Voice on the record with President DeGioia
Late last August, Voice Editor-in-Chief Julia Tanaka interviewed Georgetown University President John DeGioia (COL ’79) about his tenure as President of the University and his thoughts on a wide range of issues.
DeGioia touched on his vision of Georgetown, the various construction projects around campus, the relationship with the neighborhood, the satellite campus, and more.
Read below the jump for a full transcript of the interview.
The Voice: You said you had some opening thoughts?
DeGioia: I’ve been thinking about what it means for me to be at this point in my service here. I think about it in terms of three categories. The first one is the identity of the institution, the second is the fundamentals of the place, and the third is the future and how we’re thinking about it. And as I think about the identity–there are five elements to our identity. We lead with these whenever we talk about this place. The first and foremost is, however you want to think about universities, whether you think about it in terms of the graduates’ activities, or research capacity, or U.S. News and World Report rankings, however you want to think about it, we have the incredible good fortune to be included with the very best universities in the world. And what a place for us to be. There’s an expectation that you, as a student, your parents, our faculty, we have of each other of the quality of what we’re trying to achieve. And that’s been incredible.
The Voice: I listen to NPR a lot, and the number of times I hear “and that was professor blank, who teaches at Georgetown University is amazing. I know NPR’s headquarters are in Washington, so it’s convenient for them, but it’s still impressive.
DeGioia: But as I look at that over the course of these last 13 years, I’ve realized that we have extraordinary students, extraordinary faculty who do incredible work here, and, if I’m proud of anything, it’s that I’m part of a community in which that work is taking place. And it’s at as high of a level as it’s ever been in our history, and I feel really good about that.
I think there are other dimensions to it. We’re here in Washington. We were founded eight months before the Republic itself. We’ve kind of grown up with this city and with this nation. And I think our engagement with the city is deeper and more profound. Our neighborhood partnership, our expansion of our Law center Campus, our continuing studies program, the new McCourt School give us the resources to engage in the work of Washington. Our work with Forest City in the city of Washington in terms of finding the next place for the growth and development of the University. All those pieces are very, very strong and can bring the whole community together in working on them. It’s been pretty exciting.
We’re an international place. You are as great of a reference to that as we could have. 130 plus countries are represented in the student body. Over the last 15 years we’ve really tried to come to terms with what it means to be global as, perhaps, differentiated in some ways from international. And our campus in Doha, our Law Center program in London, the expansion of the network of relationships that we’re a part of, are all a reflection of our effort to engage globalization. We’ve been at the table for virtually all of the important conversations about global higher education.
Fourth, we’re Catholic and Jesuit, and we interpret that in a way that has been–in a Georgetown way since 1789. And here we are 225 years later. We certainly have critics, but, I think, if you look at the breadth of what we do, the fact that we’ve just built a new retreat center to meet the expectations and demands of our students. And we have the largest campus ministry program in the country. We are the first American university to have a full-time imam, the first Catholic to have a full-time rabbi. The respect that we show to one another on the basis of our religious traditions I think is a unique dimension of this place.
The Voice: I would definitely agree. I think it’s a great representation of how I felt about the Jesuit identity when I first came to Georgetown, that it was open and accepting. Being at a school with Spanish nuns was a very different environment. But you mentioned critics, and we’re being taken to canon court. Do you have any perspective on that?
DeGioia: I feel very confident representing the University in what we do.
The Voice: I would as well. I guess it’s just that, according to Ex Corde Ecclesiae we’re breaking a lot of rules.
DeGioia: No, actually we’re not. Just 10 years ago, on the tenth anniversary of Ex Corde, Cardinal Wuerl and I began the process of reviewing the University’s adherence to the document and he was very comfortable in supporting that, as was his predecessor 10 years ago, Cardinal McCarrick. So, in my years in this job, we’ve had strong support for the institution. So, as I said, I feel very comfortable representing this university in any context, regarding our Catholic and Jesuit identity. It’s our imagination, our way of interpreting what this tradition demands of us as a university.
The Voice: I suppose that I am relying more on the Father King Society’s definition with the whole requirements of the staff and the faculty and how two theology courses don’t constitute meeting the requirements. Of course, I don’t agree with that. I was just wondering what you thought, but, of course, you seem very confident about it.
DeGioia: I feel very good about what we do here. I’m very proud of it. And I’d add to those four a fifth, which is we do this as a community. And the richness of this community, I think, has never been more vibrant. So I feel privileged to be at a place in which, I think, along each of those categories, those elements, we’re actually stronger today than we’ve been. And it’s the work of our community. And I just feel privileged to be a part of that community.
The fundamentals are sort of a different matter. When I started in this role, we were really challenged. It was a very difficult time. The changing dynamics of healthcare economics in this region are that we sold our hospital in June of 2000. The implications of that, for the next couple of years, were very difficult. It was a very tough financial time. But I would say that over those few years, we were able to get things turned around in a very effective way. And on the key fundamentals, we are the healthiest we’ve ever been economically.
We’ve been able to raise, roughly, $2 billion over this period, the most in our history. We’ve been able to sustain our commitment to faculty salaries and faculty salary growth, which was a 10-year plan and we’re now in a five-year plan. We’ve been able to develop these plans and sustain commitments to them. We’ve been able to sustain need-blind, full-need. And there are only 22 schools which are members of the 568 group, which is committed to sustaining this policy.
We’ve done almost $1 billion worth of capital infrastructure. That was a key issue when I started. We were just beginning the construction of the Southwest Quadrangle, which was a prerequisite to being able to do anything else. We had to add residential beds in order to do another academic building. We knew we wanted to do performing arts, a new science building, a new home for the business school, a new intercollegiate athletic center. If we could get the residence halls up, we could move on those. But then we had to raise the money for each one of them. But we’re gonna break ground on the weekend of September 12 on the last of those projects.
The Voice: The campus, just on its face, has shifted a lot over your tenure. I did an architecture feature and I spoke to Mr. Alan Brangman, who now sits on the OGB, maybe on the other side of the table.
DeGioia: He’s a very fair man.
The Voice: Having attended a fair number of OGB meetings, over my time as the blog editor, I definitely agree.
DeGioia: He was on our side of the table for many years. I recruited Alan to join our team here back in the mid 90s.
The Voice: He designed the Southwest Quad and it feels like it’s been there for years. It feels like a very organic part of the campus.
DeGioia: That’s the nicest compliment we get, that it feels like it’s been there forever.
The Voice: So speaking of construction, it’s a very ambitious year we’ve got ahead of us.
DeGioia: We’re going to have to hold together as a community this year. We’re bringing closure to one [project] in the next ten days or so, which is the Healy Family Student Center. I’m going to get my walkthrough tomorrow, so I can’t wait to see it. In addition to that, we have the two residence halls and the intercollegiate athletic center.
The Voice: The two of them have been different projects [the residence halls and the athletic center] because the residence halls were sort of–
DeGioia: They came as a result of our campus planning process. IAC has been on the books for about 40 years *laughs.*
The Voice: Right, and it’s been coming together and it’s been slow in funding and it finally got approved.
DeGioia: Well the truth is we really couldn’t move on the intercollegiate athletic center until we had achieved our first priorities, which were the performing arts center, the science building, and the business school building. We weren’t going to move on the intercollegiate athletic center until we had completed those three projects. We couldn’t do those three projects until we did the Southwest Quadrangle.
Now that we’ve finished that, the intercollegiate athletic center became our next priority. And, once it became our next priority, we were moving forward. I know, for some, they would say “oh, fits and starts on this project.” But, truth be told, there was no project until we got those academic buildings done. But the residence halls, those are new. Those weren’t in our imagination when we were planning this period, and it really came out of a combination of our academic planning and our campus planning. We’re kind of betting the ranch on the idea that place matters and that there will continue to be an incredible demand into–we’re looking at 225 more years–that there will be an incredible demand for residential learning communities, like the one we have here.
So, as we wrestled with the demands of the campus planning process, and as we achieved some of our infrastructure goals, we asked “what else could we do?” We were enthusiastic about adding more residential capacity. We think, actually, that that’s very valued in our community. So we’re not hesitant or reluctant about those projects. We’re very excited.
The Voice: There was a lot of student feedback on the Northeast Triangle.
DeGioia: Oh, I’ll say.
The Voice: So, to you, what does student engagement look like and how has it shifted over your tenure?
DeGioia: That’s a great question. What I’d like to be able to do is give you a better perspective than just my years in this role. I go back–just the other night I was at an alumni event and I had a chance to say some words about Charlie Deacon, who had introduced me. Charlie just celebrated his 50 reunion from Georgetown. I commented that it’s my 40 from when I received my letter from Charlie admitting me into the University. And so, I can go back that far and say that the nature of student engagement tracks two different points for the University. One is the kinds of things that you and your generation did to be here. You made choices when you were in the fourth grade that, if you hadn’t made those choices, you wouldn’t be here. You just lived a life that ensured that you had the opportunity to be at one of the world’s great universities. And the consequence of that is that you have, I think, an investment in this place that is profound. And so we recognize that. We don’t presume that we make moves here without finding the most appropriate ways of soliciting and engaging the insights and reflections of our students as we try to move forward.
I think the second thing is, when I arrived as a freshman, there was room for the first year class and about 600 upperclassmen on campus. We didn’t have a lot of room. And now we’ll be able to house three full years plus. We’ll be at 90 percent by the time we’re done with this. I think when you live in a place, you’re connected to it in ever-deeper ways. So I just think that the significance of student engagement has never been more significant than it is now. The importance of it, the meaning of it has never been greater than it is right now. And we have to acknowledge and respect that as a leadership team.
I would say that, by the time I started in this job, it was pretty profound. I wouldn’t say it is significantly different today, but it’s just as significant.
The Voice: Students, I feel, at this university have had a history of not being engaged only in University affairs but also bringing outside issues to campus. So, for instance, the Voice was founded because of a disagreement between the editors of The Hoya about coverage of the Vietnam War protests on campus. And Georgetown Solidarity has brought the issue of adjunct professors and their pay to the University. And I feel that one of the benefits of having students with so many different interests that come from so many different backgrounds is that they bring issues in. But, on the other hand, I feel like, at the beginning of last academic year, there was the satellite campus issue and there was the One Georgetown, One Campus thing and many students felt like, or, rather, complained that they felt like there was a disconnect, that they didn’t know quite how to convey their ideas to the administration.
DeGioia: I think it was mutual in the sense that my colleagues who were working these issues within the administration were trying to determine what would be the most effective way to engage. I think there was good faith. I think the evidence of that is how it evolved over the course of the year. So I think it’s probably natural that there will be moments of tension because we’re a community trying to negotiate complex issues. And as long as we never forget that we’re a community that needs to come out of this together, I think we end up usually in pretty good places.
The Voice: So do you think the administration’s perspective has shifted after dealing with the [satellite campus issue]?
DeGioia: What I would say is don’t think of an administration as an abstraction. It’s comprised of living, breathing human beings. Some of them, who were engaged in that work, were new to the University. Some had not worked within the context of the University. Others were old veterans and they missed the opportunity to advise or counsel or make a suggestion. Or they did what wasn’t understood or heard. So I think that what you have is a group of colleagues who have been able to develop a deeper understanding of and a deeper appreciation for how we work together as a community.
The Voice: Right, I guess that as a student body we all have a few very strongly held and common belief and trust in the fact that the administration, the group of colleagues has our best interests at heart and that it’s disconcerting when there is a disconnect like that. When students felt like it was important. It was that this campus, as you said, living near, around, or on it was so vital, it was the beating heart of what it meant to be a Hoya. And the idea that the administration or the planning process would involve separating two communities, I felt that many students felt confused. They were surprised that something they felt was so clear to them was not clear to the people who were engaged in the planning process.
And I would like to, in that vein, say that the 2010 Campus Plan has squeezed us in many ways. Not that we weren’t attempting to house more students on campus, but the 385 beds by the fall of 2015 is constraining. And the Northeast Triangle has made its progress.
DeGioia: We’re a work in progress *laughs.*
The Voice: I mean, hey, every building starts with a three-foot high wall. But how do you feel about our relationship with the neighborhood? I mean there’s obviously been a very strong push to keep us and our cheap beer on campus, with the new alcohol policy, the reversal of the keg ban, the increased residences. And then in addition to that there are the patrols off campus and whatnot. So, at the same time that we try to partner with the community there’s also–I’d say that “antagonism” is too strong of a word–but there are disagreements between student life and the way that the Burleith and West Georgetown residents feel that their neighborhood should be. So could you comment on that?
DeGioia: There is a burden that comes. With the great, great strengths of Georgetown, we are in this residential place. And the strength of place is something that I think is felt by everybody. When you’re coming in from the airport and you see the Healy spires. When you’re walking in the neighborhood and you walk onto campus, you know you’re home. The campus is just spectacular. And then we’re in this just incredible neighborhood. I mean, find another university in a better neighborhood than the one we’re in. And then find a better city! I mean, I love all the other cities, but this one is really special. So you got this campus, this neighborhood, this city. And one of the burdens that we have is that to benefit from all of that, it does require recognition of the expectations of those around us. Now, sometimes, in the past, we have felt that they were unreasonable. And they have certainly felt that our responses were insufficient. But I think that what we experienced in 2010, and I don’t think it;s just that we were more sensitive or more aware–we’ve been listening and been engaged for many, many years.
But I think there’s a convergence of things that happened in these last few years that are important to recognize. I mean we were on a trajectory to get the science building back, after the business school, after the performing arts, after the beds that we put in place in South West Quad. We were able to start to think a little bit differently about academic planning and part of what we’ve been wrestling with is what does it mean for us to try to be who we really are into the future? It wasn’t hard for us to get alignment around residential beds, around residence halls. We don’t have a lot of room so it was hard for us to figure out where to put them. So we started with the Leavey Conference Center and we tried a lot of different things, recognizing that we had a very difficult hurdle that we needed to get over, but getting over it wasn’t as hard as trying to figure out academically how to make our academic planning more residential with where we actually were as an institution.
So that I think we were moving forward on science. That’s just a proxy for me for saying we could explore other things. Until we got that done, we were very focused. We didn’t know if we had the capacity. We delayed the construction on science, once we were able to go because of financial crisis. But then once we had the confidence and then we got in this grant, off we went. It’s a combination of a convergence of things. We really appreciate that we’re in this neighborhood. We value that very much. So we know we go to find the most appropriate way to work with our colleagues and our neighbors. It’s never been better than it is right now. And that’s quite an achievement of our students and of our senior leadership.
The Voice: I think there are fewer conflicts because of measures that have been put in place such as SNAPS and of course the CAG has their own–
DeGioia: I think it’s deeper though cause we’ve had some of that over the years. I think we have reached a place where we’re believable. We trust one another that when we say something, we are going to honor it. It took us a long time to get there for our neighbors to believe that we were true. When we moved SCS downtown, I’m not sure they knew, were we really going to pull that program together? Well, it’s turned out to be a fantastic achievement for us because it’s so much more valuable for the city, for our students, and for the community for us to be there. We probably couldn’t have wrapped our head around that if we hadn’t finished science.
The Voice: Well reading back to when the 2010 Campus Plan was the hot topic of the day, it feels like there was a lot of conflict I suppose. You know Jennifer Altemus and the neighborhood groups, they felt very, very strongly about student activity. And there was the guy who photographed people, I guess I’m not so interested in the tension there.
DeGioia: I would say though, all through that period we were talking to one another. There’s a mutual respect. Many of them are alums.
The Voice: Jennifer Altemus, for instance *laughs.*
DeGioia: There’s a mutual respect that was never lost. It was a question of what we were capable of. And we had to figure that out and it took a lot of work on our part that we could handle a move of SCS downtown, that we could take this space across from the Reiss science building and place a dorm there. We out a tremendous amount of work, but honestly I think our imagination was freed. The achievements of our community over the course of the previous decade or so.
The Voice: So identity, fundamentals and then you said future. I’d like to ask you what are a couple goals you have in mind for the coming year?
DeGioia: Sure. I think one of the more exciting things, have you been to the Red House? Have you heard of the Red House? This is a summer project. Its one of our town houses and the living room was made into a design studio. It engaged our faculty and colleagues and advancing the work of Designing the Futures. So Designing the Futures we launched last November. It was our effort to really come to terms with what are the way which we as a university really need to innovate and experiment and develop a new kinds of ways of being a university, recognizing these instructive forces that are defining this moment of education, technology, globalization, the demand for new kinds of models for education that might have a different cost structure, the support for research. We launched this effort, faculty have lead this effort, and have come up with an array of exciting ideas of what we might be able to do with courses, curriculum, design, and it’s being lead by our Vice Provost Randy Bass, who before this lead our center for new design and scholarship. He is really a global leader in thinking about learning. And I got a chance to get a briefing on Sunday night and it’s incredibly inspiring so what I’m hoping for is we as a community will continue the work we do everyday and we’ll embrace the work of engaging the future, recognizing that–
The Voice: And a lot of it I feel has to come from students. It has to be a grass roots.
DeGioia: The fight was in a student house.
The Voice: Right, students get together and they form an organization like the Solidarity Committee or Fossil Free, or what have you, and I feel this ties in with the free speech policy. So I was wondering if I could get your perspective on that last year and especially over this past GUSA campaign, it was quite an issue and on the way the policy is worded, and while Dr. Olson, and Nate Tisa reached an agreement over the MOU they signed in the spring, I feel like many students are still not quite clear or don’t understand what our standards are in a free speech realm so could you outline them in a concise manner?
DeGioia: Sure, I chaired the committee that drafted them in 1989, that’s just a wrong number. It met for a couple years form ‘86-‘89 that produced the document and I guess what I’d say are three things. First, our committee is committed to the widest form of speech and expression. We do not limit speech either on the content being expressed or the person expressing the point of view and we have defended the form here under some very difficult circumstances over the years. We are committed to the spirit of the first amendment that this will be a place of the widest range of speech and expression. Number 2, it’s a living, breathing document. It was never to be set in stone. It was to be evaluated and reevaluated for how effective it was for providing for that kind of context. And to go with that, we created a committee on speech and expression which has been meeting regularly since 1989 and that committee offers the person responsible for that policy, which is the Vice President for Student Affairs. At the time when I did all that work, I was in that role. But it gives the VP for Student affairs a working group of which he can bring ideas, challenges. This occurred at another university what would we do if it happened here? How should we guide our students if they think about this kind of issue rather than that kind of issue? And third, as I understood it, one of the challenges that emerged was in no way intended as a sort of a definitive constraint. It was intended as a positive at the time because that was the spirit in ‘89 that there was one place that you don’t even have to worry about even talking to anybody about going to speak and that was Red Square. Now as I learned last spring and I learned this from students and from Todd that there was an interesting spanning beyond that.
The Voice: That’s what I was getting at. I don’t think students are afraid to express themselves.
DeGioia: I haven’t noticed *laughs.*
The Voice: I don’t think that students would ever dream that their speech in red square, for instance, unless it was inherently you know–I mean the first amendment comes with responsibility, as Uncle Ben in Spiderman would say.
DeGioia: I have seen every one of those movies this summer. My son is going through the whole X man series right now. Woo!
The Voice: Don’t worry, it gets better, having two brothers myself *laughs.* I think people were worried more about the physical constraint, rather than the imaginary.
DeGioia: Again I think that’s just it, again, living breathing, it was not intended to be a physical constraint, it was thought of as being an opener. Originally but as it became interpreted, it was viewed differently. I think the work that Nate and Dr. Olson did last year was terrific. I think that if students have confusion, I think that can be corrected pretty quickly because that work is all finished. And some conversations have opened up spaces that actually didn’t exist. Two of them I think were the baseball field. And the baseball field has been gone for 14 years, but when we finish the construction of what is now a new quadrangle there’s no reason that you can expand the spaces. I thought they’d be great work of trying to figure out how this document resonates with the current moment.
The Voice: Student perspective is that there should be no constraints in that fact that every area should be–
DeGioia: Back to your responsibilities piece, that one of the phrases that we work through very carefully is that it can’t obstruct the fundamental work of the institution, which is teaching and research.
The Voice: Of course, I’m not suggesting that people should be able to do this in classrooms.
DeGioia: Well even some venues can be problematic for faculty teaching nearby so that’s why there were some constraints placed on it, not for any other reason.
The Voice: For instance library walk, no one teaches there or in front of Leo’s.
DeGioia: In this point you’re in the weeds. And I know Dr. Olson and Nate worked through this, and the committee has worked through what made sense, residential, learning, safety, so there could be other factors that have gone into the designation. But I don’t think there’s been a constraint on anybody speaking.
The Voice: One more question, let’s prioritize. Let’s talk about the Capital Campaign. So I did research for a student debt piece. This has been a big year for money on student debt. What would the donation from Mr. McCourt as well as the capital campaign, we’re really looking to expand. Well, Mr. McCourt’s donation was designated for a specific purpose, but the capital campaign, I spoke to Paul O’Neill and we’re really trying to expand our endowment, so to speak. And after this capital campaign concludes, what purpose do you think that will serve? I’ve seen the fiscal year plans from ’13-14, ‘14-‘15 and it includes, I mean these were plans, but these included raise in fees for Yates, included decrease in faculty raises, I mean it included–
DeGioia: We’ve sustained our faculty salary.
The Voice: Maybe that was a past plan and not a–It’s been a while since I’ve looked at it.
DeGioia: For almost 15 years now, we’ve been able to sustain the faculty salary plan.
The Voice: I was mistaken on that point, but there have been certain fees levied on students, where I mean many of us are able to accommodate that, but perhaps at some expense. I mean not just a literal expense. It’s difficult to deal with a rising tuition, which has been an issue across the country, not just at Georgetown. And considering the simultaneous attempt to use some of the capital campaign money to bring in more students, to be used for student scholarships, while at the same time levying a higher tuition on existing students, I feel like there’s a contradiction there or tension there.
DeGioia: Okay, so let me differentiate between a few different things. So the capital campaign is our philanthropic effort to secure the support of our community. Any campaign will typically break down into three categories in the end. About a third, 35 percent will go to endowment. About 15 percent will go to Bricks and Warner, and 50 percent go to current use activities. So $1.5 billion campaign. Our hope is that $500 million will go into the endowment in the course of the impact of this campaign. We had four goals in this campaign. Our first is to raise a third of the goal, $500 million, for scholarships, a third for faculty support, and then the remaining third is in two parts: Bricks and Warner and then transformative opportunities. The McCourt gift is a transformative opportunity. The Global Environmental Initiative is a transformative opportunity, the Dahlgren Chapel renovation, the tree house, those were capital infrastructure projects, the Healy student center, so we’re doing very well across this campaign. We’re $1.3 billion.
We’ve got two years to go. Knock on wood. Embedded in that, is an effort to ensure that we sustain our effort to need blind. Since ’08, we were the third most expensive school in the country in ’08. The bands are small, so I’m not going to go crazy on this point but we’re not in the top 65 now. So we’ve topped out of any ranking, they ranked the top 65 and we weren’t in it. That was cause we made the choice to make the lowest tuition raises in our history. And ‘09, ‘10, ‘11 ‘12 ‘13. We were for three of those years, we were below 3 percent. The average in higher ed was over 4 percent. So it had an impact. That’s why we dropped out of the top tier. So it’s been out of a profound respect for our families that we were not going to sustain a level of growth, as high as we had had, but there’s been growth nevertheless.
So right now, our current economic model has essentially about half our students paying the full cost, half of our students receiving substantial financial aid or as a group they receive substantial financial aid so $110 million. And I’d say about half of our students receive about a third of the form of Georgetown scholarships. And about half our students are borrowing. We require borrowing at the level of 17-5. The average borrowing is higher. People are choosing to borrow more. We don’t believe that they have to, but people make financial decisions all the time and the average is higher than 17-5 but we do think it’s still reasonable. It’s still below the national average of 29. Ours is closer to 25. And when we think about what our students are doing, we think we’re in a reasonable framework on the borrowing. We have almost no default on our students.
The Voice: Yes, Georgetown students have a very low default rate. I think it’s below 1 percent.
DeGioia: Absolutely, I mean this is the hardest–we could spend the rest of the day talking about this. The engine that enables us to run this place as an economic model that is characterized by these elements. We are acutely sensitive to every cell on a spread sheet, in terms of where fees, where tuition, where borrowing, where grant, student support, scholarship support, how many hours of work study. So what I’m proudest of over these years is that we’ve been able to sustain this need blind, full need where only 22 other schools, or 22 total are a part of our group.
The Voice: Of course we should stay committed. I would happily pay full tuition two times over if we were able to stay committed to that, but how are we going to increase the socioeconomic diversity of the campus, if we are going to have 50 percent of the campus paying full tuition?
DeGioia: Well that’s the model. You won’t find that different at many places. There are a handful of schools, I could probably name the four of them together, who are doing better than we’re doing.
The Voice: I mean it’s difficult to compete with Yale’s $22 billion and Harvard’s–
DeGioia: Well that’s the key of our place. While the fundamentals are stronger than they’ve ever been, we do engage in this work under conditions of scarcity that are different than most of the other schools that we compete with, that we’re aligned with. And that’s a defining characteristic. It’s a hard place to be an administrator. It’s a hard place to be responsible as a department chair, as a program leader, as a dean, it’s a hard place because we don’t have the wealth of some of our peers. But we have other things that are enabling us to provide an extraordinary place, most of it is the spirit of our community. You and your colleagues: you want this to be a great place.
The Voice: I agree.
DeGioia: And you make it a great place.
The Voice: Thank you. Yes, 30 second answer: what do you think is the role of the student media for the student body in communicating with yourself and other administrators?
DeGioia: You know, it’s invaluable. If we didn’t have you, we’d have to invent you. We take it so seriously that we invented the media board. I was responsible back in the 80s to provide a framework to sustain the support and secure, I think it can be–some of the folks you point to in our greater network after graduation all got their start here. It compliments our academic programs in ways that are so profoundly meaningful, that if we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t know. All I can say is thank you!