Confession is good for the soul. So I have heard and also experienced. Thus I proceed.
For about 20 years, while teaching full-time at St. Thomas, I was pastor of a downtown St. Paul parish. As this parish grew, the time I spent on campus decreased. Classes were never skipped, but my involvement in the life of the University slowly dwindled. No place was this more evident than working with colleagues within my department.
While teaching this semester in London I have been pleasantly reminded how important and satisfying a collaborative spirit with a colleague can be. Already, Professor Rich Rexeisen, my teaching partner in London, has adjusted his schedule to accommodate mine because of commitments I was obligated to fulfill. More than this courtesy, however, is Rich’s constant planning to make the entire London experience beneficial for the students. He consistently involves the rest of us in the program to be a part of this serious effort to enhance the trip.
I would like to publicly thank Professor Rexeisen and to suggest that he is a model of a creative teacher and an innovator of cooperative teaching within the University community.
Over the more than 30 years I have taught at St. Thomas, I have seen more and more support on the part of the administration to encourage and make available collaborative efforts in teaching and research. From deans and chairs to the general administration of the University, this support continues to grow. A good proposal is most likely to be supported. Rich and others have helped to create this environment.
On a personal level, working with such cooperative colleagues makes St. Thomas a good place to work. More significantly it makes our campus a better place to learn for the students.