‘The number of first time college students at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale increased by 31.2 % this fall. The total reflected a 32.9% in new first time students enrolling from the Southern Illinois region.’ KFVS 12
I saw a photo yesterday with our new chancellor, Dr. Austin Lane, walking campus with his leadership team for the purpose of talking with students as to how their fall semester was progressing so far. This may seem like a simple thing…but it is major when it comes to connecting with our precious students and staff and faculty.
All of us are looking for our leaders to see us and demonstrate some empathy for our lives and our challenges. During my 25 years of management I learned that the first order of business for me if I wanted to improve morale in my department was to connect one on one with my team…and my team was everyone that worked in Building Services. I have been a members of churches where I felt very disconnected from the pastor and the board of elders. When no one neither asks your opinion nor seems to care should you offer it…you soon find other avenues where your contributions are recognized. Of course, I have felt the excluded in the workplace as well. A leader is conducting a fools errand if she or he only believe that a select few on campus have valuable insights that redound to the success of SIUC! The powerful dynamic of a chancellor who projectes care and concern for all members of the university community…. is a powerful catalyst for change and growth!
A couple of things are clear to this almost 63 year old. The first would be that we must get control of the coronavirus before we can rebuild our economy. The alphabet begins with A B C…not C B A! Secondly would be the pervasive problem of racial strife and unequal treatment of the races in our country…going back to the days of slavery. Slavery is our original sin… We must first address the unimaginable pain of the black commuinty…the senseless death…and the catastrophic destruction of a proud and beautiful people…simply because of the color of their skin! Peaceful protest is a beautiful thing! Destruction and violence and the burning of poor peoples businesses is a criminal act. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us how to be a part of peaceful and non-violent protest. Our president desperately needs to focus on the pain of the African American community if the balm of gilead will ever be applied!
I have many friends who are police officers. I respect the police and really cannot imagine a society without their yeoman work. My friend, Leanna, told me almost 50 years ago…that we should always remember that policeman and policewomen are simply men and women. There is no special endowment of perfection given to any occupation…
African Americans have treated me as one of their own! I cannot think of a group of people that I love anymore than my black friends! I am humbled by each and every one of their friendships! So the question is clear…when will we treat all of our American citizens equally and with justice! When will we cease inflaming…in the starkest of terms and the revealing of unvarnished racism…and set about healing and peace and seeing each other as valuable contributors to our nations success?