Note: This column was written for the Anderson School Paper, the Anderson Exchange, for this week.
So far I am two for two in beer busts this quarter. Last quarter beer busts barely saw me, but this quarter I have cleverly scheduled a class which ends at five on Thursday, and I have even more cleverly finished field study. Beer me!
Last week at beer bust I was particularly pleased to see Dean Willison wandering around, clad in a UCLA letterman jacket no less! I realized that I was particularly pleased because, frankly, I have had pretty much zero contact with the dean. Not that I have any contact with him now, but it's like watching television - the more I see Wolf Blitzer, the more I feel like I know him.
There is a certain mystique about the dean, at least as far as I am concerned. He's the top guy, but my lack of contact with him leaves him as a sort of nebulous yet powerful figure. Kind of like Moses, or Warren Buffett, or Alan Greenspan. Though I think I see Alan Greenspan more often.
Of course, my lack of intimacy with the dean is entirely my fault. I certainly haven't made efforts to get to know him, or even to attend events he is holding. Shocking, I know, but hey - have *you*? Hmm? (If the answer is "yes" or "yes, and I've met his wife, too", bully for you. This column is about the rest of us.)
I would submit that the dean is actually rather accessible, only most of us full-time MBAs are not making the time to attend the Dean's Forum, or to drop by his office, or take him down to the links, or something. Now, far be it from me to suggest a change in behavior for the entire student body. So I would like to humbly submit the following ideas as possible ways to increase Student-Dean interaction:
1) Give extra credit for knowing pertinent Dean Facts. "So, Mr. Rakov, what do you think the best way for Land Rover to approach this market is? Use numbers." "Um. Er. I know that Dean Willison joined First Interstate in 1979 and was with then until 1996." "Hum. Good enough."
2) Create "Bruce Night", a beer bust where all students are issued lighters, and at the correct time begin chanting "Bruuuuuce!" and holding aloft the lighters. Note that the correct time is after the students have consumed enough beer to enjoy doing so, but not enough that they are likely to set each other on fire.
3) Introduce cold-calling at the Dean's Forum. Now, hold on - not cold-calling of the *students*. I am as much in favor of cold-calling students as I am in favor of Roma deciding they can get by with one fewer counterperson at lunchtime. I mean cold calling of the *faculty*. I would damn near pay to see certain faculty (and you know who you are) be suddenly asked "So, does anyone have an explanation for why we our alumni ranking dropped last year? How about you, professor?" Tell them their grade depends on it.
And speaking of the Forum...
4) Strippers. Hey, it's a big enough stage. And remember, 70% of the Anderson Student body is male! Of course, if there were *three* strippers, then one of them could be a guy. I just bet attendance would skyrocket.
Well, that's it. And remember, although I have suggested changes for the dean to implement, I did so because it was the easiest way to get a cheap laugh. The real onus of change here is on you. Go out of your way to introduce yourself, to say "hi". To find out where he came by his letterman jacket. Make the effort.
And, if the effort does wind up involving strippers, let me know.
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