French philosopher, Frantz Fanon, admonishes that “each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” Albany State is at a critical junction in its history. We can move forward with a new sense of purpose or we can hold on to damaging practices from the past. The way we operate, treat our students and respond to each other as colleagues are conscious decisions that impact the future of the institution. When we choose to implement best practices in our policies and procedures, we work towards making ASU the best university it can be. Conversely, when we do not change our techniques and traditions to comply with the continuously changing times or treat our students as valued customers, we make a decision to limit the growth and prosperity of the university. The political, economic and social environment will force us to change or ultimately face extinction.
This morning, I met with members of the cabinet and deans’ council to ask them to join me in modifying the culture at ASU. I challenged them to look at their respective areas and to make decisions that will improve this institution. Each staff member will treat our customers with the utmost respect and care, understanding that a negative decision today will yield negative results for years to come. We must make immediate changes to increase our enrollment, retention and graduation rate of students to ensure that ASU continues to grow. Every decision, no matter how small, will make an impact on ASU. Beginning today, let’s make certain that every decision, action and process is making ASU bigger, better and stronger.
-Dr. Art Dunning