President, provost roundtable discusses ‘Creative Confidence’

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During a faculty roundtable Sept. 23, the president and provost of Sam Houston State University discussed the qualities they look for both in employees and in graduates.

The discussion was based on the book “Creative Confidence” by Tom and David Kelley, an article in Forbes entitled ’15 Traits of the Ideal Employee’ written by Ken Sundheim, and the IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success.

While University President Dana G. Hoyt and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jaimie Hebert headed the roundtable, various faculty and staff including Student Body President Spencer Copeland filled in the rest of the conference room with their questions at-hand.

Some of the questions addressed during the discussion included ‘what are the thoughts on personality traits as the key to hiring,’ ‘what attributions make someone effective as a faculty or staff at SHSU,’ ‘does creativity equal innovation,’ and ‘are there common values or attributes for SHSU graduates?’

“It’s one things to have the skills for a job, but there might be eight people that all have those same skills,” Hoyt said. “The biggest aspect in turnover is when people don’t have the same values, no matter how excellent they might be there still is that cognitive dissonance.”

Hoyt emphasized the importance of the interview process in applying for jobs and how certain personal values are a better fit for certain jobs. Other topics discussed related to values  SHSU administrators want to see in both their students and staff included, the changing demographic, the difference between introverts and extroverts and the culture that sets the university apart from others.

“Overall, I think we do a very good job of working to help our students,” Hoyt said. “I have lunch with about 25 students three times a semester and I’ll ask them ‘what do you like about Sam?’ or ‘why did you choose Sam?’ or ‘what would you change about Sam—besides parking?’ and what they like the most is that they feel like the faculty know who they are and are willing to help them and that’s not just once or twice, we hear that over and over and over again. Obviously, that’s a part of what the culture is here that might be different than somewhere else. It’s not one student here and there, it’s the big majority of students at those lunches.”