A new school year is a fresh opportunity. Faculty, staff, and students arrive back on campus full of enthusiasm. You can harness or squander that energy. There are two essential principles to guide you as you seek to create an inspiring campus and workplace environment in a new academic year.

1. Cast your vision. Staff and students come to the school year with their own preconceptions, previous experiences, stresses, worries, and ideas for the year ahead. Your job is to identify and articulate a unified vision for your campus. Your vision for the year should be able to be distilled into a simple phrase that regularly appears in communications, including welcome back letters, social media, and leadership meetings.

2. Empower your community. It is not enough for you to identify a theme and objective for the year. You must help your community join your vision. Enable members of your community at all levels—students, faculty, support staff, board members, alumni—to identify how their role contributes to your mission.

In our next post, we’ll discuss how to sustain the momentum you build throughout the academic year. In the meantime, we want to hear your themes for the new academic year! Share your vision for the new year with us on social media or through email.