Hey sports fans, do you remember when LeBron James announced he was coming back to Cleveland?
Well, I’m excited to announce that I’m coming home – back to higher education. I just accepted a position serving Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences. The college is rolling out a new online M.A. in Strategic Communication and I’ll be overseeing the program as its director.
How Did This Happen
Someone shared a posting with me for this role sometime this summer and I thought it sounded too good to be true. MSU was looking for someone who had some leadership, vision, marketing chops and online course development and teaching experience. They had been searching for a long time and hadn’t found the right fit. I thought I’d apply. After a few interviews, presentations, and paperwork, I’m sitting in my new office in East Lansing and gearing up for a busy fall helping get the program launched in January.
What’s the Job
I’ll be working in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences [CAS] building on campus in East Lansing, MI with multiple department and disciplines to help guide the program to fruitfulness and excellence. There’s an amazing team at MSU that has already gotten a lot of the work done. We have specific development and enrollment goals for 2017 we’re aiming for. Those goals are what we’ll all be working toward. I’ll also be teaching two classes this year in the college. Probably this summer.
One really exciting part of the StratCom rollout is the desire for the degree to be truly global. I’ve already had meetings with MSU faculty that have relationships with universities in China, India, and Japan. We’re looking at forging relationships there to have students enroll in the program. There may be opportunity to teach in those countries as well as have students come to campus. Much of it is blue sky dreaming. But, it’s really cool to be part of a team that dreams big.
The key leaders in #ComArtSci have proven to be the kind of empowering leaders I’m excited to follow. Dr. Prabu David, Dr. John Sherry and Dr. Ann Hoffman have already set a tone for the college that is contagious. People are freed up, upbeat, and encouraging. It’s made the transition really smooth.
My role is categorized as an administrative faculty. What this means is that I’ll be on a teacher timeline and calendar. Which means – YES – that I’d have opportunity to either teach in the summer (which I will this year) or have summers off. Having more margin will be so fantastic for Micki and I in this next season of life.
For over seven years, I’ve been working for FMCUSA headquartered in Indianapolis and MediaFusion with home offices in San Antonio. I’ve been essentially living in both places. There have been pros and cons. Each stop my wife and I have had to evaluate if we would move to Indianapolis or commute – If we would move to Texas or stay in Michigan. We chose to stay in Michigan. And we’re so glad we did. We will continue to live in our home in Spring Arbor. Micki will continue to teach first grade at Warner Elementary. I’ll commute to campus with flexibility to work some days from home. This means I can turn my attention and focus to work in the community I live in. So, if you’re visiting East Lansing, let me know. I’d be happy to give you a tour of campus (if I ever figure it out), take you out for coffee or lunch, and I may be able to score you some tickets to a game or two.
Bottom line: I’m coming home. Home to Michigan. Home to higher ed. And it feels really good.