Dr. Steven Moser

Reflections

This month I participated in the Aspen Institute’s Wye Dean’s Seminar in Queensland, Maryland.  Thirty-two academic leaders from across the country met for a week of intense reading and reflection on great writings reaching back to the ancient Greeks.  Our quest was to uncover the hidden truths about leadership as witnessed in the writings of Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Dewey, and others.  We studied the inaugural addresses of Abraham Lincoln, the writings of Martin Luther King, and the address of Aung San Suu Kyi to the World Commission on Culture and Development.  We even staged a reading of Sophocles’ Antigone.  We pondered the writings of Confucius, read The Five Pillars of Faith in the Qur’an, and John Winthrop’s A Model of Christian Charity.”  I found the experience to be exhilarating, not only in basking in the luxury of a week devoted entirely to the great writings I have been away from for too long, but also through witness of the interpretations of these writings by deans and provosts from all parts of the country.  I realized that far too often I am lost in the pushing of papers and enforcement of policy.  As a dean of the arts, humanities, and social sciences, I realized that I cannot lose myself in perfunctory repetition.  At the core, the truths of leadership and indeed in living a more perfect life comes from that which we teach in our classrooms, studios, and on our stages.  The great secrets for striving to be a good leader, and in decision-making at every turn is waiting for us in the writings of those who preceded us, the great works of the ages.

Dr. Steven Moser
Steven Moser is the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of Music at Southern Miss. Previously serving as Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Moser is a 2007 fellow of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Management Development Program and has served in various leadership roles at Southern Miss since 2002.

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