A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
September 8, 2005 Volume 36 / Number 1


Bread and Thanks

It’s traditional for the Academic Senate chair to start the year by highlighting major initiatives the senate will pursue. One project close to my heart will be to review the methods by which faculty service is measured and rewarded. This initiative will involve changes in the faculty personnel document, coordination with the various Campus Life proposals coming from the president’s special commissions, and possibly all areas of faculty endeavor.

The faculty service project will rely on the best of our shared governance practices and focus on formal ways by which we say, “Thanks, we appreciate what you do here.” In fact, my general hope (as Pollyannaish as it may sound) is that we make as much progress in supporting each other as we do in supporting our students.

A great student of humanity said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” That scholar was Mother Theresa.

When was the last time that you were told “thank you” for doing something swell? When was the last time that you told someone “thank you” for doing something swell? When was the last time you wrote a note—a real note, not a string of Microsoft Outlook electrons—to someone congratulating him or her on an accomplishment, or thanking that person for doing something you found meaningful?

Ask yourself how many people you know, including you, feel appreciated for the job they do. We’re pretty good at reaching out to help those of us in trouble. But, how often do you let someone know that he or she makes it a little easier—a little more pleasant—to spend another year here? Or just to say “well done” or “that was a great presentation?” (By the way, if you attended this year’s Convocation and find these comments somewhat familiar, it means you were paying attention.)

A little appreciation goes a long way. The vast majority of us work hard at doing our jobs well and making this university a good institution. How about giving a colleague a pat on the back once in a while? The annual receptions and periodic “best of” awards are fine, but it’s the day-to-day sense that someone appreciates our efforts that makes that cultural difference, that psychological difference.

Let’s see if we all can do a little more to recognize and celebrate each other.

—Marc Siegall, chair, Academic Senate.