Insight for President Munson, on His Inauguration

The beginning of any academic year is full of excitement, wonder, and change. This academic year at RIT started with an additional change as a new “Top Tiger” took the helm, Dr. David Munson.

I realized that the start to this chapter in Dr. Munson’s career is not so different from the new journey our incoming students embarked upon in August. Here are some pieces of advice* I have collected that are meant for new students but I think resonates well as Dr. Munson starts his new role.

  • “Focus! Connect! Balance! Focus on setting a foundation that will propel you to success. You do that by being organized and purposeful in your reason, planning, and passion. Connect and stay connected to your family, friends, and all that is positive in your life; jettison the people, places, or things that are not! Balance it all with an attention to your health, your nutrition, your sleep, and yes have fun from time to time, but you came here to excel, and excel you will if you believe in yourself and stay focused, connected, and balanced!”
  • “I expect that this next chapter will transform your life. But here is the catch: You have to own your journey. This is your time to determine who you are and what you are made of, not anyone else’s. Only you are responsible and accountable for the outcomes of your experiences. So go out and search, get out of your comfort zone and embrace what is both in front of and available to you, even if you do not completely understand it. This is why we call it a personal journey.”
  • “The first year is hard and a shock to the system but it gets easier. Take advantage of every facet of life on campus. Try everything and open yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. Be nice to the kid on your hall who doesn’t seem to have any friends. A little gesture goes a long way.”

Additionally, the staff at RIT have some words of wisdom for our new President:

  • Whenever you can, step away from your office, computer, to do list, etc. and walk around campus. This will be a great reminder about what makes RIT so special and what we all really value about this university: diversity, a spirited community, passionate conversations, projects, “quirky” sights and sounds, community members volunteering, and playing. – Jennifer Hinton, MAGIC Center
  • As you embark on your tenure as President of RIT, we suggest that you measure any major changes against the established culture. Change is great and as the University steps further into greatness, let us not lose what got us here. Embrace the quirky behavior, odd customs, and unique style of the students, faculty, and staff. Let all of those be a guide as we develop new plans, advance academic programs, and become a brighter beacon in the community. – Jake Griffin, Public Safety
  • In your spare time, learn ASL.  Not only will this enhance your ability to directly communicate with a wonderful and distinctive cultural subset of the RIT community - you'll have the opportunity to put real action behind the notions of diversity and inclusion. – Jennifer Prosceo, NTID Access Services
  • Involve staff in decisions, we have excellent insight in to the workings of the University. – Donna Black, Housing Operations

Staff Council looks forward to working with Dr. Munson this year and beyond on furthering his vision for RIT. Congratulations and best wishes!

We're posting staff insight for Dr. Munson on our Facebook page this week leading up to the Inauguration, check it out!

*Adapted from