My philosophy is based on the premise that the best leadership is accomplished through behavior. This is where trust is gained or lost. My behavior matches my words and my words match my behavior. I lead with empathy; listening attentively, seeking to understand, and fully leveraging the experiences and talents of others. I lead with flexibility, knowing that situations change, people change, and learning promotes growth.
Currently, as Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Wichita State University, I work as collaborator, advocate, mentor, innovator, researcher, and artist; playing many different roles at once. As such, the ideal work environment is based on collaboration.
I strive to encourage teamwork and cooperation among staff and faculty. I promote open communication, idea-sharing, and positive risk taking to spark an innovative and energetic team. I also maintain an open door policy, serve as a liaison to upper administration, and facilitate communication between different parties as needed. As a goal-driven and team-oriented leader, I make certain that all of my staff members, including faculty, fellow administrators, and support staff, know how valuable they are to the success of our academic institution and its mission.
This administrative collaboration raises the awareness about artists and other academicians using technology and materials to explore new forms of creative expression and to increase communication between these fields. This kind of cooperation becomes a synthesis of intellectual ingenuity and artistic invention to advance each discipline’s strategic interests.
I am committed to each of the five stakeholders. I bring the best education and curriculum to students on all levels of study; help facilitate the growth and development of the faculty; bring an artistic vibrancy and entrepreneurial commitment to the community at-large; guide the arts in the direction of the University’s mission according to its administration; and engage with alumni so that the arts programs can continue to build their foundation and foster relationships. Finally, I seek to make connections with a wide range of scholars to encourage and advance diversity.
The mission of my work in administration is to create an environment within a university setting that brings disparate fields of endeavor together, where students and faculty become part of “whole brain thinking” in order to become more efficient in today’s ever changing world.