Dr. Sethna Announces Retirement
August 15, 2012
And now the time has come for me to step aside and both permit and assist the next leader as he or she builds on the solid foundation of growth and accomplishment that began with Dr. Ingram. Jointly, we will transfer to the next president, the reins of a vibrant and living university, not an institution grown static by past accomplishments. With the continued support of faculty, staff, alumni and community, this great university will through ensuing decades compound in value to the community, state, nation and world, as our most valuable asset—the enlightened minds of our youth—climbs the ladder of leadership. We will continue to educate students and do exceptionally well at scholarly achievement, creative expression and service to humanity. We are helping to build the America of the future, one individual at a time.
My intention is to retire from my position of President of the University of West Georgia at the end of June in 2013. I intend to continue at UWG in my capacity as Professor of Business Administration.
This plan is happening at my request and on my requested time-line. Obviously, such a plan has to have approval of the Chancellor and Board. I approached the Chancellor with this plan some time ago, and I am grateful to him and the Board for supporting my request.
When I arrived at West Georgia, the prevailing opinion among many community leaders and some colleagues as well was that I would be here for a couple of years and move to a bigger, better and more prestigious place.
They were correct. I did.
Together we have created a bigger, better and more prestigious University and have come an amazing distance from the college of 1994. We have become a truly vibrant university and can jointly take pride in our accomplishments in academics, student life, facilities and sharing our story. A few months ago, Dr. John Ferling sent me a message saying, inter alia, “UWG has taken on a vibrancy that was never present a few years ago. It was a university in name only in 1996, but now it has become a real university.” I much appreciated his kind words and agreed with him. I thank him and I thank all of you for making this possible.
For a decision as complex and serious as this, there can never be only one reason. Indeed, there are several, only the top three professional reasons of which are listed below:
Of course, there are personal reasons as well.
I have worked at this job approximately 20/7/360, to the detriment of all other parts of my life. The time has come for me to realize that there actually exists a world outside of my UWG world. I particularly need to have my summers free (at least in large part) to do what I can for those less fortunate than we are. I intend to spend a substantial part of the summer working in an orphanage school called Balgram in India. For a few years, I have sponsored individual kids there and have visited them, but now I need to be able go there each summer. The plan is to live there in their spartan conditions and teach them English and science. Those who know me personally know that this has long been a promise to myself and a plan (the intent was to do this when I turned 60, but I’m way past that marker). Now, I am getting increasingly impatient with myself.
Next steps for us at UWG:
Remember, we Go West to a world of unfettered opportunity. We are blazing trails to new possibilities for scholarly achievement, creative expression and service to humanity.
Let me end this letter as I have done many, many times in the last 18 years: Thank you for all you do!
Beheruz N. Sethna, Ph.D., C.C.P.
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