To some, collaboration is the glue that holds an organization together. It provides employees. supervisors, reports, and subordinates the synergy needed to accomplish effective action efficiently. For others, collaboration creates the warmth of connectedness that is so vital to riding out the rough spots which appear on the path of progress.
At Oakwood collaboration is a core value—one of our critical seven. Here is how we framed it during our strategic planning sessions of 2015:
Collaboration: Oakwood commits to integrated planning, internal and external partnering, and collegial action designed to build community and advance our mission.
At Oakwood that collaboration takes place locally, nationally, and internationally. Let me illustrate a recent example of how Oakwood University is collaborating at the international level.
When I arrived on campus in 2011 and began as president of Oakwood University, I felt impressed that it was important to assist our university in the globalization of experiences and perspectives. What I particularly wanted for our faculty was increased currency in national and international exposures and experiences, which would in turn enrich the classroom experiences of our students. A natural partner in this process became our outreach to African Adventist Universities, and so we started the journey.
We identified when the leadership of 16 African institutions would be all in one space, at the East Africa Division meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, and we made the pitch—“let’s join together to identify how we can exchange faculty, share perspectives, and work across the Diaspora for the common goals of our educational enterprises.” To make a long story short, we drew up Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), signed the agreements, and we were off and running.
In this issue, you will read about the newly formed Career Connections Center, a collaboration between our Employee Services and Student Employment offices. You will also read about the reorganization of the Division of Mission, Enrollment Services and Retention. And, of course, we are continuing with our Faces of Oakwood feature.
We trust that you will be blessed as you reunite and fellowship with friends during Alumni Homecoming Weekend.
Thank you for what you have done for Oakwood University, and for what you will do for us in the future. I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with you during this time of earth’s history.