Dean Oblinger sent the following e-mail message to all CALS faculty and staff on Tuesday, November 11, 1997
From: James Oblinger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Message to All
To: CALS Faculty & Staff
Dear CALS faculty/staff member:
It has been a hectic six weeks since my appointment as Dean and Executive Director for Agricultural Programs of the College. The eight weeks remaining in 1997 look even more hectic. I would prefer to speak to you in person, but I didn't want to let any more time elapse before I communicated with you to share some of my thoughts.
First, I want you to know how pleased I am to be serving as the new Dean of CALS. The Dean is the person that the College and the University must be able to count on to not only do things right, but to do the right things. Although CALS is the epitome of excellence, we have more potential to explore. Without a doubt, more challenges await our college.
Second, I realize that no one individual possesses all the skills or competencies needed to serve as Dean. Rather than functioning in a solitary manner, I hope to serve as a fulcrum, bringing the collective intelligence and wisdom of CALS to bear on North Carolina's challenges-- scientific, technical, educational, social or economic. To be successful we must work together.
Perhaps most importantly, I would like to share with you six descriptors that I believe must define our college.
Relevant. CALS takes seriously the public's trust. Our people and programs reflect real answers to real problems. Whether it is concern for the environment or preparing students for professions we cannot yet define, CALS will continue to be known for its relevance.
Responsive. CALS understands who it serves and responds to those needs. Whether enhancing a student's academic experience, answering a citizen's inquiry, providing expertise to a government agency, or opening the door for new business or industry opportunities in the state, CALS can and does respond.
Unique. CALS defines and delivers on the unique value that agriculture and the life sciences bring to the University of North Carolina System, N.C. State, the state of North Carolina, the country and the rest of the world.
Connected. CALS faculty, staff and students are connected to each other, to the worldwide community of scholars, to the real-world problems that need to be solved as well as to the constituencies who are working to solve them. Just as knowledge knows no boundaries, neither does CALS.
Interactive. We learn by interacting with others, and we all must become lifelong learners-- students, faculty and staff. No one individual can possess all the knowledge required to solve today's complex problems. CALS is a collaborator and cooperator within and beyond N.C. State and sets the standard for effective team work on- and off-campus.
Representative. CALS must eliminate any residual barriers to good people and good ideas. As a knowledge-based community, we are strengthened by diversity of ethnic origin, age and nationality. In a world that is global and connected, we will bring distant cultures closer.
We are in this together. CALS represents a community-- we are each unique yet we share a history, certain philosophies and a dedication to our constituencies. Our competitive edge is CALS' intelligence. Only by becoming a stronger learning community and by using CALS' collective wisdom will we be able to create a stronger future.
We should all have great pride in CALS' history of accomplishments, pride in the land-grant tradition, pride in the country's best research and extension services, and pride in the educational experience we provide students. But we cannot be complacent. We cannot rest on past, or even present, successes. To attain a new level of national and international stature, we must view the pursuit of excellence as a common goal.
I am firmly committed to working with each of you to achieve this goal. I am asking you to join me in that commitment.
I look forward to meeting with you, talking with you, listening and working with you as we dedicate our efforts to make CALS the best of the best.
Last Modified: November, 1997