First impressions count, but don’t judge a book by its cover!

Welcome to my first blog!  I chose this headline for this new communication medium as an example of the paradoxes in which we often find ourselves. It’s fitting for me because arriving just four weeks ago means that I must not only learn quickly and arrive at some early judgments in leading Middle Georgia State, but that I most do so while on a steep learning curve!

Fortunately, the campuses have been welcoming and transparent with me in my meetings during my first month and that helps the learning curve tremendously.  As I said during my initial address, I have been visiting every campus and meeting with faculty, staff and students.  This is helping me learn about MGSC’s history, strengths and challenges while allowing me to begin a conversation about where we must go from here as a unified institution if we are to realize our potential as a regional university.

One of the most visible signs of our coming together to articulate a new future is my announcement last week about the establishment of a Vision Taskforce, which we are about to convene.  This exemplifies the best of academia, namely commitment to enduring strengths while looking to a horizon view where we meet the challenges of a globally connected, digitally infused 21st century. We must do this ambitiously and with courage. This is the way we will be able to express what it means to be a university.  The social commentator Deepak Chopra put it rather well, “The more boundless your vision, the more real you are.”  As an institution, we need to be very real and very boundless.

The reason is simple: students. We are blessed every day to work with people who put their trust in us and expect us to honor their growth as persons and career builders.  That’s truly a noble task for each of us to participate in every day.  In the coming weeks I shall keep reminding us of this focus and what it means for how we do our work and what we say and do as professionals.

I thank you for your warmth and welcome to me as your president during my first month.  You have truly exemplified the truism of Southern Hospitality. I hope I can reciprocate. I also hope that collectively we will articulate our university vision while retaining that enduring sense of need and support for each other to make that vision a reality.


Christopher Blake, Ph.D.
Middle Georgia State College