Albers School of Business and Economics
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Deans Blog Blog Post

  • Off and Running

    We’ve been wondering whether the dean should do a blog for some time now. Is it something we really need to be doing as part of our social media strategy? Not that we think we really understand social media. I know some of my dean colleagues blog, but does anyone ever read them and are the benefits exceeding the costs?

    My sense is that if you start blogging, you need to keep it going in a consistent fashion, probably at least once a week. And you probably need to be providing information people otherwise don’t get – it can’t be a series of announcements and it can’t be Dean Spam. It needs to be short enough that people don’t need to spend too much time reading it.

    Is anyone really going to read it and how will we know? More importantly, how will people know it is there? I suppose I can give it a plug on Dean Spam and we can announce it in our publications, such as the Albers Brief. But will that create any interest?

    And what should the content be? We asked some staff and actually got back a number of ideas. I don’t have them in front of me now, since I am on an airplane flying back to Seattle. And why I am flying back to Seattle?

    I’m returning from a week-long trip to the East Coast. First, on April 25th I flew to LaGuardia through Chicago, and the second flight was delayed three hours, so I arrived late at night to the Marriot in Trumbull , CT for the start of my visit to Sacred Heart University to meet with them regarding their AACSB accreditation reaffirmation visit. The visit is scheduled for February, 2012 and I am chairing the team. They wanted my take on their readiness for the visit. They are taking this very seriously, since it seemed like I met with just about every faculty and staff member in one exciting day! To top it off, I also met with the President and the Provost for dinner. I don’t think that happens very often on such visits! I know I couldn’t pull it off here at SU!

    The next day I took the train from Fairfield, CT to Grand Central Station to attend the AACSB annual meeting in New York City. It turns out the meeting didn’t really start until Thursday, but on Wednesday I was able to meet a few SU alums in New York. Probably the most interesting was Stu Jackson, who graduated from Albers in 1978 and played basketball at SU in his senior year after transferring from Oregon. How in the world did that happen? It is an interesting story, but I want to save it for the Albers Brief! Today, Stu is Executive VP of Basketball Operations for the NBA. That means he is in charge of such things as the officiating (never a dull moment there) and handing out misconduct penalties to players. Now that is interesting, right!

    Stu told me that he was very grateful for the education he received at SU, especially for the personal attention he received from faculty. In particular, he remembered the support of Harriet Stephenson, who I assured him was still doing that for students today! Kudos, Harriet!

    Thursday and Friday were the start of the AACSB annual meeting. It’s not the most exciting stuff to blog about. Certainly one of the highlights has to be attending the Beta Gamma Sigma Dean’s Luncheon on Thursday and winning the door prize – a scholarship for one of our BGS students to the BGS Leadership Workshop. And to think I almost did not toss my business card into the basket. We normally send one student to this conference each year. Will we send one or two this year?? :}

    The best part is reconnecting with other deans I have gotten to know over the years. Friday morning the Jesuit deans had their traditional annual meeting breakfast. We discussed new joint marketing initiatives, the launch of our undergraduate business program directors group, and the agenda for our next meeting at Xavier in October. Joe DiAngelo from St. Joe’s is the incoming President of AACSB, so that should be good for our group. Norm Solomon, the dean at Fairfield, is stepping down at the end of the year, so we saluted him. Norm is someone I think very highly of and have always enjoyed working with. A scary thought is this means I am now the third longest serving business dean at a Jesuit school. I hope nothing happens to Bud Barnes (Gonzaga) and Joe DiAngelo!

    Late Friday I took the train down to Philadelphia to visit family and now it is Monday and I am headed back to Seattle. The big question is how are my students in Econ 271 surviving? They took a test on Tuesday and have a paper to submit on Thursday based on an in-class debate given by the SU Debate Team. I will find out tomorrow morning at 7:45 AM.

    Just like that -- off and blogging!

    Comments

    All comments are moderated for appropriateness and may take a few minutes to appear.

    Teresa Ling

    Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2011
    Well done!  Just want to let you know that we do read everything that the dean writes :)

    Nate VanWesep

    Posted on Wednesday, May 04, 2011
    For a first attempt, I thought it quite good. Though I have yet to take a social media course in my MBA program, I can speak anecdotally. I find the best blogs are personal accountings. Any savvy blog consumer can sniff out the "this blog will drive traffic..." blog in a heartbeat. By virtue of its personal nature, it's also a commitment and over time, as it gets pushed one way and then another by the author and by a (hopefully) growing group of readers, it takes on a life of its own. I think the best way to ensure that the blog is successful is to ask how you feel after writing it. If it was cathartic to write, it'll likely be cathartic to read. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    Steve Sack

    Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011
    Dean Phillips, Well done! Your leadership and voice set the tone for the enitre Albers community - embrace this blog and do not question for a second if it will be read or how it will be discovered. Provide compelling content - which you, SU, and Albers always do - and we, the SU community, will take care of the rest. As for the mesurement, Barb will have to figure that piece out ;).

    Marilyn Gist

    Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011
    Nice to hear what you're doing on those trips.  :-)  Good luck as a blogger!

    David Gallimore

    Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2011
    I recommend you write from the heart and let us know where you want to take Albers.  This blog is another channel to help us create community to realize a shared vision.
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