Managing by Storytelling – It Goes Both Ways

We have a new and interim president at our university.  He likes to tell stories.  This is an effective management technique  (see Managing by Storying Around) and teaching technique (see Teaching with Story: Classroom Connections to Storytelling) as well.  It needs to go both ways.

I have always advocated that university administrators should teach a class or two a year, preferably an entry level course of some type.  This way the administrator would get a real sense for the university’s students and the challenges its faculty face.  If this is not practicable, my idea would be for the president, in this case, to solicit teaching stories from the faculty – maybe along the lines of the “A Year of Nights of Wondering” stories I have posted here. (I, II, III, IV, V, and VI).  In my experience we, the teaching faculty, don’t get to share our daily experiences often enough and certainly a president needs to stay closely in touch with the university’s primary activity – teaching. We have lots of stories.


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
This entry was posted in Classroom Happenings, Rants, Teaching and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Managing by Storytelling – It Goes Both Ways

  1. suszann says:

    Good to hear listening is back in the equation.

  2. mworfolk says:

    What a great post. How often have I wished a college administrator or a decision-maker in the Ministry of Advanced Education would come to my classroom and see what it’s really like. I feel like there is so often a wide chasm between the reality of the classroom and the perceived reality that drives policy and budget decisions.

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