I’ve been here at Thompson Rivers University for over a month now, and I am increasingly excited at the potential that exists here. Every day I meet more people full of energy, great ideas, and a willingness to try new things. These are interesting and challenging times for higher education, and it has been great fun to get to know so many people who are committed to building a university that can thrive and make positive change happen.
Because of its history — TRU has only existed in its current form for five years — this is a very young university. That creates some unique challenges, as I get the sense we are still defining our identity and getting a feel for what is possible. Then again, there are many moments of youthful exuberance, the realization that we are less bound by “how things have always been done”, and I am hopeful we can tap that advantage.
Having been hired to fill the newly created position of “Director of Innovation”, I seem to be invited to define my role within the institution. This strikes me as both an irresistible and daunting opportunity. It’s not often that a professional portfolio with such open prospects becomes available. At the same time, I am conscious that “innovation” cannot be the job of just one person. So I refer to my role as “Re-Director of Innovation” whenever I can get away with it.
I’m hoping this blog will be something of a re-director for the talent and ideas here, for interesting models from elsewhere we might learn from, and a space for reflection as we hack toward interesting solutions.
Before signing off this initial post, I have to say how much I am loving the move to the interior. The regular sunshine brightens my mood, and the people here have been spectacularly kind and welcoming. The image at the top of this post is just one of the lovely views I encounter every day as I commute to work… an opening of the skies that hopefully opens my mind to myriad possibilites.