Big Little Things

Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 7:56 AM PDT


As I was pulling out of the Broadway Garage a few weeks ago I realized that the parking spaces along Columbia St. that have been plaguing the exit and entry of the garage had been removed!  What a great day for SU!  I have been whining to people for ten years about the need to get rid of those spots, which accomplished so little while creating such havoc.  I learned that Rob Schwartz and Jonathan Bregman, from Campus Facilities, had pulled off this miracle that so many others could not do or were not motivated to do.  Thanks, Rob and Jonathan!  I need to take you out to lunch to celebrate!


This big step forward caused me to think about other “Big Little Things” that have happened at SU.  By that I mean relatively minor steps that have created huge benefits for the campus.  I thought it would make a good theme for a blog, a Top Ten list of Big Little Things.  But ten will create too long of a blog, so I’ve settled on my Top Five Big Little Things at SU.  Here they are:


  1. Eliminating the parking along Columbia St. – with the city eliminating a few parking spots, now it will be much easier to get in and out of the garage.  Kudos to Rob and Jonathan.  Now we have to work on a turning lane to go North on Broadway!


  1. Remodeling Campion Ballroom – for a relatively small amount of money, we were able to dress up the Campion Ballroom to make it a decent space for holding events.  Actually, it is more than decent.  With all those windows, when the sun is out it is actually a spectacular venue!  Good riddance to those chandeliers.  They had been there for so long and looked so bad that they were actually threatening to come back in style!


  1. Scattering PCs around the Pigott Building – when I first arrived at SU, one of the things students complained the most about was the size of the Pigott computer lab.  There were simply not enough machines given the number of students.  After a year or two, we finally decided to try putting computers in public areas of the building to provide more access.  It worked!  Students were a lot happier, and in the scheme of things it was not that much money.  The big concern had been computer theft, but while we experienced some problems with theft, it never became a major issue.


  1. Creating the Albers Graduation Reception – another “When I first arrived …” story is that we used to have separate graduation parties for undergrad and grad students weeks before graduation.  At the same time, we did not host a graduation event for families and friends of graduates and the chance for graduates to say goodbye to faculty and staff.  The graduation parties were suspect – the undergrad event was a during-the-week well-before-finals drinking opportunity for students.  The grad event was a weakly-attended well-before-finals evening event for people who are ready to head home at that hour.  It finally dawned on us that we needed to end those two events and use the resources to host our reception for graduates on the Saturday before graduation.  We have never looked back on that decision!   The reception for graduating students has proven to be a very popular event for all!


  1. HLEMBA – our new Health Leadership EMBA program draws heavily on the curriculum of our Leadership EMBA program and leverages the assets we have developed around the latter to help deliver the former.  When we started working with the College of Nursing on an MBA type program that could include nursing graduate students, we did not have HLEMBA in mind.  But as we did more and more research with them, the vision of HLEMBA began to emerge.  It became an obvious program to launch.  Plus the LEMBA program allowed us to attempt a quick roll out of the program.  We made the decision to move forward with program development in December, 2010.  It completed the SU approval process in May, 2011.  We are now recruiting for a class that begins in August, 2011!  That is warp speed in the non-profit side of academe!


OK, so three of the five have to do with Albers.  Isn’t that a bit biased, you ask?  Yes, it probably is.  In which case, send me your bigger “Big Little Things at SU!”