By Spencer White
Incoming Albion College president Mauri Ditzler is looking to engage directly with students, staff and faculty in his upcoming term, and plans to do so by living among them on campus.
Ditzler lives on campus at Monmouth College, of which he currently serves as president, and he says living on-campus provides opportunities to be involved with campus life in ways living off-campus does not.
“Whether one is the president, a faculty member or a student, there is great value in unexpected conversations that occur between classes, after meals and on evening walks,” Ditzler said. “Residential campuses like Albion were created to maximize the number and quality of chance encounters of students with students and of students with faculty members. Whether as a student or a faculty member or eventually as a president, I have found that I learn more and enjoy life more on campus than anyplace else.”
Ditzler added that living on campus is not only a personal preference, but also his way to become part of the Albion community, something he believes will serve him well professionally.
“The more time I spend on campus the better I know students,” Ditzler said. “I am a better fund-raiser, a better recruiter and a better planner when I understand the day-to-day life of students.”
The proximity of on-campus life will also serve to promote relations between the college and the community, according to Ditzler.
“Colleges like Albion were created to serve their host communities,” Ditzler said. “We owe it to our founders to fulfill this mission even as we imagine changing the broader world. I hope that Albion will be a national model for the synergy that can exist between a host community and its college. We won’t do that if we ignore each other. I can’t help with that effort if I am isolated from either community.”
Ditzler assumes his post on July 1, 2014.
Photo courtesy of Albion College