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Work-Life Balance: Managing Your Koyaanisqatsi

Institutional Culture

Work-Life Balance: Managing Your Koyaanisqatsi

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A recent search prospectus for a provost position at a mid-sized institution listed a number of qualities and qualifications desired in potential candidates. The categories were typical for this type of cabinet-level post: “leadership,” “relationship building,” and “communication skills” were just a few of a two-page laundry list of preferred credentials. But one particular bulleted item under the category “personal characteristics” set the bar of expectations: “The eagerness and stamina to serve 24/7 as an institutional advocate and spokesperson.” Ironically, this item was listed on the same page as the category “balance” and right above the bulleted item of desiring “a sense of humor,” but it begs the question: is that what’s best for our academic leaders and the colleges and universities they lead? In this era of disruptive change in the academy, will they truly be successful, passionate representatives of our institutions when they have and are expected to live a koyaanisqatsi?

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