“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” (Harvey MacKay)
This is the fifteenth week of the calendar, which means I have been the Dean and Director of The Ohio State University at Mansfield campus for over 100 days now. The first 100 days has a certain symbolic significance, perhaps especially so for U.S. Presidents. From Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Barak Obama, this period of time has been considered as a benchmark by which to measure early success.
When I first took this job, I was given a book entitled “The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels.” Honestly, I had to laugh. The President of the United States gets 100 days, but I only get 90? Now, you might be thinking that being the President is a lot tougher than being the Dean and Director, right? I would challenge that notion on at least one front. For instance, the President can print more money whenever he needs it, and I cannot. Imagine how different our current budget scenario would be if I could!
All kidding aside (that really was an attempt at a joke, so do not send me letters about balanced federal budgets!), I am sensitive to the need for some studied reflection about how successful my first 100 days have been. From where I sit, the victories during this period of time have been built around two words that I had mentioned in my very first “Dean’s List” communication to the campus: transparency and dialogue. From the feedback I have received to date, you know more than you ever have about the role of Dean more specifically, and more about how this campus works in general. And according to what I see and hear, you also are talking more about our campus and its workings. Not just to each other, but also to me (and with me) as well. At least, that’s what I hope you are experiencing. And if you aren’t, then my continued travels around the campus for smaller group discussions will be the perfect time to talk about those areas that you do not see enough progress being made.
I also am very aware of how quickly time has been passing as of late. My tenure on the Mansfield campus so far has felt like a whirlwind of activities, and because it has “flown by” I must be having fun, right? Truly, I continue to feel blessed and privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with all of you. My wish is for all of you to be in the position of feeling similarly fortunate as you wind up this work week. Know that I am wishing all the best for this campus, and please take the time to enjoy the weekend with family and friends!