From the Arbor | News for February from Jerry Weakley
Usually winter is a time when we in administration can try to recover from the myriad campus-based activities, fund-raising travel, and other activities that always take place in the fall. This is normally the time for planning activities of the spring through the summer and getting caught up on strategic and tactical goals and initiatives. This is not such a winter. The fact that we really haven’t had much of a winter, certainly not one like those on the East Coast and in the upper Midwest have experienced, may have something to do with it, but in fact, it’s much more than that!
First of all, I will direct your attention to perhaps the most important page in this month’s Arbor, page one. On the front page is a story that I never imagined writing . . . the timing of the retirement of our president, Dr. Pat Long.
Having now had the opportunity to be a student under and or work with and for six (21.42857%) of the 28 presidents this University has had since 1858 (and I realize some of you think that number should be much higher), I can tell you Pat Long has been outstanding in every conceivable way of judging a person in such a high level of responsibility. I could easily go on to expound on this subject alone to the extent that nothing else would have been written in this issue.
Let me just say that if you have met or worked with Dr. Long, you already know of the considerable talent and the charming personality she possesses along with the outstanding responsible leadership she has brought to our school. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Dr. Pat, I truly hope that you will have an opportunity to do so over the course of these next 16 months. It would be a shame for you to at some point in the future be in the company of others from Baker who knew her well and not be able to add your own firsthand praise and comments to the conversation that will no doubt be in regard to her presidency.
Now that this fact has been unveiled to the public, we will be even busier than normal. Dr. Pat has stated in her address on the occasion of the University’s 155th birthday celebration held Tuesday, Feb. 12, that she has a number of projects and programs she intends to complete before her tenure comes to its end in June of 2014. The successful completion of all of these will be vital to Dr. Pat’s ability to hand over a First and Final Choice Institution to the next president and his or her administration.
In future issues of the Arbor, I will bring light to all of these planned initiatives. I hope you will find them to be of personal interest and will want to support them as you have time and resources.
Access the current issue of the Arbor. I hope you will enjoy it and will find something within that will further engage you with Baker!
Jerry Weakley, ’70, M.B.A. ’92