Many of you will recognize that the title of this post is taken from the title of a management book by Jim Collins. Collins is known for his research on long-lived organizations, including companies that made the leap from just good to superior performers. As the new Director, Distance Education and Instructional Technology, “good to great” suggests to me both a strong foundation on which to build as well as a challenge to become even better.

I have been entrusted with the leadership of a wonderful, dedicated DEIT staff that enjoys a well-deserved reputation for competence and responsiveness. The core activities of our department center on managing DeSales’ hardware and software instructional technology infrastructure, training and supporting the faculty in use of this infrastructure, and providing instructional design services. My goals for this year include making sure that in addition to doing things well, DEIT is working on the right things – in other words making sure our efforts are aligned with faculty needs and the priorities of the institution. I need the help of formal and informal leaders to know how DEIT can be most effective in helping the academic units and individual faculty members to accomplish their goals. To this end, if I don’t get to you first, please reach out to me to help me understand how DEIT can support you better.

Of course, the imperative to go from good to great is not just for me and DEIT, but applies to our entire DeSales University enterprise. If the experts are right, in the not so distant future, many of today’s institutions of higher education will cease to exist. If these expert forecasts are correct, I am sure that small liberal arts institutions will be heavily represented among those that fall by the wayside. DeSales needs to be great to survive and thrive in this environment. To be great, DeSales needs to be a superior performer on the dimensions that matter to our stakeholders. I believe effective use of educational technology is one of the dimensions that will keep DeSales University a vibrant, modern, sustainable Catholic liberal arts university for many years to come. I look forward to the journey from good to great.

In closing, I want to thank everyone I have met at DeSales for their warm welcome. I am blessed to be here. My father had the good fortune to be taught by the Oblates at the late great North Catholic in Philadelphia. I was privileged to enjoy summers as a small boy at Camp Brisson in North East, Maryland and later to attend Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware. Now, thirty five years later, I end up at DeSales University, and rather than feeling like a coincidence, it feels like something that was meant to be, not least because so many people here have made me feel so at home.

Live + Jesus

Eric J. Hagan, Ed. D.

DEIT Director