I write today to shine a leadership light on the efforts of our Liza Hagerman and to invite all to keep a lookout for an upcoming brown bag talk, hopefully to be led by Liza — fingers crossed/no pressure — and consider her endorsement of the importance of all in higher education to keep “an abundance mindset.”
Liza and several others from our office attended the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) annual meeting this summer. It was a rich meeting; high-profile speakers; engaging sessions all around. Inspired by a closing plenary talk, Liza invited colleagues to sign up for the speaker’s MOOC on Coursera, and now is meeting with classmates (online around the world and in our office) to leverage the teaching in keeping with our culture of lifelong learning, openness, collaboration and professional development in Purdue University Libraries.
The author/keynote speaker: Dr. Raj Raghunathan (Texas). The MOOC: A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment. Class Central voted it the top MOOC of 2015 and one of the top 50 MOOCs of all time. The focus of Raghunathan’s keynote, with specific value for all of us in higher education: creativity, productivity and happiness are inextricably linked. Happy people are more creative and productive. More importantly, we can choose. We can see a glass not only as half full, but also as a cup overflowing.
Amid discussion of austerity measures, cutbacks and returns on investment (ROIs) in higher education, stewardship can seem like a constraint. We can easily slip into “a scarcity mindset,” where zero-sum-game thinking leads to stress, fear and hyper-competition — building a self-fulfilling and reinforcing negative feedback loop. Raghunathan and his team have clear, proven strategies for us all to keep an abundance mind-set, ascribing to notions of sharing, collaboration and investing in those around you. With less, Raghunathan helps all to do more.
Liza won grants from the AAUP and APSAC to attend the meeting. She engaged richly with the sessions and fellow attendees, and is bringing back what she learned for others’ benefit. Moreover, the particular takeaway that Liza chose to share has value for all of us — to be happier and more productive in our work-life and our life-life. That is quite an eye, and quite an example of personal leadership, in keeping with the finest ideals of Libraries: collaboration, professional development, stewardship and openness.
As Liza found this summer inspiring, I find her inspiring, and I take this chance writing the lead INSIDe article to express gratitude for her mindset. Special thanks to APSAC for their support.
Do reach out to Liza to learn more (firstname.lastname@example.org); keep an eye out for any brown bag talk she may like to organize; and learn more about Dr. Raj Raghunathan in his recent book, on Coursera, and in his blog on Psychology Today, Sapient Nature.