Communications & Interpersonal Skills

A recent coffee with the Provost
Many of the problems we encounter as managers are caused by flawed or inadequate communications. I recently read that if you think you are communicating adequately to your constituents then double your efforts.  We are all very busy and it can be challenging to make the time needed for good communication.  To aid with this process I:
  • Host monthly “Coffee with the Provost” events which are open Q&A session that all faculty and staff are invited to (See picture). 
  • Host monthly “Brown Bag Lunch with the Provost” events so I can get to know the faculty and staff individually and create more personal connections.
  • Deliver monthly video messages to update faculty on issues and major events, faculty and institutional achievements.  Answers to the questions I receive at the Coffee with the Provost events feature prominently in these broadcasts.
  • Implemented an Office of the Provost Facebook site to improve connections with faculty and staff.
  • Attend all Faculty Senate meetings where I give a report and stand for questions.
  • Attend a meeting of each academic department at least yearly.
  • Hold at least two all faculty meetings yearly
I use humor to put people at ease and make a conscious effort to listen to people and hear what they are saying.  I am an eloquent, self-confident speaker and presenter and use these skills to generate interest in new ideas and approaches.  I also have had experienced working with a PR company when I had my own business (as a result I was interviewed by many technology magazines and even the NY Times), and have worked with our internal PR staff to craft important messages and press releases for our communities.

I implemented the video conferencing and SharePoint shared workspace systems used by many of the Penn State campuses to conduct virtual meetings, so I am adept at using collaborative technologies to eliminate geographical barriers.