Feb. 21, 2018
By Shane Burgess, University of Arizona Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension
My response to Great Recessionary budget cuts was to protect as much as possible the resources we need to deliver on our teaching, research and Extension missions. But this meant I didn’t have the capacity to engage with you as I’d prefer—in-person. My five-year review told me that you’d appreciate this, too. So, I’ve prioritized visiting the schools and departments as a whole and, less formally, meeting with you in your own spaces.
I’ve been privileged to visit recently with people in the Department of Entomology and Frances McClelland Institute, other Norton School students, staff and advisors, Agricultural and Resource Economics grad students, Soil, Water and Environmental Science business officers, an advisor and grad student in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and a Nutritional Sciences faculty member and student together.
Hearing from you one-on-one is invaluable. You told me the names we give our courses is critical. We’ve been able to find opportunities for philanthropy—in just one conversation during a tour of the Insect Collection, our senior director of development (who came along with me that day) learned enough to meet with potential donors about a gift that could make a real difference for this unique genetic and economically important resource.
To those who spent time with me already, thank you for taking that time from your own busy schedules to talk with me. I will continue making these visits a priority. Thank you for helping me speak more meaningfully – and with greater impact – about your programs with people outside the college and outside the university.
Bethany Rutledge, director of administration and communications