State of the University... Interim President Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
General Assembly
Faculty and Staff
January 15, 2007
________________________________________

“Servant-Leadership is a practical philosophy which supports people who choose to serve first and then lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions……. Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment” --Robert Greenleaf.


TO THE CHAIRMAN OF OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES, MR. MAURICE WASHINGTON AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, TO THE CABINET, FACULTY, STAFF AND GUESTS, GOOD MORNING— WELCOME BACK TO THE 2008 SPRING SEMESTER. -- I TRUST THAT EACH OF YOU HAD AN ENJOYABLE AND RESTFUL HOLIDAY. --


LET ME FIRST SAY THAT I AM HUMBLED AND HONORED TO SERVE AS YOUR INTERIM PRESIDENT DURING THIS CRITICAL TIME IN THE UNIVERSITY’S HISTORY.-- I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE CONFIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE PLACED IN ME TO LEAD THE INSTITUTION DURING THIS INTERIM PERIOD. THANK YOU.


I OPENED MY PRESENTATION WITH A QUOTE FROM ROBERT GREENLEAF ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT THE WAY TO LEAD EFFECTIVELY, IS FOR ONE TO SERVE-- SIMPLY PUT, IT IS SERVICE ABOVE SELF.


SERVANT LEADERS THEREFORE:
• DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO SERVING THE NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION’S MEMBERS.
• FOCUS ON MEETING THE NEEDS OF THOSE THEY LEAD. THEY PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES TO GROW AND DEVELOP SO THAT THEY CAN BECOME THE BEST THAT THEY CAN BE.--
• COACH OTHERS AND ENCOURAGE THEIR SELF EXPRESSION.
• PROMOTE AND BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.
AS YOUR INTERIM PRESIDENT, I AM HERE TO SERVE THE STUDENTS, THE STAFF, THE FACULTY AND THE UNIVERSITY CONSTITUENT GROUPS TO ENSURE THAT OUR INSTITUTION CONTINUES TO SUCCESSFULLY FULFILL ITS MISSION.


I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE IMMEDIATE AND FUTURE NEEDS OF THIS GREAT INSTITUTION ARE ONLY TO BE ACHIEVED BY WORKING COLLABORATIVELY AND COLLECTIVELY. I PLEDGE MY SUPPORT TO ALL OF YOU AS WE POSITION OURSELVES FOR THE FUTURE TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE THE PLANNING, THE RESOURCES, THE COMMITMENT, AND THE COURAGE TO CONFRONT THE RAPID PACE OF CHANGE.


AS LEWIS PERELMAN SAID, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS STATUS QUO. WE ARE EITHER PROGRESSING OR WE ARE REGRESSING.” -- IT IS IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT I AM CONFIDENT THAT WE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO OVERCOME COMPLACENCY, AND TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO ONGOING CHANGE.


MARGARET MEADE ONCE SAID, “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE WHAT A SMALL GROUP OF COMMITTED INDIVIDUALS CAN ACHIEVE.” -- WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, --WE HAVE THE EXPERTISE, -- BUT MOST ALL WE MUST HAVE THE COMMITMENT TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE TURN THE CHALLENGES BEFORE US INTO OPPORTUNITIES.


AS A HBCU WE HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES HEAD-ON, TURNING THEM INTO OUR SUCCESSES. I ASK THAT WE CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD SO THAT WE CAN SOAR TO EVEN GREATER HEIGHTS.


HOW DO WE DO THIS? WE MUST ALL EMBRACE AND BE COMMITTED TO THE VISION WHICH IS TO ULTIMATELY CONTINUE OUR LEGACY OF QUALITY TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND SERVICE, AND TO POSITION OURSELVES TO BECOME A PREMIER UNIVERSITY, RESPECTED AND EMULATED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. --WE MUST FIND THE WAY FORWARD -- WITH A CLEAR VISION, THE DIRECTION WILL ALWAYS BE KNOWN. THE WAY FORWARD WILL BE AN ONGOING PROCESS OF COURSE CORRECTION, THERE WILL BE CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY; WE WILL HAVE OUR PEAKS AND VALLEYS, HOWEVER, AS LONG AS WE CONTINUE TO MAKE, WE WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.

SINCE BECOMING THE INTERIM PRESIDENT, I HAVE HAD A NUMBER OF INTERVIEWS WITH THE MEDIA. I HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT IN SHARING WITH THEM THAT MY PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO ENSURE THAT THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF THE ORGANIZATION ARE CARRIED OUT; THAT THE ORGANIZATION’S RESOURCES ARE MANAGED PROPERLY AND TO PROVIDE EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP TO ACHIEVE THE UNIVERSITY’S GOALS AND FULFILL ITS MISSION THROUGH A SHARED VISION. -- I HAVE ALSO CONSISTENTLY SAID THAT I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WE MUST MAINTAIN A LASER LIKE FOCUS ON KEEPING THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING. --ILLUD EST, FIRST AND FOREMOST, OUR STUDENTS. -- FURTHER, WE MUST CONCENTRATE ON DOING WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE PREPARED TO HAND OVER THE BEST SCSU POSSIBLE TO THE NEW AND PERMANENT PRESIDENT AND OF COURSE IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THE HEALING PROCESS MUST BEGIN SO THAT WE CAN MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER INTO OUR FUTURE. --EVEN UNDER THE MOST OF ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, GREAT UNIVERSITIES DO NOT LIVE IN THE PAST….SO TODAY WE MUST EMBRACE OUR FUTURE.


LET ME BE CLEAR THAT OF THE MANY PRIORITIES THAT WE FACE, THE MOST SALIENT OF THESE IS OUR SACS REAFFIRMATION. --BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER, PERMIT ME TO THANK DR. TEAL FOR HER OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP IN PROVIDING YOU UPDATED INFORMATION WITH REGARDS TO REAFFIRMATION AND THE QUALITY ENHANCEMENT PLAN. I ASK THAT YOU GIVE HER YOUR FULL COOPERATION AND SUPPORT. --WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO BE ACTIVELY AND POSITIVELY ENGAGED IN THIS PROCESS AS WE PURSUE REAFFIRMATION.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ALL ACADEMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE AREAS RESPOND TO THE REQUEST OF THE COMPLIANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS IN A TIMELY MANNER. ALSO, WE MUST MAKE CERTAIN THAT EACH AREA HAS AN ASSESSMENT PLAN THAT IS OPERATIONAL. --COMMITTEE MEMBERS, WE EXPECT YOU TO PARTICIPATE FULLY SO THAT THE COMMITTEE CAN FULFILL ITS ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT WE WILL RISE TO THE OCCASION AND WORK DILIGENTLY SO THAT WE PROVE SUCCESSFUL COME 2010.

THE UNIVERSITY’S VISION IS OUTLINED IN OUR STRATEGIC PLAN WHICH CONTINUES TO SERVE AS A ROADMAP GOING FORWARD. --MEETING OUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN WILL REQUIRE A COMMON BELIEF THAT STUDENTS WILL ACHIEVE WHEN THEY ARE HELD TO HIGH EXPECTATIONS WITH RIGOROUS AND CHALLENGING CURRICULA AND WHEN THEY ARE PROVIDED A SAFE, ORDERLY ENVIRONMENT, CONDUCIVE TO TEACHING AND LEARNING.

GOING FORWARD WE MUST RECRUIT HIGH PERFORMING, HIGHLY MOTIVATED STUDENTS AND TEACH THEM TO THINK CRITICALLY AND ANALYTICALLY AND ENGAGE THEM IN PRACTICAL ONGOING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES SO THAT THEY CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE SOLUTION OF COMPLEX SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

IN ADDITION, WE MUST CONTINUE TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN A HIGHLY QUALIFIED FACULTY, PROVIDING THEM WITH A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INCLUDING INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES, INNOVATIVE TEACHING, AND CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH THAT STRENGTHENS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THEORY AND PRACTICE WITH A SERVICE COMPONENT THAT SOLIDIFIES OUR POSITION IN THE COMMUNITY. --IT IS THEN AND ONLY THEN THAT WE CAN SAY THAT WE ARE DEDICATED TO PROVIDING EVERY STUDENT WITH THE RICHEST EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE.

AS INTERIM PRESIDENT, I STAND BEFORE YOU TODAY READY TO CARRY OUT THE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED TO ME…. TO PROVIDE THE ULTIMATE SERVICE THROUGH MY LEADERSHIP, TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE RESOURCES AND THE SUPPORT THAT YOU NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL…TO KEEP CLEAR AND OPEN LINES OF COMMUNICATION AT ALL LEVELS WITHIN AND EXTERNAL TO THIS INSTITUTION….TO PROVIDE A HEALTHY, SAFE AND INVITING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS AND TO READY THIS CAMPUS FOR THE INCOMING PERMANENT PRESIDENT. -- I IMPLORE YOU TO COMMIT TO MOVING FORWARD, TO STEP OUT OF THE PAST INTO THE FUTURE….TO CONTINUE TO GIVE YOUR TIME, TALENT AND GIFT OF SERVICE TO THIS GREAT UNIVERSITY AND TO COMMIT TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, EMPLOYING BOTH ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM.

WITH THE EVER INCREASING DEMANDS, NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS PLACED ON UNIVERSITIES TODAY WE MUST RELY ON SHARED GOVERNANCE IN ORDER TO RESPOND EFFECTIVELY. THEREFORE, --MADAM PRESIDENT OF THE FACULTY SENATE, I CHALLENGE YOU… MR. PRESIDENT OF THE STAFF SENATE, I CHALLENGE YOU… MR. PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, I CHALLENGE YOU …AND, MADAM PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION I CHALLENGE YOU AND I CHALLENGE EACH OF YOU HERE TO WORK WITH ME DURING THIS INTERIM TIME. TOGETHER WE CAN….TOGETHER WE WILL. THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT SPRING SEMESTER.