It was great to see everyone at the opening ceremonies last Friday and to feel your positive energy as we begin a new semester.  At the EHHS divisional meeting, we were able to celebrate the scholarship of our colleagues and celebrate the tremendous amount of work that was done last year to develop new programs.   We also recognized the work that many are doing toward accreditation.  As I said in the meeting, all of this extraordinary work was done during a time when we were going through a budgetary crisis.  It is an honor to be part of a division where the highest levels of professionalism are the standard.   I cannot thank you enough for this.

In my presentation, I shared several video clips to inspire us and to challenge our thinking.  I have had a number of requests for links, particularly for the video by Dalton Sherman.  If you need inspiration anytime during the semester, it is a good video to watch again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe_rPBDFjxM

The second video I shared was one to underscore the point that we must question our knowledge and must teach students to think critically; this is especially true given students’ 24/7 access to knowledge.  Here is the clip by Terry Moore on TED.com (a great site to check out if you are not familiar with it): http://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes.html#.TjteaKkT76s.mailto

Finally, we ended our time together by splitting into small groups and discussing goals for the division. Once again, the energy from the groups was electrifying as demonstrated by careful listening, sharing of ideas, and enthusiasm when reporting out to the larger group.  One common theme among groups was the importance of community and finding ways to strengthen this.  The dean’s team will speak with the chairpersons and coordinators about your ideas and will get back to you with draft goals. 

I wish you the best semester ever, one that is transformative for your students and for you.  If there is anything we can do in the dean’s office to facilitate this, please let us know.