by Kate Dunnigan, chair, Social Sciences Department, CCRI
Thank you, Dennis.
Good morning, Judge Caprio, Commissioner Warner, President Di Pasquale, Vice Presidents Morgan, Shea, Schertz And Pullano.
I'm honored to introduce President Ray Di Pasquale to you today.
About 20 months ago, he arrived at CCRI at a very difficult time in our history.
Back then, many of us on the faculty, and certainly among department chairs, had grave concerns about the future of this institution. Administrative leadership had collapsed and the systems which run the college were troubled and ineffective.
The phrase core meltdown comes to mind.
We all knew that whoever emerged to assume the leadership of CCRI would have to possess a very special mixture of talents to succeed in moving CCRI forward.
In the relatively brief period Ray has been president, he has demonstrated an artistry for leadership. I have had the pleasure of working with him on a couple of projects and, frequently, I've had occasion to observe his work with others.
Ray is a great persuader. I, for example, don't know of anyone else who could have convinced me to chair the governance committee! ( if you'll indulge me in a sports metaphor, that was like becoming the president of the Johnny Damon fan club, Boston chapter.)
For many months the governance team camped outside of Ray's office in the conference room.. Work sessions lasted typically four hours, sometimes longer. Ray would come by as he went about his daily business, offer encouragement, and then he'd be on his way. Taking a page from Patton's book, he obviously saw the wisdom in not telling people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results.
President Di Pasquale is respectful of our achievements. He meets us where we are, honors our past while working to guide the future. His pride in this college is the real deal. Ray is inspired and his enthusiasm is contagious.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the word most frequently heard among faculty about Ray Di Pasquale and that word is trust. A refreshing spirit of good will has returned.
Fortunately for me, Ray encourages dissent even if it's uncomfortable. We don't agree on everything; and I don't expect we will agree on everything in the future, but we do agree that dissent is the necessary ingredient of conciliation. Dissent promotes the creativity and innovation so crucial to our institutional life.
Finally, Ray has an ability to identify patterns and interrelationships, not just static groups. He understands the culture which is CCRI. Of course, he is still learning the subtle and unique interconnections of this place he has chosen to call home for at least the next couple of years, but Ray is certainly a quick study and my hope is that we will reap the rewards of his many talents for a long time to come.
So, without further ado, please welcome President Ray Di Pasquale.