I am sitting in Aycock Auditorium, listening to the Chancellor of UNCG (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) give her “State of the Campus Address” to the campus faculty and staff. This address usually signals the start of a new academic year; for UNCG, the official start of the year is Monday, August 20th. For many of our first-year students, this will be new chapter on their journey in life, since it will be their first time away from home. For me, this new academic year starts the next chapter of my life, where I hope to impact the students, faculty, and staff in a much more meaningful way.
The Chancellor just showed a PowerPoint slide that asked the following question: “How do we enhance success (for our students)?” She shared with the audience various tools that would help students and faculty improve their learning; however, doesn’t she realize that we – as an institution – cannot determine the success of our students? We must find a way to help each individual on this campus decide what success means to him or her, then find a way to match their definition to the institutions. It’s disturbing that UNCG now determines success (based on the guidelines from the UNC System Office) by our retention rates and graduation rates – all to gain more money from the state. How’s this for a better idea – let’s provide a more meaningful educational experience so that students – even those who leave the institution early and don’t graduate – are still willing to contribute to UNCG. Is that even possible?
I believe the answer is YES! And it starts with just one question, one question that each faculty, staff, and student must answer – “What the hell are you here to do – at UNCG and in life?” I know that I am here to help find the spark that lights the fire in your soul! It’s ALL about purpose and passion!