February 14, 2016
We are people of privilege and have the opportunity to work for an amazing institution, Penn State University. The mission of the university is noble. As a community, we are dedicated to educating students from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world, and improving the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. This is public service at its best.
The public place their trust in us to do the very best job that we can with their tax dollars. However, as public (or partially public) servants our work is directly impacted by the political process. Sometimes the public through their elected officials provide greater funding for our work and at other times less. Sometimes the political process asks us to do our jobs on one foot holding a lightbulb in our outstretched hand or balancing on ladder. Regardless of the conditions, our job is to strive to serve the public to the best of our ability using the resources given.
A friend of mine once encouraged me to take a job with industry. He told me how my talents would be used to make a profit for a lucky company. What he didn’t understand is that at my core I am a public servant and I don’t want my life to be about making money. Here at Penn State I feel that my desire to be a public servant is in perfect alignment with my current job. I serve the public through serving the department and the college. It is truly a privilege to be working in this capacity.
Thus, as the political process proceeds, we do what public servants do. We will keep watering plants, writing grants, serving producers, and educating students with the vigor and rigor that we are known for. This is the time to dig deep and to really excel at what we do. I encourage everyone to move forward with positive energy, focus on the job at hand, and hope the state government soon will do the same.
Happy Valentines Day, Carolee