Friday, September 20

The Rookie Admin: Lessons Learned the First Year in Higher Ed Leadership


by Shelley Seale

Terri Givens will never forget the day that she was offered the position of Vice Provost at the University of Texas at Austin. It was September of 2006, her first year in rank as an associate professor. The university was in a period of transition, with a new President being inaugurated and other administrators moving on to new positions.

The job offer was a huge surprise. “I had no idea that I would be offered the job and wasn’t even sure how I had been in the running for it,” Givens says. “I knew this could be a life-changing situation, and I only had a few days to make a decision.”

She accepted—and while her new position at the university was interesting and meaningful, that first year was full of frustration and monumental responsibilities. Givens likens her first few months on the job to “drinking from a fire hose.”

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