Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Office of the President

President’s Blog

  • For civic health

    Colleges need to act vigorously to promote civic engagement

    Wheaton’s athletes won an honor that means more than anything that fits on a scoreboard.

    The National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators recognized our sports teams for their commitment to community service during the group’s annual national conference.

    The recognition is particularly timely. The need for colleges to act more vigorously on their responsibility for promoting civic engagement is an issue that may soon get more attention on the national agenda.

    The White House and the Department of Education recently convened a one-day conference on higher education’s role in ensuring the ongoing health of our democracy. In conjunction with this event the Department released a report it had commissioned:  A Crucible Moment:  College Learning and Democracy’s Future.  The report is intended to “spark a national conversation and call to action about how institutions of higher learning can embrace and act on their long-standing mission to educate students for informed, engaged citizenship…”  The purpose of the conference at the White House was to begin that conversation.  I was one of 10 college presidents invited to participate in the conference, which also included representatives from a number of education foundations and some K-12 education leaders as well as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president.

    During the conference, I facilitated a discussion entitled, “Advancing Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Across School and College,” which was aimed at surfacing ideas that would move civic learning to a more central place in students’ experience and have the greatest impact from Kindergarten through college.

    Many good ideas surfaced from the give and take. I’m proud to say that more than a few of the proposals that were identified are in place at Wheaton, from offering myriad service learning opportunities to creating a substantive role for students in the governance of campus life to ensuring that our students have meaningful cross-racial interactions on campus or in the classroom.

    This is a subject that is particularly important to me. In November, I delivered a guest lecture at the University of Texas at Austin about the best kind of education through which to develop student capacities for civic engagement:  namely, a liberal education. We should talk more about what we do here at Wheaton through our connected curriculum, through the Office of Service, Spirituality, and Social Responsibility, through the Center for Global Education, and other activities.

    I believe that the well-rounded liberal arts education that Wheaton offers does prepare our students to become civic leaders. That’s every bit as important as the college’s ability to prepare students for professional success and a lifetime of learning.

  • Update on the college's financial planning efforts

    Since September, the college has taken major steps to address its fiscal situation.

    Dear staff and faculty,

    The first semester has raced by, as it always seems to do, and we will soon be heading into the holiday break. Before classes end and the campus quiets, I wanted to update you our efforts to strengthen Wheaton for the short- and long term.

    As you know, the college began the academic year with a structural budget deficit that would extend over a number of years, if nothing were done to change the situation. But we do plan to act to put Wheaton on a stronger footing, and I am confident that we will be successful in that effort.

    Since September, the college has taken major steps to address its fiscal situation as well as continuing efforts to improve our outreach to prospective students and to enhance the quality of the student experience. I am writing to update you on what has been accomplished so far, and to share our plans for further action.

    We have worked throughout the fall to identify areas where the college can reduce expenses or increase revenue this year. While the process has been labor-intensive, this effort has been very successful; we have identified $3 million in budget reductions and new revenue. (This figure does not include the $2.7 million in reductions that have been achieved since 2010.)

    A number of ideas for cutting costs and increasing revenue have come from staff and faculty suggestions. The President’s Council has reviewed every idea, and we are enacting all those that were feasible. Among the cost-saving steps are new policies for catering and business travel, the cancellation of many institutional memberships and a new approach to providing cell phones for employees who are required to remain on call. On the revenue side, the college will introduce a variety of charges, including the reinstatement of the admission application fee, which has been waived in recent years.

    Beyond those measures, we continue to look at staffing. The strategic hiring freeze announced earlier this year has resulted in a number of vacant positions. This week we formally decided to eliminate 23 full-time equivalent staff positions, most of which were already vacant due to the hiring freeze. However, several current staff members hold positions that will either be eliminated at the end of this fiscal year or reduced to part-time status. They have already been notified of these pending changes. By providing six months advance notice, our hope is that these individuals will be in a better position to adjust their workloads and schedules or seek new opportunities.

    While I do not anticipate further reductions in staff positions, I intend to continue the strategic hiring freeze and the vacancy review process. This will ensure that we take every opportunity to be efficient in our work, by reorganizing staff and reallocating responsibilities, when possible.

    These steps represent a strong start to correcting our fiscal imbalance, but on their own, they are insufficient. We also must continue to work to strengthen our appeal to prospective students and their families. Improved marketing and branding will be part of the answer.

    We have developed and introduced the new marketing material created by Generation, we are emphasizing our beautiful new Mars Center for Science and Technology, and made other changes to this year’s recruiting activities.

    However, we also will look at improving our programs and facilities in ways that help to recruit students as well as improve the experience of current students. Staff and faculty across campus are engaged in many of these discussions, ranging from new academic programs in which students regularly express interest to further enhancement of career services at the Filene Center. We also will look at opportunities for developing new sources of revenue, including an expansion of our summer program for Chinese students.

    The college has made great progress this fall, responding to difficult economic circumstances while sustaining the quality of the educational experience that we offer students. It would not have been possible without the dedication of staff and faculty. We have much yet to accomplish, but I know that we are equal to the tasks that lie ahead.

    Sincerely,

    Ron

  • Welcome back

    The Wheaton campus thrives with active participation.

    Welcome back, students. Looking around the snow-covered campus, it may be hard to believe that the spring semester has begun. We will have to wait a bit for actual spring weather, but the campus seems warmer already, thanks in part to your return. I also have to credit the extraordinary effort that buildings and grounds staff put forth in clearing the campus walkways and parking lots.

    Last week, I was traveling the West Coast on Wheaton business, so I missed the “Snow Day,” but I enjoyed watching it, and hearing about it, from a distance. Kudos to Associate Deans Kate McCaffrey and Vereene Parnell for helping to coordinate these activities and making the most of a wintry day. In my opinion, it’s moments like these that make a community.

    Dean Lee Williams emailed me a story about students going the “extra mile” that I would like to share. She wrote:

    Due to a scheduling snafu, no referees showed up for the women's basketball game v. Smith, and it was cancelled. The halftime activity was supposed to be a Special Olympics group, "Heller's Angels," playing on the court. The team from Smith left, but Wheaton's women stuck around for 45 minutes and did drills with Heller's Angels, which was a pretty classy thing to do. Someone made a video of it, which you might enjoy seeing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLEIYRNQi8

    The game with Smith was rescheduled..., by the way, and Wheaton beat them, despite being the underdogs. Go Lyons!"

    We can all cheer about the ending of that story. However, the team’s willingness to get involved with others is what I really appreciate. That attitude helps to make the college community strong and vibrant. No matter whether you are a student, a faculty member or a staff member, the Wheaton campus needs your active participation.

    One way to start participating more fully in campus life is to plan on attending some of the many events scheduled for this semester. To name just a few: Mae Jemison, M.D., a former NASA astronaut and the first African American woman to travel in space, will visit campus as a Jane E. Ruby Humanities lecturer on Feb. 24. The distinguished education scholar and consultant Peggy McIntosh, former associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, will receive the Otis Social Justice Award and give a public lecture on March 1. The artist D.J. Spooky will perform with the Great Woods Chamber Orchestra on March 10. More information on these events, and many others, are available on the web.

    You also can take pride in the accomplishments of faculty and staff. During winter break, I received good news on a variety of fronts that illustrate the many ways in which Wheaton is a leader. For example, Lisa Gavigan ‘84, the center’s senior associate director of career services, wrote an article about the way in which the college helps students learn from internships and other field-based experiences in the latest issue of Peer Review, a magazine published by AAC&U. Just last week, at the association’s annual meeting, the strong partnership between the library’s Research and Instruction staff and our faculty was held out as an example for other colleges to emulate.

    I also am pleased to report that the Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies (SILCS), which was founded through the leadership of Professor of English Paula Krebs, has received renewed funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Now in its fourth year, SILCS brings talented college juniors and seniors, especially those from ethnic or racial groups that are underrepresented in the field of English studies, to Wheaton for a four-week, expenses-paid summer institute.

    In other news, you probably have already noticed that the cold weather hasn’t slowed progress on construction of the Mars Center for Science and Technology. Workers are currently enclosing the building and installing interior utilities, such as electrical conduit and HVAC ductwork. By early February, the southern face of the building’s exterior wall will be complete; before winter is out, much of the activity will be focused on building out the inside of the facility. The college also installed new furniture for the lounges and common spaces in lower campus residence halls. This is part of a larger, two-year project to improve the Meadows complex, which began last summer and will be complete by next fall.

    I could go on quite a bit longer about all the good things happening on campus as well as the events we can look forward to in the months ahead. However, I’ll leave some of those details for another day.

    I look forward to talking to you as the semester unfolds (as well as to better weather).

    Best,
    Ron

  • Wheaton at its very best

    Last Sunday in Mary Lyon Hall people from across the country gathered to celebrate the life of Provost Emerita Hannah Goldberg, who passed away in September. The crowd included members of Hannah’s family, former neighbors in Yellow Springs, Ohio and Providence, two Presidents Emerita of Wheaton, numbers of current and former faculty and staff as […]

    Last Sunday in Mary Lyon Hall people from across the country gathered to celebrate the life of Provost Emerita Hannah Goldberg, who passed away in September. The crowd included members of Hannah’s family, former neighbors in Yellow Springs, Ohio and Providence, two Presidents Emerita of Wheaton, numbers of current and former faculty and staff as well former colleagues from the world of higher education.

    The program consisted primarily of reflections from President Emerita Tish Emerson, Hannah’s Rabbi in Providence, Professor John Grady, who served on the search committee that recommended Hannah, and the headmaster of the Providence Community School on whose board she served. Following these reflections and beautiful performances by the Gentlemen’s Callers and Matthew Allen and Julie Searles, Dean Sue Alexander shared her own reflections and called on those present to contribute their thoughts as well. Individually and together, these reflections—enhanced by photos of Hannah which were displayed on the screen--recalled the brilliant, witty, and determined woman who left a lasting legacy here at Wheaton.

    I was particularly moved by the sense of connection and community in that room. Hannah helped create that atmosphere through her personal warmth, her interest in learning about others and the world and her dedication to this college. Her friends and colleagues reflected the power of her life-affirming approach to the world.

    I also was touched by the dedication to this community that was evident only through a careful examination of the Holman Room itself. The room had been transformed by the Wheaton staff to look like an elegant auditorium space. The tablet-top desks had been removed and replaced by straight-back—and very comfortable chairs. The arrangement of the room enhanced the entire program, and this would not have been possible were it not for the buildings and grounds crew, housekeeping staff , and staff in the Office of the President.

    Often times when attending an event, we take it for granted that the venue will be arranged in an appropriate fashion. People rarely think about the amount of effort required to make that happen.

    As I sat there, I was exceedingly proud to be a member of the Wheaton College community. Not only as the result of the impressive outpouring of love, affection, and respect for our departed colleague, but also with gratitude for our amazingly committed and dedicated staff. My sincere thanks to all who helped to make this event an exemplary display of Wheaton at its very best.

  • A different routine for a Monday morning

    Last Monday I reported to the Admission Office at 6 a.m. instead of the gym (my usual routine).  My assignment: to join a housekeeping team. The idea had occurred to me during the Moonlight Brunch, as I stood in back of the counter serving scrambled eggs. The event gave me a new view of our […]

    Last Monday I reported to the Admission Office at 6 a.m. instead of the gym (my usual routine).  My assignment: to join a housekeeping team. The idea had occurred to me during the Moonlight Brunch, as I stood in back of the counter serving scrambled eggs. The event gave me a new view of our community and a closer look at some of what it takes to run the campus smoothly. I decided that I wanted to see more.

    Presidents don’t get to view campus life from the service side of the counter very often. Arguably, we should. A college’s success represents the sum of thousands of interactions. A president’s responsibilities often take him or her away from those  realities; I wanted to be in touch with them. So, Barbara Lema had made the arrangements for me to join buildings staff for the morning.

    My team consisted of Alice, Mary Lou, Ellie, and Clair.  We started in the Admission Office; my task was to vacuum.  From the Admission Office we moved to Stanton.  Here the team was split up.  Ellie, Mary Lou, and I walked to the top floor where we began cleaning the bathrooms.  I cleaned the sinks, the mirrors, and mopped the floor.  Thankfully, the bathrooms were not all that bad. In fact, my team members jokingly asked if I had sent an email to the students warning them that I would be cleaning the bathrooms on Monday morning. It soon became clear I had not given the hall a heads-up. On our way to tackle the lounge and laundry room in the basement we passed by several rooms with lacrosse equipment and uniforms strewn across the floor and a most unsavory smell.

    My final task with the group was cleaning Beard Hall.  Although I have been in the lounges of Beard many times, I had no idea it contained fifteen bathrooms. Ellie and I began by emptying the trash, replacing the can liners and taking the trash outside.  And then came more vacuuming. By the time 9 a.m. arrived, I no longer missed my workout at the gym.

    My goal for this blog reflects my purpose in joining the cleaning team for a morning: staying in touch with the community and sharing ideas and perspectives. I learned a lot working with Alice, Mary Lou, Ellie, and Clair.  They are an awesome team, and I am truly proud to be associated with them. First of all, I learned how efficient the new team approach to housekeeping can be—at least this team made it so. I also appreciate the variety of sustainable products that we are using in housekeeping. Finally, I was truly impressed with the commitment and dedication of these women to their jobs. When I left to start my day in the office, I was very well aware that Alice, Mary Lou, Ellie, and Clair still had four and one- half hours to go!

  • What is a DAT?

    In my last blog, I wrote about the difficulty people of different races and ethnicities often experience when trying to discuss their differences.  I posited that not much will change with respect to racial and ethnic mistrust and misunderstanding  in this country until  “folks learn how to have open and honest conversations about race and […]

    In my last blog, I wrote about the difficulty people of different races and ethnicities often experience when trying to discuss their differences.  I posited that not much will change with respect to racial and ethnic mistrust and misunderstanding  in this country until  "folks learn how to have open and honest conversations about race and ethnicity."  Fortunately, an intercultural dialogue model has been used successfully to engage people in conversations about difficult subjects.

    The notion of using such a model has been discussed by the President's Action Committee on Inclusive Excellence (PACIE) since its inception.  Indeed, it was decided about three years ago that we would implement this model as a method of engaging the campus in dialogue about some of the areas of concern identified in our campus climate survey.   This year PACIE has been sharing the student results from the climate survey, the last group of those surveyed to be analyzed;  and in the spring of 2009 the first two Dialogue Action Teams (DAT) were organized.

    Dialogue Action Teams are organized by a diverse group of people representing the entire community.  They include folks who represent the numerous perspectives in the Wheaton Community. They are guided by two trained facilitators who also represent the community's diversity, and employ a fair-minded discussion format.  The primary intention of the DAT is to move a community from talk to action.

    A DAT consists of a small, diverse group of eight to twelve people;  the groups meet for five two-hour sessions.  Each DAT sets its own ground rules, which helps the group share the responsibility for the quality of the discussion.  The role of the facilitators is to help manage the flow of the group discussion.  The sessions begin with personal stories and examine the particular problem identified by the group. The ultimate goal of the DAT is take dialogue and turn it into a plan for action and change.

    The two DAT's that have been operational this spring appear to have been successful.  I look forward to learning more about their action plans.

    It is my intention to participate in a DAT this summer.  I need to find two facilitators and an additional five to nine people who are willing to commit to participating in five two-hour sessions. I would like to begin in early June.  If you are interested in joining me, please send an email to:  president@wheatonma.edu.

  • Lessons My Parents Taught Me

    The April 13th edition of the New Yorker featured an article by cultural critic, Alex Ross, about the 70th anniversary of Marian Anderson’s historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Ms. Anderson had been denied access to perform in the historic Constitution Hall by the Daughter’s of the American Revolution, because of the […]

    The April 13th edition of the New Yorker featured an article by cultural critic, Alex Ross, about the 70th anniversary of Marian Anderson's historic concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Ms. Anderson had been denied access to perform in the historic Constitution Hall by the Daughter's of the American Revolution, because of the color of her skin.  As a result, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the D.A.R. and President Roosevelt approved a concert on the Mall.  More than seventy-five thousand people came out to hear her perform.

    Near the end of his article, Ross states

    Sadly, African-American classical musicians today seem almost as lonely as ever.  They are accustomed to being viewed as walking paradoxes.  (New Yorker, April 13, 2009:  p. 81)

    Arguably, one could make the same statement about African-American college presidents--especially of a liberal arts college.  Indeed, among the colleges represented in the Annapolis Group (an organization representing the top liberal arts colleges in the country (with about 125 members), there are three African-American presidents.  Why should this even be worthy of noting?  Well, under the best of all possible circumstances it would not be.  However, we live in the United States of America, which has a legacy of racism deeply embedded in its citizens' subconscious.

    As a cellist and president of one of the Annapolis Group colleges who happens also to be African-American, I have relied on the lessons that I learned from my parents to guide me during my more than 40-year career.  These lessons have been especially valuable in situations where the fact that I am African-American is like the proverbial elephant in the room that no one wants to recognize.

    Among the lessons that I learned from my parents was that not everyone would see my beautiful black skin and affirm my beauty.  Therefore, I was the only one who could determine always to view myself as beautiful no matter what others might say to me.  My father also taught me not to have any illusion of inclusion when it came to my interactions with folks of the other hue (Caucasians).  In other words, always keep your distance, take what they say with a grain of salt, and don't get too comfortable around them.

    Over the years, I have developed ways of dealing with my circumstances that have built on the lessons learned from my parents.  In particular, I have learned not to seek or expect validation from anyone but myself.  In other words, I am not necessarily interested in other folks liking me as long as they respect me.  I can remember distinctly when I became aware of this particular trait when I served as the first director and the first African American head of the School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin (and the only African American faculty member among a School of Music faculty of about 100).  One of my renowned faculty members was engaged in an unethical practice;  I had interceded and put an end to the practice during the spring semester.  That fall, this colleague came to my office to talk with me about the change.  In the middle of our conversation, he looked up at me and said:  "You know Ron, I really want to like you."  I responded:  "XXX, it is really not necessary for you to like me!"  He turned red, and we ended our conversation within the next few minutes.

    Ironically, that very same faculty member was effusive with praise for me as a cello teacher about two months later when one of my cello students performed his sophomore qualifying exam for acceptance as a performance major.  This colleague told me that he had never heard a more beautiful Bach Suite No. 3 in his career;  he went on to congratulate me for so beautifully preparing my student.  Thinking back on my conversation with him two months earlier, I just chuckled to myself.

    Just as Marian Anderson was a "walking paradox" in the 1930s, African American classical musicians, presidents, indeed, African Americans in general remain a paradox in 2009.  Witness the amount of learning that has taken place in the past 2 years related to President Barack and Ms. Michelle Obama's family backgrounds and histories.  Most African American families remain an enigma to the majority of Caucasians in this country, because of the stereotypes developed from the negative images they experience in the media.

    Sadly, 70 years following Marian Anderson's historic concert, the state of relations and understanding between African-Americans and Caucasians in this country has not advanced much further with respect to true understanding.  While Barack Obama's presidency offers a glimmer of hope, I don't hold out much opportunity for change until folks learn how to have open and honest conversations about race and ethnicity.  Unfortunately, most folks, regardless of race or ethnicity, have developed mechanisms for shielding themselves from negative external forces, which make it difficult to have such personal and often painful conversations.  In my next blog, I will explore an intercultural dialogue model that has been used successfully to engage people in conversations about difficult subjects.

  • Eliza's sons

    Even though we’re small in rank We’ve only just begun We join you Eliza’s Daughters We’re Eliza’s Sons. Those are the closing lines of the song, “Men of ’92,” which was penned by former Dean of Students Sue Alexander at the start of Wheaton’s transition to coeducation. The song was first performed by the men […]

    Even though we're small in rank
    We've only just begun
    We join you Eliza's Daughters
    We're Eliza's Sons.

    Those are the closing lines of the song, "Men of '92," which was penned by former Dean of Students Sue Alexander at the start of Wheaton's transition to coeducation.

    The song was first performed by the men of the Class of '92 at their matriculation ceremony in the fall of 1988. I am pleased to say that I performed it last night at special reunion concert held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Gentlemen Callers. Current members of the GC's, Dean Jack, Dean Emeritus Sue and I were joined by more than 70 percent of the alumni members of the group. You can watch/listen to the performance on YouTube.

    Their performance was a magnificent success, judging by the enthusiastic response of the audience gathered in Cole Memorial Chapel. And the group is already planning for their twenty-fifth anniversary in 2014!

    The reunion concert brought a long week to a great end. I began the week in California, traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles early on Tuesday morning.  The highlight of my return to Los Angeles was a visit to Occidental College for lunch with Susan Mallory ’76 and President Robert Skotheim.  Susan is a member of the President’s Commission at Wheaton and also a member of the Board of Trustees at Occidental (she transferred to Occidental following two years at Wheaton).  She had wanted me to meet President Skortheim, former President of Whitman College and for twenty years President of the Huntington Library, so we decided last fall that my next visit with her would be at Occidental.

    Located in Eagle Rock eight miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Occidental has been in the news of late, because of its relationship to President Obama.  Barack Obama attended Occidental for two years before transferring to Columbia University.  He arrived at Occidental during a period in which the College had made a commitment to become much more diverse.  Today it is one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country.

    I returned to Boston Logan Airport on Thursday, April 2, at 5 p.m..  Fortunately, the flight was not delayed (indeed, we landed about fifteen minutes early), because we were hosting a dinner for Wheaton’s new provost, Linda Eisenmann, and her husband, Stephen Ostrach, at 6:30 p.m.  I made it back to the house by 6:15 p .m.in time to greet our guests for dinner.

    Friday morning I was back on my usual schedule having been away for a total of nine days (the longest period of time during this academic year).  I practiced the cello at 4:30 a.m. and met my trainer at the fitness center at 6 a.m.  Then followed a day filled with meetings and ending with a reception for our new provost.  Friday evening I rehearsed the “Men of ‘92” with the Gentlemen Callers and alums.

    Saturday was a day of signing letters to donors and other documents left for me during my absence.  I left the house only twice:  to pick up my dry cleaning and the mail and to attend the Gentlemen Callers’ concert at 8 p.m.

  • Re: accreditation

    This has been a full week for me. I have just spent the past few days at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., serving as the chair of their Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) reaccreditation team. WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. Pomona is a quintessential liberals arts college, about […]

    This has been a full week for me. I have just spent the past few days at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., serving as the chair of their Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) reaccreditation team. WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States.

    Pomona is a quintessential liberals arts college, about the same size as Wheaton, which is why I agreed to chair the review. You always learn a tremendous amount by delving into the internal life of another institution--particularly one similar in size and mission to Wheaton. With our own reaccreditation visit from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the fall, the opportunity to lead the review of another school proved to be extremely valuable. Indeed, it affirmed the power of a community united around a common purpose.

    This the first of two visits to Pomona, the second of which will be scheduled in two years.  The purpose of this first session (the Capacity and Preparatory Review) was to determine if the college is ready to undertake an Educational Effectiveness Review. Prior to the visit the college prepares a self-study, which is sent to the reviewers.  During the visit, it is our responsibility to ascertain the extent to which what is described and analyzed in the self-study reflects the realities that we experience in meeting with various constituents on the campus.

    It was an intensive visit, which concluded with a private meeting between me and the President and an exit interview with a larger group of administrators and faculty. As soon as that meeting was over on Friday, I drove to the Los Angeles International Airport to take a flight to Tucson, Arizona.  I flew to Tucson to have dinner with John and Adrienne Mars '58 (Life Trustee).  The next morning I flew back to Los Angeles for a brunch at the home of Barbara Davenport '60 and John McLoughlin.

    The brunch was attended by about 50 Wheaton people.  Included in the crowd were the parents of several current students, including the parents of the two Rory's (Rory McGonigle and Rory Wurfbain, both of whom are members of the Class of 2012 !).  Interim Provost Elita Pastra-Landis and I were the speakers for the event.  Fortunately, it was an absolutely picture-perfect California day, so we were outside in Barbara and John's beautiful garden. On Sunday, a college gathering at the home of Wheaton parents in San Francisco.

  • Something new

    Welcome. I’m pleased you have found my blog. My intention is to use this as a space to share what I’m seeing, hearing and doing in the Wheaton community. So, naturally, I’ll be sharing what I hear from talking and working with students, faculty and staff; the thrill of rooting on our athletic teams and […]

    Welcome. I’m pleased you have found my blog. My intention is to use this as a space to share what I’m seeing, hearing and doing in the Wheaton community.

    President with POSSE group.

    On the library steps, with members of Posse.

    So, naturally, I’ll be sharing what I hear from talking and working with students, faculty and staff; the thrill of rooting on our athletic teams and the enjoyment of taking in cultural events on campus.

    However, I will also use this space to talk about our extended college community, which you can find in every corner of this country and in locations around the world. I’m often traveling on college business, and I hear many interesting stories. I hope to share some of those here as well.

    Finally, I will use this as a place to keep copies of substantive email messages that I send to the campus (such as those that I’ve written about the economic challenges we all face).

    My hope is that you will tell me what you are seeing and doing, too. Address email to president at wheatoncollege.edu and let me know what’s on your mind.