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Focus on the future

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

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It’s been five days since the inauguration, and it would seem that the world is beginning to relax a bit. Several news articles and social media posts indicate that some semblance of calm and normalcy are beginning to overshadow the last few days (and years)! I just finished listening to Episode 1 of RadioEd’s second season and found the conversation about the inauguration with DU professor of US history Susan Schulten quite illuminating. For instance, did you know that the absence of the 45th president at this year’s inauguration was not the first time this happened? Or that the first contentious election where the new president would be representing a different party was in 1800?

Without a doubt, the peaceful transfer of power, which Schulten calls the “cornerstone of representative democracy,” was fraught with some very unsettling challenges in the days and weeks leading up to the installation of the next president. Though things didn’t happen exactly according to plan and practice, we did witness that transfer and we do have a new leader in the White House.

In thinking about leadership and how it is demonstrated at the highest levels, I found myself looking inward. Every day we are faced with transitions, and how we choose to move through them is a test of our own willingness to exercise resilience and demonstrate stability. In the past year, the MarComm division has undergone quite a bit of change, which has resulted in a team that looks and functions differently.

We’re poised to collaborate with our campus partners in ways that are more effective and efficient as we fine-tune our processes. We’re gaining momentum on our web overhaul strategy to demonstrate a web experience that is more cohesive and communicates a stronger message about DU’s brand. And we’re on the cusp of rolling out a research-based reputation strategy that is aimed to boost our national awareness and impact. Ultimately this will lead to a rise in affinity, engagement, enrollment, and retention.

It will take more than 100 days to accomplish everything on our agenda (Schulten talks about how this became a benchmark for new presidents), but for as long as it takes, I plan to focus my attention on helping to navigate the uncertainty and building faith in the future.