IU Southeast Magazine - Summer 2014 - page 16

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with a mantra that he repeated in
several meetings: “I’ve been telling
people that I’m going to hit the ground
running by sitting down and listening.”
It’s inevitable during a major
institutional transition that people will
want to share stories about the past –
and not just success stories, but laments
about problems. During his meetings,
Wallace was open and inquisitive about
the hurdles people reported. But he
often responded with an Irish turn
of phrase: “I’m willing to listen for a
‘wee bit.’ But what I really want are
solutions. What we really have to do is
move forward.”
Then one of the students changed the
subject. “And where exactly is your
wife?,” he asked.
“You’ll definitely get to meet Susan,”
said Wallace. “She’s out looking for
a house to rent while we figure out
where we want to live.” Then he shared
an anecdote. Susan, who grew up in
Arkansas, asked him to visit a local
supermarket in search of collard greens
– an indication of whether the Wallaces
were still, more or less, in or near the
South.
“I had to call her back and ask, ‘What
are they again?’ She thought I was
smart enough to pick out a vegetable. In
fact I wasn’t.”
‘Keep the bourbon out’
Wallace likes the playful give and take
of relaxed conversation. He doesn’t take
himself too seriously.
On his campus tour, for example, he
poked his head into an office in the
nursing department where a meeting
was in progress.
Jacquelyn Reid, Dean of the School of
Nursing, told the group to “hide the
cards.”
Wallace didn’t miss a beat. “Put the
Chancellor Wallace visits the 10th annual IU Southeast Student Conference.
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