interest in you and in the roles you will play in our state and nation over time.

Jarrett and I will be reviewing the semester for continuing improvements. Your ideas are encouraged as we make changes for those who will follow you

This is the first semester where I have used this blog as one way of enhancing our connection. We will work to make it more attractive with photos, video etc when and where appropriate.

Though my schedule does not offer me the opportunity to join you for every session, I was pleased to have interacted with many of you both in L in L and beyond. Your energy and curiosity are formidable assets as you continue your pathway to the degree(s) and into a life of value and purpose. I have told Jarrett that I would love to attach a tracking device to each one of you and see who and where you are in 5, 10, 20 years from these days. Keeping connected is a worthy aspiration for all of us.

I wish each of you a marvelous holiday break with family and friends, and with plenty to time to relax and refresh each in your own way.

And if you are living on campus, or have a meal plan, come by Buddy’s at 9:30PM this Tuesday night as we will be cooking late night breakfast to fortify you in your hours of study.

After observing you for these months, my belief in you and your ability to live our university mission’s promise has been amply confirmed. These are special days for you to learn about you and the world around you and the possible roles you will play in our future. You are our wisest investment.

I wish each of you true success this semester and beyond.

Take care,

don Betz

Mary Melon Presentation

During Mary’s presentation she discussed a number of things related to leadership styles and important practices to be successful through many endeavors. What is your overall leadership message? In your opinion, what are the most important leadership lessons you would impart with your colleagues?

PLC and LOT greeting

Hello, PLC, LOT and Transfer Leadership.

This morning in my Sunday message I failed to mention how pleased Susanne and I were to have receptions at our home this past week for both organizations. You looked marvelous!

I enjoyed speaking with many of you and I estimate that at least 2000 smartphone photos were snapped and disseminated to the waiting world.

We are proud of your worthy work, and most interested in your plans as you proceed through UCO and on to your futures.

See you soon.

Don Betz

The prize is in sight. Finish strong


Good morning.

It is the first Sunday in December. Despite the April weather and mild southerly winds, the calendar declares that we are in the holiday season and that the semester break for you is just two weeks away. It is project and paper completion time, final exam time, holiday program and activity time, all competing for your time and attention. These moments challenge our resolve to prioritize and defer some of the festivities until the tasks at hand are completed. If you do the balance right, you will truly savor the sweet satisfaction of work well done and the ensuing freedom of your vacation days.

I sincerely appreciated Doug Terry joining us for L in L this past week. Doug was one of the finest students I have known over the past 42 years. He exemplified many of the traits discussed in your leadership sessions. He was a natural leader among his peers based on his intelligence, competence and persistence rather than any self-proclaimed superiority. I had lost contact with him for some years, but it has been gratifying to connect with him and his family, and to watch the maturing of the values we discussed when he was a college student that now manifest in his actions and attitudes as a successful professional. Doug grew the seeds of leadership into a life and career of success and service. He was delighted to spend time with L in L, and I look to him becoming a valued friend of PLC and LOT.

This week our final guest presenter is Mary Melon, the editor and publisher of the Journal Record, the business newspaper often referred to as the Wall Street Journal of Oklahoma. Mary is a highly accomplished professional who plays multiple roles in our state, including encouraging and recognizing women leaders, supporting initiatives that contribute to the growth and development of Oklahoma, and modeling service leadership. She is well known and highly respected across our state and beyond. I am pleased you will have the opportunity to connect with her.

This is the season of programs and events. I want to extend major applause to the leaders and team who produced WinterGlow, UCO’s annual opening celebration of the season. Last Friday after the official lighting of Old North, the festivities enveloped the Nigh Center where hundreds of children and their parents were treated to a wonderland of activities, games and food. I was so proud to once again see you,our students, collaborating to create a magical, memorable evening for all who participated. Special appreciation and thanks to the leadership of the Office of Student Affairs and Dr. Kathryn Gage, event planner and coordinator extraordinaire Courtney James, and the key student leaders who once again made almost challenging event look easier than they ever are.

The crowd-pleasing Boogie Woogie Christmas at the Jazz Lab, memorably created by the College of Fine Arts and Design’s team of professional and student performers, also merits a sustained ovation from all of us. Our talent pool here is amazing.

If you played any role in creating the magic of WinterGlow and/or Boogie Woogie Christmas, thank you and take a bow!

In two weeks over thousand students will cross the stage at Hamilton and I will have the honor of handing them their diploma cover, a symbolic expression of their journey to earn their college degree. This is one of the special times of the year as families gather to smile and cheer for their loved one who “did it”, who persisted often despite formidable obstacles. It is one of the moments we all remember later in life. Keep your “eyes on the prize”, for your diligent efforts will reap continuing rewards, and one of them is earning your degree.

The world continues to swirl with vexing, interconnected issues often defying easy solutions. A key variable in solving problems is the belief that it can be done, and in assembling the coalition of like-minded leaders, servers and volunteers who together create the desired outcome. We cannot be discouraged when the answer does not come quickly or easily.

Nelson Mandela taught us that it can seem impossible until it is done.

You can do it.

Take care,

Don Betz