Last week, I took part in an open forum with our classified staff and noticed an underlying theme of much of the discussion was change – in our enrollment, in our business processes, in our organizational structure. I also heard a lot of anxiety, and understandably so. We’re setting ambitious goals and deadlines for ourselves right now with many different projects and transitions happening simultaneously. For example, our newest leadership addition, Provost Feleccia Moore-Davis, has proposed a number of ideas for change to me after extensively reviewing Academic Affairs and the College’s strategic vision.
One of those ideas involves a reorganization, a word that tends to cause concern for some. To me it is expected.
In every organization, a leader will have physical, financial and human resources at their disposal. An effective leader gets things done by leveraging these resources to maximize potential. But there is no “best” way, just the way that experience taught them will work. This is why when I hire a leader, it is often because of their previous experience, or as I like to call them, their “scars.”
Everyone brings predispositions to their work based on their successes as well as those lessons learned. What did they do last time? What worked well? What didn’t? How did they handle and learn from failure?
They also bring a fresh set of eyes which can be utilized to see new solutions to old problems. Dr. Moore-Davis is recognizing areas where we have room to improve and has a plan for moving us forward.
To be clear, it is not reorganization for the sake of reorganization. Her plan is being questioned and re-questioned by myself and the Executive Team. Organizational structure requires careful balance both vertically – how each job differs from others in the hierarchy – and horizontally – how we work together across an organization. Any change must be tested and have sound logic behind it.
So while I understand that the unknown is tough, let me reassure faculty and staff that no one has ever lost a job in my five years as president due to a reorganization, which is a record I intend to keep. I have the utmost confidence in the talent and adaptability of our employees, and their dedication to the betterment of our institution.
I will also reassure our students that we will continue to provide the high quality of education we are known for while also improving our services and course availability.
Change is healthy. It allows us to adapt and grow as a College and I know we all are ready to grow.