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The Student News Site of Fairmont State University

The Columns

Presidential Press: Goals for Fairmont State

Presidential+Press%3A+Goals+for+Fairmont+State

A Special Note from the Columns Staff: Congratulations on your inauguration, President Davis! We are very grateful for your continued support in student journalism at Fairmont State University. 

When I interviewed to be the president at Fairmont State University, I was asked several times “Why do you want to be president at Fairmont State?” Honestly, it was a hard question to answer. As I prepared for my interview, I explored everything I could about the University, its programs, and its people. And the more I discovered, the more I got the feeling that there was something truly special here, something I could not quite put into words. So, in my interview, I said things like “I want to have an impact on student, faculty and staff success,” or “I want to be a voice for higher education in a world that is increasingly hostile to it.”

Both of those things are certainly true, and I wake up every day thinking about those goals. But during the past eight-plus months something else became increasingly clear: The thing that excites me most about being president is that I get to experience everything our campus and community members love about Fairmont State University.

For example, I am not an artist, but I love to see the art that our students produce. I can’t play basketball at an elite level, but I loved watching our women’s team win the conference championship. I can’t sing or act, but I love watching the Masquers perform in Wallman. I can’t even begin to imagine how engineering students get concrete to float, but I love that our Concrete Canoe Team not only competes against the top schools in the nation every single year, but they also often emerge victorious.

I don’t have the expertise our faculty have in their academic areas, but I love that they are so proficient in their chosen fields. Their knowledge, combined with a love for teaching, makes them exemplary educators who really care about how our students grow and succeed. I am in awe of our staff members. I treasure the care they put into making sure that people on our campus feel supported and appreciated, and how tirelessly they work to make Fairmont State University a great place to learn, to work, and to call home.

So, now when people ask me why I want to be a university president, my answer is simple. I love watching other people thrive doing activities that they love. To me, this might be the only

reason someone should want to be a university president. I have to care as much about things our faculty, staff, and students love as I do about the things that I enjoy. The examples listed above are just a small sample of everything I get to observe as president, and every single day I encounter new examples of why this is a great place.

Each day I wake up aware of the fact that this campus is full of people trying their hardest to make sure the things they care about are successful. My job is not to love the same things you love. Instead, I must love that you love those things. I must recognize your passion and work every single day to help find the resources to make your endeavors as successful as possible. Finally, I need to celebrate loudly and enthusiastically each and every time you are out there doing what you love.

Whether you are a student, faculty, staff, alum, or community member I hope you find the same joy in supporting each other that I do. If we are going to achieve our full potential it is going to take all of us supporting each other, cheering each other’s successes, and picking each other up when we fail.

Too often we perceive attention given in one area as a trade off with support in another. The truth, however, is that when we begin to see ourselves as part of the same team then our collective resources actually grow. The momentum from a successful program in one area bolsters support for others as Fairmont State University gains attention across the state, region, and nation. When we watch others succeed and support their victories, we emerge inspired to pursue our own goals.

So, I will continue to show up and support those things you love and I challenge you to do the same. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together.

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