In a series of meetings I have had last year with the larger Grinnell family — including open office hours, lunches with faculty and administrators, and conversations with students — the single most popular question has been some variation of “What is the College doing about environmental and sustainability issues?”
The more times change, the more times demand — and reward — thoughtful innovation. Here are some thoughts on three innovative new steps we’re taking to better position the College for the future.
Since we are still just beginning to know one another and to work together, I think it’s only fair that you have some idea of what I value when making decisions. At an all-campus meeting on Sept. 20, I shared my belief in: Fairness. Fairness is my guiding decision-making principle. And really, it’s a social justice issue. What we’ve worked for and continue to work for in this country is not so much this Supreme Court decision or that constitutional amendment.
I’ve pinned a bumper sticker on the bulletin board over my desk in Nollen house that says “Choose Civility.” I posted it (a gift from two members of the Grinnell family!) to remind myself and others that civility is a choice. It is an especially important choice to make in a community of passionate activists like ours where we at times discuss divisive issues and ideas. Experience has taught me that the natural course of communities who discuss such subjects without a conscious effort to be civil tends toward rancor and gridlock.