IU Southeast Magazine - Summer 2014 - page 5

IU Southeast
Summer 2014 3
breakfast.” I could describe the earnestness
of purpose evident in student presentations
and faculty critiques during the 10th annual
student conference, or the resilience of more
than 150 volunteers when asked to stage five
alternative commencement ceremonies in just
one week. I could try to describe the gift it has
been for me to have so many authentic, open,
courageous and hopeful conversations. I wish I
could put it all into words, but I can’t.
I closed that first email by writing that I
was most looking forward to working in
partnership with all of you to build yet another
bridge in Southern Indiana – one between
the past we’ve had and the future we hope to
create.
We’ve accomplished amazing things together
over the course of this transition year. We’ve
refocused on our students and renewed
our relationships with each other. We’ve
reconnected with educational partners in
secondary schools, at Ivy Tech, with our
benefactors, partners and community
foundations, and with businesses that hire our
students.
The words I’m searching for, the words that
aren’t adequate, that don’t exist, are the words
that convey how much, how sincerely, how
deeply I appreciate every person, moment
and experience I’ve had at IU Southeast this
past year. I am honored you have been so
willing to let me lead. I am humbled by your
overwhelming support. I really am in awe of all
that’s transpired here over the course of one
year.
I could try in this letter to recognize everyone
who deserves my appreciation, but will
simply thank my administrative leadership
team; the Dean team; every single member
of the faculty (especially the members of the
faculty senate and faculty leaders); every
single staff person; and the Board of Advisors.
I thank the community leaders and friends
of IU Southeast who patiently educated me,
worked closely with me, and who so greatly
supported me. I express my deep gratitude to
the people who do the hardest work and don’t
get thanked enough.
I couldn’t have done any of this, and I certainly
wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much,
without the support of Charla Stonecipher.
I also thank Executive Vice President John
Applegate and President Michael McRobbie
for this opportunity and for the support. Most
importantly, I thank Emily Ward, the person
who conceded her own interests, time and
again, to allow me this experience.
If I’ve accomplished the work I hoped to do at
IU Southeast this year, I’ve encouraged you to
see change as an opportunity to be embraced,
rather than something to be feared, and
helped create a community that cares about its
members, and where individuals care about
the greater collective. If I’ve done any good
at all, it’s because I’ve simply reminded you
of the greatness that already exists in each of
you and in this place, and that you have the
capacity and the right, and most importantly,
the responsibility to use all you have that’s
good to serve the best interests of IU
Southeast students and the Southern Indiana
community.
The transition year is over. My thanks go to
Sandra for handing it off to me. Ray, here’s my
hand-off to you. I don’t need to wish you “all
the best” -- I know first-hand you’ve already
got it.
Forever a Grenadier,
Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Interim Chancellor
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