Changing Perceptions

A few months ago, if you had stood in this position on Fredonia’s campus, you wouldn’t have seen the sky. The massive spine bridge would have been overhead, and your view would have included the concrete pillars with their colorful bulletin boards announcing concerts and speakers and items for sale. I miss those–and the concrete benches across the top–even if I don’t miss the dripping or gushing drains and the exposed rebar that caused me to worry about the aging structure.

After the removal of the spine this summer, it’s a little disorienting to stand there in the newly opened space. All of a sudden, you can see clearly from the Williams Center into the inviting, green quad. Like the temporary surface, the entrance in this photograph will not be finished until next summer. But already the sets of doors beckon. The dramatic curves and recesses of McEwen Hall are now visible, the windows no longer bisected by the huge walkway.

I’m getting used to it and enjoying the way this change causes me to see things I never noticed before: the morning shadows stretching across the lawn, the wholeness of the library façade, the play of light on the board-formed concrete. 

In some ways, this new perception is at work across campus as we undertake the process of Right Serving, Right Sizing. In approaching student learning with a growth mindset, in looking for efficiencies in our operations, in tuning and streamlining programs, in examining our structures and processes, we are opening our ways of looking at the familiar. We are opening ourselves to transformation. I am looking forward to seeing what each division discovers, what it seeks to change, and what it strengthens for the student experience at Fredonia.

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