Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Thomas Stafford reflects on how he adjusted to new leadership and what it was like for the university to transition to new chancellors. Interview on May 3, 2012. (3:05)


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One of the things that I tell people is that 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:03.178
as you go through your career one of the things you need to learn to do and do well 00:00:03.178 - 00:00:08.352
is to adjust to a different boss, 00:00:08.352 - 00:00:12.264
and I've worked for six chancellors here 00:00:12.264 - 00:00:16.420
and I've seen a total of eleven, including interims, 00:00:16.420 - 00:00:20.665
but I didn't report directly to all of them back in those earlier years. 00:00:20.665 - 00:00:25.303
The point is the same whether it's the chancellor or any other position 00:00:25.303 - 00:00:31.301
and that is you're going to have a different boss, several different bosses over the course of your career, 00:00:31.301 - 00:00:39.056
and not only that, those bosses are almost certainly going to be different. 00:00:39.056 - 00:00:43.722
They're going to be different in their leadership style, 00:00:43.722 - 00:00:47.619
they're going to be different in the way they operate, the way they like to operate with you, what they expect, 00:00:47.619 - 00:00:53.298
and it's important for you to very quickly develop an understanding of how your boss likes to operate and what he or she expects. 00:00:53.298 - 00:01:07.400
So of all the chancellors that I've worked with 00:01:07.400 - 00:01:13.211
some have been very clear about that, others have not been quite as clear, 00:01:13.211 - 00:01:18.262
but every single one has had a different style. 00:01:18.262 - 00:01:24.118
So what I think I've been able to do very well is to understand that style 00:01:24.118 - 00:01:32.555
and develop a relationship with those chancellors that have enabled us to work well together. 00:01:32.555 - 00:01:38.669
I mean the way I worked with one chancellor wouldn't work with another chancellor. 00:01:38.669 - 00:01:42.601
But they've all had their strengths and they've all had areas in which they were not quite as strong, and that's true of everybody, 00:01:42.601 - 00:01:50.267
I will tell you one story about Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, 00:01:50.267 - 00:01:57.246
who was one of the brightest and most intelligent persons I've ever known, 00:01:57.246 - 00:02:04.475
chancellor or otherwise. 00:02:04.475 - 00:02:07.687
I remember when I went into her office one day 00:02:07.687 - 00:02:11.909
to give her some information about 00:02:11.909 - 00:02:17.563
a program in which I wanted her to speak 00:02:17.563 - 00:02:22.582
that was something to do with student affairs, 00:02:22.582 - 00:02:26.156
and I took a sheet of paper in and the sheet was full of bullets of information that I wanted her to include in her presentation. 00:02:26.156 - 00:02:37.076
I handed it to her and she looked at it and read it and handed it back to me, 00:02:37.076 - 00:02:42.039
and I said, "Well don't you need to keep this?" 00:02:42.039 - 00:02:44.441
She said, "Oh, no, I've got it." 00:02:44.441 - 00:02:46.743
She read that page one time and everything that was on that page was in her mind. 00:02:46.743 - 00:02:51.193
She was that bright. She was pretty extraordinary. 00:02:51.193 - 00:02:58.293

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