Southern Charm

As I walked the Campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale I could feel the expectations and excitement regarding the beginning of the Fall Semester on Monday. There has been a lot of work done on the Old Campus and the new VEMO Scooters are parked and ready to Scoot… This is my 44th year of Fall Semesters at SIUC. I began my career at the University on October the 10th, 1978, and have been almost a constant visitor to the Campus for the past nearly 12 years. I do not stray far from home. Our students are our most precious citizens. I saw several today with their new books under their arms and many with their musical band instruments as they carried them to the Student Center.

October tenth in 1978 was a bit chilly in the evening when I began my career at SIUC. The second shift did not begin until 5:00 P:M:. Mr. Young who was the Night Manager of the department talked to me for about 45 minutes before he sent me to my assigned building with my supervisor, Don Stonum. I was all of 20 years old and my eyes were so full…they were overflowing. I could not believe my good fortune in obtaining a job at the University. I could not fathom the good pay and benefits that I was going to receive. Mr. Young and Mr. Stonum both seemed very happy to have me on board…and I was determined to not disappoint their expectations.

Southern was there for me throughout my 32 + years with her. I was recognized for my accomplishment and promoted on several occasions. I received all of my University education on a part-time basis while I was working. I met the most interesting and diverse people from all over our planet at SIU. I learned that we are all God’s Children…

My meager advice to My School is… not to marginalize some employees or students. Do not make some feel small…and others feel tall. Train your managers on how to manage and what accepted norms of management are. As former President Regan told Soviet Premier Gorbachev…’ Trust but verify.’ Exhibit the care for your staff that was shown to me over 40 years ago. When you are seeking pennies to save…let your leaders bear the burned as much as their staff. Never short change your colleagues or minimalize them…or as the great statement from the movie Dirty Dancing admonishes…’No one puts Baby in the corner…’

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