Leadership Communique, 12/1/2013

Lessons in Leadership

Hello to all of you

It is the first Sunday in December.

By now you have celebrated Thanksgiving each in your own way. If you we able to return home, I hope there were special moments you will tuck away as keepers. I trust that you made memorable use of this holiday. Importantly, we want you all to return safe and focused.

The next two weeks will flash by for all of us in a flurry of deadlines, projects, exams, final projects and on December 13 and 14, UCO’s Fall Commencement ceremonies. The close of the term is upon us.

Every day has meaning now for each of you as well as for your faculty, staff and others at the university. We are all focused on a successful conclusion of the semester.

If these are your first months at the university, this is your time to establish your initial academic credentials, your emerging reputation. Doing well in the opening chapters of your career will serve you well throughout your time here. My recommendation to each of you is to make the next two weeks the capstone of a successful fall at UCO. And as I mentioned to you last week at L in L, nothing passes faster than the fall term, except for the spring. I wish you the will to persist and to succeed.

This past week, Oklahoma City lawyer and chair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, Richard Ogden, shared some of his story which took him his family from southeast Oklahoma to the Panhandle and on to college and law school. His interest in access to quality university education has moved him to accept the Governor’s appointment to a nine-year term of voluntary public service as a Regional University of Oklahoma System Regent alongside eight others.

It was evident from the time he spent with you at L in L that Richard is passionate about education and the role it must play in the development and prosperity of Oklahoma and its citizens. We are pleased to have his continuing support and advocacy on behalf of all six regional universities, including UCO.

On Tuesday, we are pleased to welcome Patrice Douglas to L in L. Patrice is one of the three Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners, the former mayor of Edmond and a good friend of UCO. Be sure to have questions for her.

This week, Susanne and I will be delighted to welcome you to holiday receptions in your honor. These are informal opportunities to gather, enjoy the time together and take countless pictures. Jarrett and Marissa have all the details.

As we close the term, it is useful to recall that there is meaning to this process, that education is an intentionally- chosen pathway that requires sacrifice but can lead to a fuller, more productive life.

Here at UCO, we are dedicated to creating a life focus, a culture of learning, leading and serving. You choose your specific, unique pathway. Learning, now and for your lifetime, informs your possible choices, and offers insight into those inevitable mid-course corrections in the life’s journey. Habits of the mind and heart, learned and refined here at the university, will serve you well.

Two closing thoughts.

“We are almost ready to demonstrate scientifically that social intelligence is a better predictor of success in life and in school that the intelligence we measure with an IQ test. The world is the oyster of the likable”
….P.M. Forni, Director of the Civility Initiative, Johns Hopkins University

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
…..Nelson Mandela

See you this week,

Don Betz