At yesterday’s College of Arts & Letters Chairs retreat at the Think Space in Lansing, we focused our attention on the core values each of us seek to embody in our leadership and how we will put those values into practice in our relationships with one another as leaders and in our leadership of our respective units.
Our conversation today was rooted in a deepening trust won over a difficult period in our university’s history. The values that began to emerge as shared include equity, active listening, kindness/care, transparency, and accountability, but the real value of the conversation was the conversation about values itself.
The community we seek emerges in and through the conversations we have about how to put our deepest values into practice; and it is enriched by the ways we hold one another accountable to the practices to which we commit ourselves.
I am grateful to be part of a group of academic leaders who bring their creative energy to the important work we do each day.
As Eva Brann puts it in her book, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects: Reflections on World and Soul:
The springs of energy are forms of love: faith in the Program, affection for its people, appreciation for its forms, and a moving feel for the precariousness of all good things.