Though I remain on the West Coast for a few more days before Kim and I get on the train to come back home, I wanted to start this special day with this note to you, my new Arcadia family--Arcadia’s faculty and staff.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been asked to join this family. I have only had a few opportunities to be on campus, but each time, the feeling has been the same: that it’s a happy place, with everyone committed to giving it his or her best effort and to helping make it the best that it can be. It’s a place where people like coming to work and working hard, because they get to see the results and know that the effort matters, is respected and is appreciated. Everyone makes a difference. The loss of or harm to one of us is shared and felt by the community as a whole; and so are our individual successes. We are together eagerly awaiting the next first-year class, the resumption of classes, the completion of the Commons, and the return of “Beaver Beach.”
I will be spending one day on campus in July on my way to a scheduled vacation. I will arrive both in my office and at the President’s House on August 1, excited by the opportunity to lead a university of Arcadia’s standing and promise towards our sesquicentennial in 2022 – a milestone few universities in the country can equal. What will Arcadia be in 2022? For what will we be known? How will our currently unrivaled overseas network have evolved? How will we have capitalized upon our enormous assets and international reputation? Will we have fully realized our potential in the “new order” where the flow of knowledge is so fast, the reliance on technology so great, and the need for personal integrity and cultural sensitivity never greater?
We will have our fair share of challenges to face. The era of steadily increasing tuition and student enrollment is over; we have reached the era of constraints, where we will have to do more with less, every year. But Arcadia has the demonstrated ability to be creative and versatile, and you are its greatest strength. So I begin my tenure as your president with a request, made impersonally by email, but personal to each who reads this message:
Make Arcadia’s success your personal mission. Share with me your ideas about how to make it more inviting, better appreciated, more respected, and more successful. How can we become better connected with our alumnae/i, the communities that surround us, and the world into which we send our students as they study abroad? How do we become a stronger and more diverse community, where differences are appreciated and leveraged for the benefit of our students, our community, and society as a whole?
I promise that you will see a lot of me on campus and that I will respond to your emails when you write – at least, after August, when I arrive! Until then, Provost Steve O. Michael will be our chief administrative officer, leading the vice presidents and deans during the month of July. He and I have been working closely together these last few weeks, and I have every confidence in him as he speaks for me.
I hope you, like me, will be able to share some time with family over the coming months and enjoy the opportunity to refresh that the summer provides.
Very best wishes,
Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III