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President Broderick's Remarks

Thank you Rector Mugler.

I am grateful, honored and humbled that the Board of Visitors would place its confidence in me at this challenging, but exciting, time in Old Dominion University's history.

As I look around, there are so many people in this room whose advice, encouragement and counsel have helped me.

Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom for the greater good of ODU. Believe me, I have learned something from each and every one of you.

And I would be remiss, if I didn't mention that I was blessed to work with two superb previous presidents - Jim Koch and Roseann Runte.

I would also like to acknowledge my wife, Kate, and my three sons. Family is important to me and they have been an incredible resource, not only during the past year, but throughout my career.

Kate would be delighted to tell you how many great ideas I have authored that had her fingerprints all over them.

And she would be right.

In fact, much of what we accomplish at this university - if we are running it correctly - should have the fingerprints of faculty, staff, students, alumni, board members and the community.

I have stressed from day one that we are all in this together… and by working together we can make Old Dominion an even greater institution than it is today.

I have emphasized the need for transparency in my leadership over the last year and will ask our executive officers and deans to commit to the same. It is imperative as we expand our efforts of taking this university to higher levels, we include all constituents in the discussion.

My background, as most of you know, is in communications. It should be no surprise that a central goal of my administration will be to ensure that people on and off the campus are not only aware of what we are doing, but also of where we are headed.

Our 2009-2014 Strategic Planning Process, headed by Provost Simpson, will help achieve that.

And yet, despite all the mediums available in the ever-evolving arena of communications, getting the message out has become more of a challenge.

I pledge to use every means available to me, whether it is the President's blog, a newspaper column, a campus-wide email, postings to Facebook and MySpace, or an old-fashioned campus forum to ensure that everyone is on the list.

I also understand that on this campus -- where I am surrounded by brilliant minds representing many academic disciplines, cultures and points of view -- it is wise to listen.

In my opinion, any good leader in 2009 must leave his or her ego at the door. I readily acknowledge the truth of Sir Isaac Newton's words.

"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants."

There is no better place in the world than the Old Dominion University community to find giant thoughts, giant dreams, giant ideas and giant aspirations.

Rest assured, however, that while I will always listen to all points of view and consider them equally, I am capable of making tough decisions.

While the federal stimulus funds, for example, have helped us offset some base reductions, address short-term operating initiatives, and mitigate tuition increases, we will need to be increasingly vigilant when it comes to making prudent expenditure decisions and building financial reserves in the coming years. We must recognize that this infusion of federal dollars is a short-term, not a long-term solution.

And as Tony Blair said, "The true art of leadership is saying no, not yes."

Allow me to make one final observation.

Over the past year, I have heard from record numbers of Old Dominion people through the enrollment management, strategic plan and institutional assessment processes.

A common question that has arisen is, "What does Old Dominion University stand for?"

As I tell you, I want to challenge everyone in this room and throughout the campus to become better advocates in helping me tell the story to elected officials, to prospective students and to our neighbors.

Without question, Old Dominion boasts an impressive line-up of award-winning faculty who use their expertise and innovative teaching methods to challenge students each and every day. In fact, more Old Dominion faculty members receive Virginia outstanding teaching awards than the faculties of nearly every other school in the Commonwealth, and that includes publics and privates.

So, we clearly stand for superb teaching!

Old Dominion has proudly become Virginia's forward-focused, public research university…. as evidenced by what we are doing in areas such as Modeling and Simulation, Bioelectrics and alternative energy…just to name a few.

So, we clearly represent cutting-edge research.

Our campus community is profoundly multi-cultural, where different views are welcomed and valued. Students from 50 states and 100 nations provide perspectives not commonly found on many college campuses.

So we clearly, represent and reflect the world our students will live and work in.

Finally, this university is a nearly $1 billion economic engine for the Hampton Roads market when you add in the value of modeling and simulation.

So, not only does Old Dominion create jobs and ideas, but it also produces the educated and trained workforce needed to move this region and its economy forward.

I want to reinvigorate our various partnerships with government, military, business and other organizations.

For example, I want us to explore being part of the exciting health-related landscape planned for Virginia Beach.

I also would like - in concert with Dr. DiCroce - to see the ODU-TCC relationship become the model to follow for schools all across the country.

I am excited to lead Old Dominion University into the future.

Board members, thank you for this honor.

And thanks to all of you for coming.

This article was posted on: May 18, 2009

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