As a new chancellor, I know that I need to listen more than talk. I don’t assume I know everything, and I don’t have all of the answers. SIU Carbondale has its own culture and history. Our many stakeholders have their own, differing perspectives about what we do well and what we could do better. I need to hear and understand all of these perspectives – good and bad – without passing judgment.
In the months ahead, I will be undertaking a listening and learning tour to hear from as many constituents as possible: students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, community members, legislators, school superintendents, community college leaders, industry partners and others who have a stake in our future.
The purpose of the Chancellor’s Listening and Learning Tour is to ask everyone two core questions: What do you love about SIU Carbondale? And what can we do to improve? I won’t be talking much, and I won’t be answering questions. I will simply be listening and learning. Along the way, I’ll be collecting perspectives, identifying key themes and keeping track of what I hear.
From learning to action
I invite you to join me on the tour in two ways. First, everyone will have an opportunity to participate either virtually, in person or by providing feedback online. Then, as the tour wraps up and we begin the process of developing a new, 10-year strategic plan, I’ll share a broad look at what I have heard so that everyone has the same information at the outset.
As I shared in July when I started as your chancellor, the strategic plan will serve as a roadmap for achieving goals that we will define as a community. The strategic planning process will be transparent and inclusive, and the resulting plan will have clear, measurable goals. It won’t be my strategic plan; it will be our strategic plan.
From now until March, we will be working with constituency groups and reaching out to other stakeholders to schedule stops along the tour. Some stops will be virtual, some will be in person, and some will be both. We have a number scheduled already.
When you receive an invitation to participate, I hope you will take us up on it. We want you to feel comfortable providing your thoughts, so our report will share broad topics and common themes rather comments that can be attributed to individuals.
If you don’t want to wait for an invitation, you can share your thoughts directly. I welcome your input however it comes forward.
Thank you for joining me on this very important tour.