Retrenchment, Day 15

Yesterday I spent about 11 hours in the car taking my son Gio to move into the dorms at Minnesota State University at Mankato. While I was there, I had a cup of coffee with a friend who had been my professor in my first ever Historiography class, and who is now the Dean of the Library and Learning at Mankato. They are doing some really cool and interesting work building a learning community for 21st-century students.

Long story short (but I’ll elaborate on the longer part of the story over the next days and weeks), I wrote/talked yesterday about entrepreneurs in small businesses who try to understand what their customer wants and needs, and what they can contribute. Then they design a response (a product or service) that adds value and craft a message that articulates that value-add. The implication, of course, was that I thought BSU ought to be more like a responsive, nimble entrepreneur responding to changing customer needs and less like those “dinosaur” executives who drink their own kool-aid (mixing metaphors here) and try to force the market to go where they want, because they know better.

This applies to me too, of course. My discovery (I’m getting to the point here, finally) yesterday was that I had been thinking of myself as a History Professor who happened to write some Open Educational Resources. What I learned was that, much as I love the content I teach and the topics I research, I’m actually an open education guy who happens to do history.

I suspect this will inform my thinking and my actions, moving forward.

Link to YouTube: