Listening is a trait that I have picked up in my many years as an educator. I have learned a considerable amount by listening, and once heard someone say, “if you are not listening, you are not learning”. I want to learn as much as I can.
It has been almost four months since I assumed the presidency of Monroe County Community College. Since then, I have been listening; just as I said I would when I interviewed. I have been listening to faculty, staff, students, and the community. So far, I have met individually with every full-time faculty member and all administrators, and perhaps 50 percent of the full-time staff. I plan to set aside times to meet with adjunct faculty and part-time staff. I have immersed myself in the community by attending numerous events, just to meet and listen to our community. Our most recent effort involves the community” listening tours” designed to feel the pulse of our community; remember, that is who we serve .
We all know that simply listening is not enough without follow up action. Therefore, it is important as we listen that we take action to remedy those situations that we can. There are some instances in which we may have no power to affect change – that is simply one of those stark realities. What can we change, what can we do better, and what do we need to stop doing? These are all legitimate questions. Every one of us is a leader in this community, and as leaders, we must listen. We have almost completed our official listening tours, but the listening will continue as we attempt to affect positive change on campus and in our community.


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