Faculty and Staff Convocation 2011: Alcorn Bravery, Leading a Community of Excellence
August 19, 2011 - Alcorn State University marked the beginning of a new academic year with its annual Faculty and Staff Convocation that was held August 17-18th. Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost, presided over the convocation and stated, “It’s good to have you all back. Today we are going to recognize the contributions of faculty and staff, welcome newly hired employees, discuss plans for the 2011-2012 academic year and what the Alcorn family can do on its journey from good to great.”
The convocation continued with the President’s Charge by Dr. M. Christopher Brown II. He began his speech by reciting Constantine P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca”: “When you set sail for Ithaca, wish for the road to be long, full of adventures, full of knowledge…Ithaca has given you the beautiful journey. Without her you would not have set out on the road…wise as you have become, with so much experience, you must already have understood what Ithaca means.” President Brown continued, “And for me this morning and for many of you, Alcorn is our Ithaca. We’ve set out on a journey, on a common course and on a common destiny. We will have some good days, but we will also have some hills to climb. We should stick together and put our minds and our energies towards fast-forward position for the new year.”
President Brown’s charge was followed by the keynote address by Dr. Kevin Bott, associate director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA). Dr. Bott served as director of the Publicly Active Graduate Education Program (PAGE), and the director of events and publications for IA prior o assuming his current position. He consults nationally on various aspects of community-campus partnership, and creates, and implements interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral arts-based partnerships that attempt to leverage university and community resources in an effort to better understanding and address local issues.
In his message to the Alcorn family, Dr. Bott stated, “It’s important to recognize higher education’s role in American democracy. We have a responsibility to try to attach our private and professional interests to the public good. We are trying to expand what counts and what’s meaningful in higher education in a way that respects our community partners for what they have to offer, what they have to bring to the table.”
Following the keynote address, President Brown announced that an agreement with Imagining America will be signed today making Alcorn the nation’s first public HBCU to become a member of this organization.
Dr. Bott replied, “At Imagining America, we are excited about signing an agreement with Alcorn. On one hand, we will ask the University to share the work with us, so we can share innovative strategies with other people, amplify that nationally and build a network. And on the other hand, we will provide resources to you: for example, in terms of how we assess this work, how to include community members as peers in the assessment process, and how to change tenure promotion policy. We also have fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students to come to our conferences and professionalization activities. We look forward to begin working with the University and achieving great results.”
Dr. Samuel White opening the convocation
The President's Charge
ASU Faculty and staff
Keynote speaker Dr. Bott