A one-on-one session with president Larry Goodwin.
Each year at the Cable, we try to do things that we have never done before or in recent memory. That includes deciding who we should interview. Well, this past week, we were able to interview Dr. Larry Goodwin, the President of the College of St. Scholastica. Here is a look at just some of what we talked about.
Cable: "Dr. Goodwin, what other jobs have you had here at CSS since you first came here?
President Goodwin: "Well, when I first started here at CSS, I was the Dean of Faculty. After a while, I also became the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and served as both for a time. Then I served as the Interim President of the college in 1998 before being appointed as the permanent President in 1999."
Cable: "That's quite a variety of roles! What drew to you St. Scholastica?
President Goodwin: "When I first saw the school and its campus. Before coming to CSS, I taught philosophy and theology at the College of St. Catherine. Out of interest, I started to visit the North Shore area in the late 1980s. I mainly came up here to ski in the winter, and would go hiking in the summer. One day in October 1988, I decided to poke around Duluth a bit before heading back home. I drove down College Street to see UMD. Then I noticed a castle like building rising up over the hill, and wondered what it was. When I found out it was a college, I decided that if I ever moved to the area, St. Scholastica was where I would want to work. Six months later, the Dean of Faculty position opened up. I applied, and the rest is history.
Cable: "What a way to find the place you would one day work!" "What is your favorite thing about CSS today?
President Goodwin: "The sense of community that we have. You can feel it the moment you enter CSS. I am especially proud of how this community is based on shared values, both Benedictine values and values of teaching in the classroom."
Cable: "If there you could change anything about CSS right now, what would it be?"
President Goodwin: "I would accelerate towards having a more diverse and inclusive community. I would also want to make tuition as affordable as possible while still maintaining the high quality education that we offer."
Cable: "What does Dr. Goodwin enjoy doing outside of CSS?"
President Goodwin: "I like to travel a lot. I also enjoy cooking, skiing, and hiking. Really, I just like being outside and enjoying nature."
Cable: "Now for some business related questions. We recently had some problems with Twitter accounts being mean towards groups of students on campus. Megan Perry-Spears, the Dean of Students, was forced to send an e-mail to all students regarding the problem, which seems to be an ongoing thing. What are your views on the situation, and how does it make you feel?"
President Goodwin: "I am disappointed that this had to happen. I am glad to see that Megan sent out that e-mail to the students, but at the same time I am disappointed that it had to go this far. I want to see the college be a diverse and inclusive community. Stuff like this is going to happen, and you can't stop all of it, but we can take measures that will hopefully prevent things like this from happening in the future. What we really need is an honor code of sorts, because while policies are great to have, they can't do it all."
Cable: "Another problem lately has been elevator use. It seems that many students who need the use of the elevators are being forced to wait by students who are seemingly able to use the stairs instead. The Cable has even dedicated two front page stories this year alone to the problem. What would you do about this issue?"
President Goodwin: "I would encourage everyone to take the stairs when possible, and leave the elevators for those who really need them. It's healthier and adds exercise to your day. Plus, it enforces our value of community by looking out for those here at CSS who can't use the stairs and need the elevator. Sure, it's okay to use the elevator once in a while, but make sure that you really need to use it first."
Cable: "Last question. We teach five core Benedictine values here at CSS: community, hospitality, stewardship, respect, and love of learning. If you were to add one more to that list, and it does not have to be Benedictine, what would it be? Keep in mind that this value would apply every single year."
President Goodwin: "Social justice. It is important to look out for those who are in need, but we also should remember the hurting and the lonely. This is in addition to loving those who are of different ethnicity, sexual orientation, and faith. Your love for others demonstrates your love for God. It also once again enforces that idea of community here at CSS."
Cable: "Thank you for taking the time to sit down with us and do this, Dr. Goodwin."
President Goodwin: "Thank you for asking me. This was the most fun and interesting part of my day."