Tag: 9

Leadership Message, September 9, 2013

Hello LOT and PLC members.

Good Sunday to each of you.

I am certain this has been a whirlwind week for you with classes, projects, perhaps new activities related to campus organizations, class assignments, your jobs on and off campus and the return to Oklahoma summer temperatures just when it looked as if we would leave the season behind us.

This has also been a momentous week across the USA and theworld as the question of Syria and possible US military response to suspected use of chemical weapons inside the country resulting in the deaths of Syrian citizens has captured the global attention.  In the wake of US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade, this issue of possible US military action has reached white heat in political and strategic discussions here in the US among our citizens, the media, the Congress and, of course, the executive branch of the Federal government led by the President.

There is nothing simple about this situation, no quick fixes or magic formulas.  Ron Heifetz writes about leadership with no easy answers. This is one of those circumstances. And Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations commented last week that in the Middle East things will get worse before they get worse. And they have.

The issue of leadership is not reserved only for the options before the President.  There are leadership roles for others both inside the USA and outside, from the US Congress to leaders of other key countries, to local leadership throughout the Middle East and both regional and global organizations, such as the United Nations, The European Union, NATO and the Arab League, among others.  The confluence of the decisions taken, or not, by dozens of players will not only impact the outcome of this current crisis, but other challenges that any decision in this matter will provoke. This issue does not exist in isolation from the world that surrounds it.

Foreign policy is usually not an area of great interest or expertise for most of our citizens.  Their lives and concerns are usually and appropriately focused much closer to home. This latest contortion of the massive change that has been impacted the Middle East for the past two and one-half years has commanded the attentions and of Americans from across the political spectrum due at least in part to the concern of a possibleescalation of conflict in a region where have been embroiled in our two longest wars for years.

Watch the path of actions and responses this week as the President and his administration make their case to a reluctant Congress and a doubtful citizenry that US response, as outlined, is right, effective and necessary.

This is also the week when our nation pauses to remember the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Wednesday morning the UCOcommunity will gather near Broncho Lake to remember those who were lost on that fateful day and to reinforce our commitment to connect as a community and take care of each other.  A highlight this year will be the comments offered by our special guest, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, who will also by our Lessons-in- Leadership guest speaker at our Tuesday session.  Lt. Gov. Lamb is a distinguished public servant who has served our state and America with distinction.

Among the memorable initiatives undertaken on that day will bethe planting of American flags around Broncho Lake by all of us who are gathered there.  Each year I find it to be a moving moment as each of us solemnly places these small flags in the ground recalling those who were victims and their families, but also those who continue to protect us at home and abroad. Also that day, some of you will be visiting fire, police and other emergency agencies offering food and appreciation to the men and women who serve our communities in this way. I encourage you to find your way to Broncho Lake Wednesday morning at 9 AM.

Finally, Saturday evening will be a major happening at UCO as the Bronchos host the Pittsburg State Gorillas in our first home football game.  There will be various activities before kickoff.  It is UCO BRAVO Employee Appreciation Day. It is a special time when we say a collective “thank you” to the hundreds of women and men who are the soul of the university. Pitt State has a highly-regarded team and a community that travels to their road games.  Expect to see a large number of Kansas license plates on and near campus that evening.  As we always do, please extend UCO hospitality to all.

Find some shade today and I will see you soon.

Don Betz