I recently realized I have been around and learning about higher education for almost 50 years. I was born just outside College Park, Maryland, where my father was finishing his doctorate. I was raised two blocks from Salisbury University and spent much of my first 18 years in the Salisbury U. library, pool, at the track and courts (tennis and basketball), and taking classes. At the same time, my father worked at University of Maryland Eastern Shore and there I attended camps while staying in the residence halls, played in the student union, hung out at the campus greenhouse and pond (while Dad worked), and explored my father’s office, lab, and classroom. We typically visited my parent’s alma maters (Hood College and U. of Maryland) each year for Homecoming or reunions.
I spent the next six years at the University of Virginia, where I earned a couple degrees. I spent one summer doing research in the Medical School there. Around the end of those six years, I completed semester long internships at Lynchburg College and Florida State University. Leaving Charlottesville (and UVA), for the next four years I worked at Eastern Mennonite University, getting experience in a wide variety of areas. In Harrisonburg, (where EMU was), I also spent many hours with my sister and my future wife around James Madison University.
I then returned to the U of Virginia where I completed another degree while and completing a minor at the Darden School of Business. While there, I worked in information technology and at the Federal Executive Institute. After three years, we returned to the other side of Blue Ridge Mountains for me to work at Shenandoah University for two years. In 2003, after spending fifteen years on either side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we moved to Boone, North Carolina, at 3,400 feet in the mountains, where I worked Appalachian State University.
During this time, I taught graduate classes for Appalachian State at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Isothermal Community College, Cleveland Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, and Forsyth Tech Community College. Last, but not least, in 2010, my family and I moved to Waco where I have been at Baylor the past ten years. In August 2019, I also started working part-time as a Consulting Advisor for Higher Talent Executive Search, which focuses on helping universities and non-profits in hire senior and executive level leaders.
When do we know enough that we have something to share? Job 12:12 says “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Believe it or not, January 12, 2020 marked my 50th year on this planet. Transitioning in June 2019 to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in the Provost’s division, I have discovered that my new role in helping Baylor improve its effectiveness aligns with my desire to share my “deep” thoughts on higher education.
Over time I have learned that most writers never know who is reading their work and what readers think of it. I selfishly acknowledge my “desire to know if this makes any difference” and I welcome your comments in the blog or in an email response. Disagreements, clarifications, and suggestions are always welcomed. Thanks for listening – if you ever want me to read something – tell me about it.