Friday, April 8, 2011

an end...and a beginning

All stories have a beginning and an end. The beginning is often at the - well - beginning; and the end is at the end (nothing gets by me, does it). However, today's story will begin with an end and end with a beginning... The past month's blogs have been mostly about my journey in a quest for the presidency at Concordia University, St. Paul. From being patient...to falling in love...to trusting the process - I have discovered a lot about myself and my hopes and dreams regarding my vocation and calling. If you have not yet heard, Tom Ries received the call to be the 9th president of Concordia University, St. Paul this past Monday. I received the phone call informing me of the Board's decision at 3:53 PM. A bit dissapointing...a bit disheartening..and a bit of sadness - these feelings have all come and gone during this past week. It has been an END to a really great part of my life. Over the past 5 months (my inital letter of intent went to the Board on October 30, 2010) I have done the following:

  • read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on a daily basis off of my Kindle

  • talked with numerous people in the Twin Cities area to better understand the school

  • read multiple books and articles on what it means to be a college president

  • pictured myself in the role and how I would react to different situations

  • prayed with friends and colleagues about the position

  • learned all kinds of things about myself through the lens of a college president

  • learned about all aspects of the University by asking questions of my colleagues

  • explored the housing market in St. Paul and Minneapolis

  • made new friends at Concordia, St. Paul and elsewhere

  • and much, much more...

But that now comes to an END...but rather than close this book and place it on the shelf, I have chosen to let it lead to a new BEGINNING. One of my strengths is that of LEARNER, so I have now begun to ask the question of what I have learned from this experience and how I can put that learning into practice for this new beginning. While my title continues to remain Dean of the College of Business, I am no longer the same Dean I was before October 30, 2010. I have been given a set of tools to use in this position that I did not have before, and my goal is to use those tools in this new beginning. Here's are the questions I will ask to guide me in this journey...



  • Understanding more deeply the big picture of a university, how can I position my College to expand and grow at an even quicker rate?

  • Having put in place an interim succession plan, how will I use that to develop people in their leadership skills and capacity?

  • Having had to consider a vision for an entire University, can a vision for the College of Business now be even more robust and energizing?

  • Having pictured myself in the role of President, what can I take from that to leverage my role as a Dean of this College?

  • With many friends and colleagues having told me they are glad I am staying at CTX, how can I now better serve them in reaching their goals and dreams?

  • How will what I learned about myself through this process prepare me for what comes next in my current role?

  • Having made many new connections, especially at CSP, how will I not only keep those alive but partner with these new friends to serve God's Kingdom?

  • Knowing that a part of my "falling in love" with CSP was its urban/diverse setting, where and how will I use that passion to further the Kingdom of God?

  • Having tasted the role of being a college president, what are the next steps in my growth toward having that opportunity in the future?

  • What questions are important for me to ask - especially over the next month - to fully realize the learning I can receive from this process?

I am excited about this beginning - it is almost as if this is the first day of the rest of my life. And though the ending was not what I might have wanted at this time, I know that this beginning is just that - a BEGINNING that will have yet another ending of which I am not aware. And so, I end this story with a beginning, and share these words which I came across the first morning of my new beginning...


I leave all things to God's direction, He loves me both in joy and woe.


His will is good, sure his affection; His tender love is true, I know.


My fortress and my rock is He: What pleases God, that pleases me.

1 comment:

gmoore said...

Being honest - this is bittersweet news. I know that you put your whole self into this and the results must be disappointing. But I (quite selfishly)am glad you will remain in Austin. My life is better with you in it.