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By Veda Ward
Wait! I am sure your first thought is, “I don’t have time to read about citizenship. I’m too busy.” Upon reflection, however, you might think, “Hmm, this might provide some new insights into how I manage my work life here at CSU Northridge.”
Certainly most of us are feeling stretched in many different directions and may think we cannot keep up with current demands, let alone commit to additional activities normally associated with being an active and responsible university citizen.
The College of Health and Human Development (HHD) has a long and deep history of producing excellent leaders in the broader sense of citizenship, whether in faculty governance, working with student groups or mentoring new faculty. While some are active in employee unions, still others work closely with professional, alumni or community groups. Some are visionaries, and some fantastic academic advisors. Not everyone has to be great at or participate in everything, but when combined our impact on the university community can be formidable. This is about more than committee work.
This “call to citizenship” comes at a time when state and national elections require increased consideration of choices, especially and they impact funding and vision for higher education. At the local level, the careful consideration of each nominee placed on a ballot is a first step in becoming a good citizen.
Here at CSU Northridge, the high number of faculty retiring in recent years, combined with the potentially large numbers of new faculty being recruited this year, will challenge the ability of current faculty to present and sustain a culture characterized by the strategic nurture of leaders that builds bridges to the future. There are no inconsequential decisions, and no “time-outs” no matter how busy we feel we are. By reinforcing a commitment to citizenship as part of our daily interactions we can reduce anxiety around pressured decisions to come up with names for leadership positions. Here are some time-saving tips to keep that spirit of citizenship alive and integrated into our College culture.
University citizenship is not an add-on, but an essential quality of work- life that can tie all the disparate activities and efforts together. Together we can position the College of HHD as an exemplar of earnest engagement in University life throughout the next coming decade.