Monday, May 15, 2006

The Power of Pink Slippers

An interesting article about the outgoing president of Simmons College here in Boston:

At Simmons, tough slippers to fill

By Cristina Silva, Globe Staff | May 15, 2006

The cafeteria staff at Simmons College had begun to complain. Faculty and staff were swiping lunch trays and piling them up in their offices.

Determined to help, the college's president, Daniel S. Cheever, slipped on his pink slippers, each adorned with a huge daisy on top, which he wears when his feet hurt. He walked around the campus buildings, kindly reminding professors to return their trays.

The cafeteria crisis was soon resolved, another success for the quirky leadership Cheever has used to win over faculty, students, and alumnae in his 11 years as president. Cheever, 63, will oversee his last Simmons commencement on Saturday.

The charismatic president with the hands-on approach retires in July, and his upcoming departure is leading to anxious murmurs from professors. They wonder whether his successor, Susan C. Scrimshaw, currently dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will be as approachable or as successful.

Cheever said he has used the pink slippers as a way to seem more accessible.

''It's a way of symbolically saying, 'Hey, I'm a person,' " said the college administrator with the wispy silver hair, who wears traditional college presidential attire -- Brooks Brothers shirts, ties, and slacks.

During his tenure, faculty and others say, Cheever helped transform Simmons from a sinking institution into an expanding campus with a $170 million endowment and rising enrollment. Of the many colleges in Boston and Cambridge, Simmons, with its nearly 5,000 students, is the only women's college . . .

read the rest.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think about this article?

9:48 AM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

I thought it was a nice tribute to somebody who's obviously done a lot for the university, albeit perhaps in a somewhat quirky way.

8:01 PM  

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