One of our neighbors is starting at Iowa this fall, and she is moving into her dorm Monday. Moving in early gives her a couple extra days to get settled, so when OnIowa! starts, she is already familiar with campus. Truthfully, she grew up here in Iowa City, so I’m not sure she has much to learn. I think she is just too excited to wait. And she is not alone. You can actually feel it in the air in and around Iowa City. People are excited and the place is buzzing with positive energy. Its about football, sure, and our neighbors had a great party with Herky and the cheer squad as a pre-season tailgate and send-off. But that excitement also comes from the start of new classes, new friendships, and new challenges. The start of fall semester is a time of renewal. What new beginnings are you most excited about this fall?
Welcome to My Blog!
Hello, my name is Ken Brown. I am the Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. This blog will share my thoughts on work and life. Feel free to use the comment feature to send your thoughts, questions, and feedback. Happy reading and go Hawks!
Its been a hectic week and I have done little by way of preparing for my classes. Still, I am so happy with the conversations that we’ve been having this week. Every day is further confirmation that this is a great team, and one that is ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Am I happy? You bet, and to prove it, check out this Jib Jab video produced by some of my colleagues in Australia for me:
The irreverent (and brilliant and funny) physicist Richard Feynman once said, ““Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
This quote captures my first week, and my plans for my second. I am reading a lot, asking lots of questions, handing out Lego mini-figures (inspired by my recent trip to Denmark) and overall doing a seriously unsystematic job of learning. I am a student, studying hard to better understand how we can better serve the other students in our building and around our state.
Sometime in the future I will bring some discipline and structure to my thinking and study, but in the meantime, I’m following Feynman’s advice. If you would like to learn more about him, visit this page: http://www.feynman.com.
Today was my first “formal” day on the job. Although I have been thinking about the transition and the challenges of the role for almost a month, today was the day when my desktop computer, office art, family pictures, and books were moved. Even though the Undergraduate Programs Office is only 2 floors away from my old office, and it’s in the same building where I’ve worked in for 16 years, it felt like a big move. Okay, it was a big move in the sense that I have a ton of stuff and I could not have moved it all in a week if I tried. I am grateful to Rick and Fletcher, our office wizards, for transplanting everything in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
I was welcomed by a series of warm conversations and chocolate zucchini cake (which was surprisingly terrific thanks to Brooke and her 3-year sous-chef protégé). A great day all around and further confirmation that this is a team filled with gracious and hard-working people.
For the rest of this post, I want to say a few words about Tippie alum Jason Sissel, pictured here, whom I had the chance to visit with in San Francisco last week. He was the first former student (or student for that matter) that I met with after signing on to be Associate Dean. It was fitting to have lunch with Jason that sunny day.
I met Jason when he was a student seeking experiences in research to broaden his skill set. He was in the inaugural Hawkinson Scholar class and was always looking for opportunities to learn and grow. That passion to learn took him to Wall Street where he had a successful career at Morgan Stanley and Robert W. Baird & Co. Even these challenges weren’t enough, and Jason left Wall Street to start his own non-profit organization. His organization, Endure to Cure (http://enduretocure.org), supports athletes in their efforts to perform small miracles for children afflicted with cancer. The organization’s website says it best — this organization was founded, “… to contribute, inspire, and give hope to kids who suffer from various forms of pediatric cancer.”
Jason was in San Francisco with his wife, Shana, to participate in the San Francisco marathon and accompany a group of kids and their parents to the San Francisco Giants batting practice and game. Jason is more than fulfilling the mission of his organization. He is an inspiration to me, the faculty, staff, and students here at Tippie, and so many others around the country. If Jason can walk away from a successful job on Wall Street, then I can, at the very least, walk away from a traditional faculty job to help serve the Tippie community.
I am honored to be taking over Lon’s position, a transition that was just finalized this week while I am away from campus. Technically I don’t start until next week so I’m sitting in an office at San Francisco State University. I just finished a meeting with the Associate Dean here and am looking out the window at a beautiful campus quad with crooked evergreen trees and California wild flowers, but my heart is back in Iowa City. When I return next week, I’ll post my first “official” blog entry as Associate Dean.
In the meantime, know that I have been deeply committed to Tippie since my first day on campus in 1998 and that my heart and mind are already back there, digging into the challenge of this critical job for our college. Feel free to comment with a question or suggestion for how I might use this blog. I already know that my first formal entry, to be posted once I’m in the office next week, will be about a Tippie alum and friend, Jason Sissel, whom I reconnected with while here in California. Jason used to work on Wall Street but I doubt you can guess what he is doing now. Stay tuned to find out….
Sadly this is my 909th and final blog post. As of July 1, 2014, I started working for the University as Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of University College. The Tippie College has started a search to find my successor as Associate Dean for the undergraduate program. During a meeting last week, I ran into President Mason who welcomed me to the “big dance.” Although I look forward to my new job, I will certainly miss Tippie, our students, and my staff and faculty colleagues. Tippie has been home for me since 1999. I guess someone will have to take my picture out of the Undergraduate Program Office window.
Three more days of class at CIMBA, and my time in Italy will be at an end. I have enjoyed my class, and certainly enjoyed the chance to get to know other professors from many different universities – Iowa (of course), Kansas, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas State, Western Michigan and West Virginia to name a few. I caught up with some of my students from the Hong Kong MBA program who are taking MBA coursework here at CIMBA this summer. The weather has been getting hot, so it was good to get to Lake Garda last weekend.
Tippie alum Scott Hirleman passed on the following article to me that talks about the importance of both technical and “soft skills” for successful job candidates - https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140610215959-586117-personality-is-more-important-than-the-resume?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0.