State of the College address

On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, I met with faculty and staff at our annual meeting to update them on the state of the college and the progress we are making towards our mission of becoming a college of choice for business and leadership education

It’s an exciting time to be at the College. With the new academic building, renovation of our athletic facilities, our record enrollment, and positive retention results, the College is moving forward even in the midst of the six feet of snow we have received so far this winter!

Our planned improvements also extend to enhancing our students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences. Faculty and staff have been working hard to develop and enhance our programs which will inspire and engage students. Some of the ideas that are being developed include requiring experiential learning participation for all students; providing team-teaching and linked course opportunities; and offering one-credit courses in a variety of formats, schedules, locations, and topics.

Another exciting development is our new Emerging Leaders Program. This program kicked off during the fall 2015 with the first-year leadership-based course, LEAD101 Learning to Lead. For students seeking to learn more about leadership through experiential learning opportunities, this co-curricular program will build skills and confidence by engaging students in workshops, Fischer Institute events, internships and community service. First-year students self-select to participate, and we are pleased to report that 28 students have opted into the program, a sign that this program resonates with current students and will appeal to prospective students as well. Students who complete the program will receive a leadership designation upon graduation.

We have much to look forward to this coming year, and I am confident that with the dedication of our hard-working staff and faculty, we are well on our way to becoming the college of choice for business and leadership education.

President for a Day Contest

Recently, I announced an opportunity for students to take my place as College President for a day. I am always looking for ways to connect with students, and this seemed like a fun way to do that.

As part of this day, the selected full-time undergraduate student will learn what it is like to be “President” by attending my meetings and taking part in some of my other obligations and duties. I will break out my backpack to trade places with that student, attend the student’s classes, and fulfill other on-campus commitments. Through this contest, I hope we can achieve a better understanding in both directions: for students to better understand the myriad of opportunities and challenges I face, and for me to be able to walk in a student’s shoes and better understand the opportunities and challenges of today’s college students.

The benefits do not end there. The winner will also enjoy a catered lunch in the President’s Conference Room with five of his or her peers and breakfast with me to discuss the student’s top three priorities for the student body.

In order to be considered, students must submit an application, their resume, and a 500-word written or video essay on the topic “What would be your top three priorities that would directly impact students if you were appointed President of Nichols College?”

One student contacted me to say that he thought it was a great idea and very brave of me to make this offer. Of course, as a rugby player, he wondered if he won the contest, whether I would be joining the team in practice. I replied that I would, but only if I was in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit!

Granted, it has been many decades since I’ve been an undergraduate student, but I am looking forward to this opportunity and what I hope will become a yearly event!