Dr. Tim Cloyd

Inauguration ceremony for Drury president Tim Cloyd to be held Oct. 25

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 20, 2017 — Drury University will hold a formal inauguration ceremony for its 18th president, Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd at 4 p.m., Wednesday, October 25 in Stone Chapel.

The inaugural theme is “Virtue & Virtuosity: Leadership For the 21st Century.” President Cloyd has often invoked the phrase “virtue and virtuosity” in describing Drury’s academic blend of an intellectually engaging liberal arts experience and high-caliber professional studies. Cloyd will address more than 300 invited guests, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Dr. Holden Thorp will be a guest speaker. Thorp is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, and a longtime friend of Dr. Cloyd.

Dr. Tim Cloyd began his duties as president of Drury in 2016, following 13 years as president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Under Cloyd’s leadership, Hendrix became recognized as a national liberal arts college and saw significant growth in enrollment and alumni giving. At Drury, President Cloyd’s strategic focus includes boosting the university’s regional and national profile through innovative academic offerings and a new campus master plan, and on increasing alumni engagement.

Media are invited to cover the inauguration and reception, but advance notice is requested. Please contact Executive Director of University Relations Mike Brothers to make arrangements for coverage.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers – Executive Director of University Relations: (417) 873-7390 mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Drury recognizes Warren White Scholars and outstanding faculty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 1, 2017 — Drury University recognized outstanding faculty and second-year students at its 2017 Opening Convocation. The ceremony officially began Drury’s 144th academic year with an address from President Tim Cloyd.

“The intent of Drury and the Drury Spirit has always been about attempting to bridge divides,” Cloyd said in an address that called the audience to consider their role in social and political issues facing the country. “Our faculty have always been the ones who have held this spirit high and defended the core of Drury. I want to thank this great faculty for this courageous tradition in this part of the world. You carry this core today.”

Nominations for Faculty Awards are received from students, faculty, administrators and alumni.  A committee of students and faculty selects the winners. The honorees were recognized for challenging, engaging and inspiring students both inside and outside the classroom.

The 2017 Faculty Award winners are:

  • Faculty Award for Advising: Jonathan Groves, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication
  • Faculty Award for Liberal Learning: Nancy Chikaraishi, M. Arch., Professor of Architecture
  • Faculty Award for Scholarship: Daniel Ponder, Ph.D., L.E. Meador Professor of Political Science & Prof. Todd Lowery, M.F.A., Professor of Art
  • Faculty Award for Teaching: Shelley Wolbrink, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director of Medieval Studies
  • Faculty Award for Leadership: Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Ph.D., Professor of Spanish

In addition, the Judge Warren White Scholars were honored. Each honoree will receive a $450 scholarship. These students have the highest grade point averages after completion of their first year at Drury. Mr. Warren White graduated from Drury in 1904 and served as a Greene County circuit court judge for 36 years.

The 2017 Judge Warren White Scholars are:

  • Kendal Rose Alexander – Mantorville, MN
  • Cale Ambuehl – Edwardsville, IL
  • Lidiya Petrovna Bosovik – Springfield, MO
  • Javier Antonio Diaz Vicens – West Rainer, WA
  • Stevie Leigh Fulton – Paris, AR
  • Michael James Henderson – Willard, MO
  • Van Luke Hopkins – St. Joseph, MO
  • Lillian H. Hunter – Warrensburg MO
  • Courtney Lauren King – Lake Ozark, MO
  • Christopher David Kollmeyer – Springfield, MO
  • Landen Alyse Kozlowski – Springfield, MO
  • Nolan Robert Sachse – Jefferson City, MO
  • Caterina Savini – Ravenna, Italy
  • Carter Paul Sifferman – Springfield, MO
  • Erik Michael Way – Springfield, MO


Missouri Humanities Council taps DU professor to lead regional outreach

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 31, 2017 — Drury English professor Dr. Katherine Gilbert has been selected by the Missouri Humanities Council to help expand the organization’s reach statewide. Gilbert and Drury will work with the nonprofit to deliver more of its programming and education in Springfield and across southwest Missouri.

Representatives from MHC and Drury signed an articulation agreement formalizing the partnership earlier today.

From left: MHC executive director Steve Belko, Dr. Katherine Gilbert, Drury president Dr. Tim Cloyd

The MHC was established in 1971 to serve as one of the 56 state and territorial humanities councils affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Its mission is to enrich lives and strengthen communities by connecting Missourians with the people, places, and ideas that shape our society. MHC provides programming that encourages family reading, highlights Missouri’s heritage, supports creative writing by veterans, and assists local museums, libraries, and other organizations promoting education. It facilitates public conversations on topics that include history, religion, archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, law, ethics, and languages.

We spoke to Belko and Gilbert about this partnership before the signing ceremony.

Question: Tell us about the mission and work of the Missouri Humanities Council.

Steve Belko: As a statewide nonprofit organization committed to advancing the humanities throughout Missouri, our mission is to enrich lives and strengthen communities by connecting Missourians to the people, places, and ideas that shape our society. Through our five comprehensive programs – Heritage, Education, Family, Veterans, and Grants – we offer an extensive array of public programming opportunities that enhance in various ways the quality of life for the citizens of this state. Our vision is to create in Missouri a more thoughtful, informed, and civil society, and our reach extends into every county.

Why do you believe the MHC’s work is so important?

Dr. Katherine Gilbert: I’ve long admired the work of the MHC. They are excellent at bringing the humanities to the public, and intertwining scholarship, community engagement, big ideas, and civil discourse when doing so. The humanities help us all to think about what it means to be human, and to create bridges with others who come from other places and other time periods. This is life-enriching work that is also good for our democracy. I feel honored to have the chance to participate in it.

Belko: Simply put, we are here to perform a public service that government agencies and private entities cannot do so efficiently and effectively.  It is important to advance democratic principles, inspire social dialogue (in a civil manner), provide our underserved and underrepresented citizens with crucial programs that not only benefit them on an individual basis, but enhance our overall society here in Missouri, and, above all, improve the quality of life.

President Cloyd and Steve Belko sign the agreement between Drury and MHC.

Q: Dr. Gilbert, what will your role as the MHC’s local director for Southwest Missouri entail?

I will be reaching out to develop connections with a number of organizations that work in the humanities across southwest Missouri. So often, people don’t realize the ways in which the Humanities are already enhancing their own lives, be it through participation in a book club, attending a talk at your local library, or viewing a film at an independent theater like the Moxie. I plan to connect with groups that are doing this kind of work, and to collaboratively develop new ideas for how to grow the public Humanities across the southwest part of the state, in cities, rural areas and smaller towns.

How can people connect with MHC if they’re interested in partnering in some way?

Gilbert: While I’ll be reaching out to many folks in the near future, if anyone would like to contact me first, they can phone me at (417) 873-6941 or email me at kgilbert@drury.edu.


Drury forms panel to outline best practices for combating hazing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 23, 2016 — Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd announced today that he has tasked swimming and diving head coach Brian Reynolds, along with Athletic Director Mark Fisher and Dean of Students Tijuana Julian, to create and lead a task force that will examine the issue of college hazing with the goal of creating best practices that can be applied at Drury, and nationwide.

As a part of that process, Reynolds will step away from daily coaching duties for a time in order to help focus on building the necessary foundation for the group’s process and procedures. The group will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The news was discussed at a news conference held this afternoon. The following are statements from the conference.


Statement from President Cloyd:

“Throughout my career, I have been deeply concerned any time I have been made aware of any individual being adversely affected by their experiences at an institution of higher education. It represents the exact opposite of what we as educators promote as our very mission. Institutions of higher education have always aspired to be a places that serve to advance society by educating, shaping and maturing each individual, one person at a time, to help build them up to their highest potential.

“Universities also by their nature are places where all sorts of issues are open to robust debate, varying thoughts, opposing positions, varied opinions, even arguments on subjects are heard, but let me assure you that on an issue as important as hazing, the only discussion has to be about how to eliminate it. Not minimize it. Not nostalgically idealize it, not secretly sanctify it, but to ELIMINATE it.

“Since my arrival this summer, I have had extensive discussions with AD Mark Fisher and more recently with Swim Coach Brian Reynolds and our Dean of Students Dr. Tijuana Julian and I have issued to them a firm challenge and directive to put in place a program that meets or perhaps sets news standards for assuring that the practice of hazing will not be part of any activity at the institution.

“You all know that since the incident reports of this summer regarding 2015, the policies were strengthened to include a more severe set of punishments including a clear use of expulsion from the team when determined appropriate. This fall the team also brought in a nationally recognized speaker/educator to address the entire program. But at the end of the day, Coach Reynolds and I and AD Fisher all agree that more is needed.

“He has agreed to step back from his day-to-day coaching responsibilities to devote his full attention to this matter and develop the foundational components of this program. In my discussions with Coach Reynolds over the past few weeks, I have asked him about, and he has shared with me the specifics of the steps he has taken each year to educate and instruct his team members as a group, their captains and co-captains, and the coaching staff, informing them all clearly that hazing in any form is prohibited. I am further convinced that Coach Reynolds has devoted a good portion of his career working to learn and incorporate into his practices strong instructional and educational efforts to discourage and prevent this egregious behavior.

“And once we have formalized what we consider to be our best approach to accomplishing this objective, the policies, procedures and behavioral practices will be enacted with authority given from the office of the president and with the support of our governing board of trustees to ensure that everyone understands and abides by them.

“I read this weekend the editorial in the Springfield News-Leader challenging Drury University to do more in this area and my response is that we were and are in the process of doing more. I appreciate that the SNL shares our understanding that this is not a simple issue. And that, at times, what one might think would be a sufficient set of rules and instructions to instill a sense of proper behavior, requires vigilance and a deep commitment of purpose in order to keep adverse events from occurring over time as new groups of students come into a program.

“I have challenged my team to complete this task over the next weeks and I will be sharing details of our progress within our university community and with you in the media.”


Statement from Coach Brian Reynolds:

“What we have been challenged to do is develop a comprehensive program for ensuring that the behavior is completely eliminated from the Drury University swim program, athletics in general and campus wide.

“In discussions with Dr. Cloyd, who took over as president this past summer, and AD Fisher, we all agree that a more definitive program is in order – one structured to ensure that hazing in all forms is formally and clearly defined and eliminated from the campus

“I have shared with Dr. Cloyd and AD Fisher my desire to focus my attention on this matter in support of the university, our athletic programs and specifically the swim program so that this type of incident does not happen ever again.

“I have devoted my entire life to building up young adult athletes in the highest standards of competitive integrity and personal responsibility. I have devoted specific time and effort each year to instruct my teams on the issue of hazing and to instill in them that it has no place in our program.

“Many of you know me, and you know my personal commitment to this program and to young people. The last thing I would ever condone is activity that could harm or inflict damage either physically or emotionally on any of our student athletes.

“I plan to commit my full-time attention to this matter over the coming weeks and to apply all of my efforts to establishing a set of components that will leave no room for this type of activity to ever occur again.

“The foundation will be laid in time. We will take the necessary time needed to examine the issues as they relate to the Drury community. We do play a role on the national stage in more than one of our sports programs and I want this program to clearly demonstrate our commitment to taking this issue seriously.

“Everyone who assumes the mantle of coach takes by the nature of the job responsibility. I have spoken to students throughout my entire career on this subject. To conclude that this behavior is somehow condoned or ignored is simply not true.

“Every fall I counsel my entire team, and then in separate meetings, my captains and co-captians about this.

“Because of my 33 years of experience in NCAA athletics, my love of athletics, and thousands of student-athletes I’ve worked with, I feel a deep responsibility to help Drury University address this issue and create a national model in combating this kind of behavior. Of all the things I’ve done to this point in my career, I cannot think of a single action or goal that is more important than this one.

“This kind of behavior is out of character for the student-athletes that I know. But unfortunately, it has happened. It must be addressed.”


Statement from Athletic Director Mark Fisher:

“As I said last week, I have made it clear to our coaches and student-athletes that we will not tolerate such behavior. I am glad coach Reynolds has accepted Dr. Cloyd’s challenge to address this issue on a broader scale moving forward. I’m happy to work side by side with Coach Reynolds and Dr. Julian in the leadership of that process.

“Coach Reynolds has asked to step away from day-to-day coaching duties for a period of time in order to lay the groundwork for that process. In the meantime, assistant coach Doug Schranck will take over day-to-day duties as the team prepares for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships and the NCAA-II nationals.”


Statement from Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Dr. Tijuana Julian:

“We have a number of task forces on campus to address various issues and this group will further that approach. It will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Some of the other issues that groups are tasked with addressing include Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equity, Bystander Intervention Training and overall campus safety. I led the effort to strengthen our policies on hazing this year, and I’m looking forward to the work ahead of us as we dive deeper into the issue and continue to strengthen our stance on the issue.”

Drury names four new members to its Board of Trustees

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 29, 2016 — Drury University’s Board of Trustees welcomed four new members to its ranks during its fall meeting, and began the process with new Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd of engaging in a shared vision for the future of the school with the administration, faculty and staff.

Drury’s Board of Trustees meets in full twice annually, in spring and in fall. This was the first full board meeting for Cloyd, who assumed the office on July 1.

During the Board meeting, Dr. Cloyd spoke to trustees about accomplishments to date, including recruitment and restructuring of talent on the Senior Leadership Team, a renewed focus on empowering faculty and staff to do their best work, and the inherent strength that comes as a result of everyone across campus speaking about Drury with a positive, unified voice. He praised the work of faculty and staff so far this semester, including the broad-based efforts responsible for bringing in the largest incoming freshman class in many years.

Cloyd and members of Drury’s Senior Leadership Team also began meaningful discussions with trustees about what Cloyd referred to as “The Big Three” strategic initiatives for the University’s long-term future: Developing a market positioning platform that is unique and defining of the Drury experience; designing a campus master plan that advances institutional priorities; and undertaking a comprehensive, multi-year campaign that will support the mission of Drury through its 150th anniversary in 2023 and beyond.

Cloyd (center) presents board members Bill Hart (left) and Danny Lay (right) with GRATAHAD t-shirts signaling that “Great Remarkable Affirming Things are Happening at Drury.”

Cloyd (center) presents board members Bill Hart (left) and Danny Lay (right) with GRATAHAD t-shirts signaling that “Great Remarkable Affirming Things are Happening at Drury.”

“Dr. Cloyd’s leadership experience and strategic way of looking at every issue will serve Drury well,” said Lyle Reed, chair of the Drury Board of Trustees. “We look forward to working with him and the faculty as we guide the institution we all cherish to even greater heights.”

“This was certainly an exciting and energizing board meeting given the recent string of good news so far this fall, and because of the strategic roadmap laid out by Dr. Cloyd’s leadership team,” said Steve Edwards, CoxHealth CEO and Drury Trustee. “The task for all of us now is to continue to build on those recent successes and not limit our imagination as to what we can accomplish.”

The four newly appointed Trustees include:



Rob Dickerson, Springfield, Missouri – Dickerson is a commercial insurance agent with Barker, Phillips, Jackson. He graduated from Drury in 1990 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. He went on to Southern Methodist University to earn his MBA in 1991. Prior to his current business activities, he was a large Papa Murphy’s franchisee and owner/officer for Laker Fishing. Dickerson was an adjunct faculty member at Drury and a member of the Business Advisory Board for Drury SIFE. Dickerson joined the Breech Advisory Board in 2008.



Gail L. Fredrick, Springfield, Missouri – Fredrick graduated from Drury in 1969 with a B.A. in business administration and economics. He received an MBA from Drury in 1972, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1975. Fredrick currently practices law in Springfield and has been active in Drury activities since graduation, including past president of the Drury Booster Club and member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He has served as a member of the Missouri Public Defender Commission, Missouri Arts Council and currently serves on the Springfield Sports Commission and Springfield Area Hall of Fame Committee.



Lindsay French, Springfield, Missouri – French owns Dynamic Body, LLC in Springfield, a mind-body studio that includes over 100 movement classes a week, 25 employees, massage therapy, skin care, acupuncture, a wellness boutique featuring athleisure wear, and more. French earned a B.S. in Business Administration in 2002; and an MBA in 2004, both from Drury. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and has served on boards for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.



Suzanne (Suzie) Scott, Evergreen, Colorado – Dr. Scott has over 20 years of domestic and international experience in higher education. She has over 15 years’ experience in engineering design education in the Middle East and the United States. Scott holds a faculty position at the Colorado School of Mines where she participated in the development of the Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi, working on a team that adapted a western university model to Middle Eastern culture. She has also coordinated international engineering design competitions and organized intercultural forums between the two schools. Scott holds a B.A. from Drury, an M.A. from Washington University and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver.


Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 3 – Scholarship & Leadership

Cloyd speaking smallIn an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd, we are publishing a Q&A series about his selection and the man himself. The first installment featured a conversation with search committee members about the selection and vetting process, and the second featured a look at Dr. Cloyd’s early life. In this installment, we discuss his love for the classroom, his passion for scholarship and what the study of international politics and political theory can teach us about leadership and leading a university. Future conversations in this series are forthcoming.

You’ve told us how much you enjoyed diving into academics as a student. Did you find similar joy once you were in the classroom as a teacher?

I went to graduate school because of my love of learning, the passion I have for my discipline, and the influence professors have had on my life. I wanted the honor of having that same kind of influence on the lives of students. I still feel teaching is my vocation – my calling. I just do it in a different way in the academic presidency. There is not a major in “presidenting.” The education I have had in the liberal arts and the variety of experiences I have had in higher education are perfect for being a president or a college professor.

I love to teach. I first got into the classroom in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was a great training ground for honing my craft and style of pedagogy. I not only taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in smaller classes in the honors program and in large lecture halls, but I taught in the Five College Program in which UMass Amherst partnered with four small liberal arts schools: Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Hampshire College. There I learned how to use a number of techniques to teach – in small groups, tutorials, having students learn by teaching. I also learned to teach students at all kinds of academic levels.

Over the years I have continued to learn new approaches to teaching. For example, I begin every class with “check-in” – each of us go around the room and say what is going on in our life and then we agree to put our thoughts on hold during the class period. Sometimes I use picture cards of all sorts of objects and scenes and ask students to talk about the topic of the day through the object or scene they have selected.

Because students today often tend to think in 140 characters – the length of a tweet – sometimes I assign students a micro-moment in which they have to summarize the topic for the class like a tweet. New media and new technologies have really opened an exciting world to me for teaching. I think all college and university faculty members need have the development opportunities and the resources to use these new technologies in their teaching. We are often afraid to try these new things mostly because we are afraid to admit what we do not know how to do, especially in front of our students. That is why schools need faculty Teaching and Development centers where technology experts and digital librarians can teach us without students looking on!

In what ways have you used new technologies in your classes?

I say “new” technologies because they are new to me, but not to this generation of techno-natives. I am just a techno-immigrant and sometimes techno-ignorant.

Here are some of the ways I have been using technology in my courses. First, I try to create web pages for each one of my courses and provide links to digital video and music content, podcasts, TED talks, and other things I use in class by asking students to watch them or listen to them before class. Those materials can then drive class discussion. I also use something called lecture capture, iTunes lectures, and open source online lectures. Lecture capture allows me to give a talk about something that is digitally captured so students can view it before class – that way class time is not just didactic, but discussion- and team-based. I used to have this presentation I loved to give on World War I, but I found one that Michael Howard, a world-class historian from Oxford, gives online. So now I just have students watch that and we do things like virtual or game simulations based on escalating conflicts in class. I also like to provide class notes online and let students take photos of the white board and chalkboard in class. There are so many fun and innovative things that can be done in teaching using technology. I could go on and on.

Consider this: by the time my son was 13 his room looked like command control at NASA, in fact it probably had better technology than the technology at NASA in the 1980s. His technology interactions were dynamic; he was connected globally playing games with other kids in teams around the world, and now at 16 his games are fast first-person perspective and 3D. In teaching we have to move to where our students are or at least meet them halfway.

Recently, I have become very interested in the growing distinction between online education and emerging HD virtual presence instructional technology. The term “online” is becoming passé. I hope I can bring virtual presence instruction to Drury and make us a “any device, anywhere, anytime” campus.

What are your favorite courses to teach and why?

Wow. Difficult question. I teach a course called Irregular Warfare. I love teaching that course because we cover everything in that area: from theories and strategies of insurgency/counter-insurgency; the use of drones, drone technology, drone targeting, and the domestic use of drones; the complexity of a world of nation-states in conflict with non-state violent actors; the way terrorism/counter-terrorism work; and new and emerging – almost futuristic – technologies being deployed in waging war and in conflicts. But we also explore questions of ethics in war and questions about how these issues are having an impact on questions of democracy and civil liberties in our growing national security state in the United States.

I also like teaching courses in topics and trends in contemporary politics, business, and security where I teach things like cyber security, big data analytics, new media connectivity, and human terrain mapping. In these courses we study how these topics relate to things like privacy, civil liberties, changing markets, property rights, and leadership decisions. In cyber security, for example, we study cyber-crime, cyber-espionage, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-war. The key issues are attacks that involve confidentiality and the theft of intellectual property, denial-of-service attacks, and protecting the integrity of data, data systems, and resilience. These areas of study require a multidisciplinary approach because without knowledge grounded in different disciples you cannot understand the issues in a comprehensive way. We study WikiLeaks, Stuxnet, zero-day vulnerabilities, and we even toy around with The Onion Router. We also study how big data and the use of algorithms is shaping everything from business strategies in marketing to fundraising strategies to higher education marketing.

How did you become a Fellow at the Institute for the Study of World Politics? What was involved in that assignment?

I was doing research on leadership and cooperation in international relations. Mainly, about how leaders and states developed collaboration and cooperation and built, grew, and sustained organizational cultures in international security institutions. My case study was a classified organization in Paris called the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) through which Western states prevented the diffusion of strategic and dual-use highly sophisticated technology to the Soviet Bloc and rouge states. I was asked to work with a DOD office called the Defense Technology Security Agency. So the fellowship from The Institute for the Study of World Politics funded my living and working all over Europe. I spent time interviewing bureaucrats and leaders in Western European countries about the work, focus, and effectiveness of the international organization.

I learned a great deal about organizational culture, about how to listen and ask questions, about diplomacy and how to adapt my style and approach depending on the situation, and about how to quickly orient myself in diverse human environments. I also worked with intelligence agents and people from NATO and the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Command. Basically, we were looking at companies and states that were violating the export control system and countries that were converting the technologies they had imported into military applications. It was a chaotic time in Europe with the Wall coming down so there were a lot of treaty agreement and export control license violations.

How did your early experiences at Vanderbilt University shape your views about higher education, including fundraising?

Vanderbilt gave me a great opportunity to learn about how a university works. I started out teaching in the political science department and ended up working for the provost and then in Vanderbilt’s first comprehensive capital campaign. The experience at Vanderbilt taught me how prestige is the ultimate currency in higher education; it taught me how to work with faculty from across various disciplines, colleges, and schools; and it taught me that one of the primary values for faculty is autonomy.

I worked on developing a university-wide, cross-disciplinary certificate program where undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines could take a series of courses from any department in the university to earn this certificate that was attached to their transcript. This meant I had to get buy-ins from deans and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Law, The Divinity School, The School of Business, The College of Medicine, and other schools and centers across the university.

It was hard work. But in the end it paid off. Our work laid the foundation for a program, a center, and a major that now exist at Vanderbilt called Medicine, Health, and Society. It is an interdisciplinary field of research, study, and practice that critically examines the social foundations of health. Students learn about health-related beliefs and practices in their political, social, and cultural contexts. The program brings together and integrates teaching and scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in order to teach students how to approach questions from multiple perspectives. As part of the program, we organized a number of conferences on topics such as the politics of the human body.

I also learned about the challenges of coordinating and integrating initiatives and programs across schools, colleges, and departments in a university. I learned about how costs are driven up and inefficiencies are created because every college wants to do its own decentralized thing.

In addition, in higher education we have not yet learned how to incentivize or to recognize and reward faculty for cross-disciplinary work. While solutions to the world’s problems require the perspectives of multiple disciplines, we tend to silo knowledge.

My work at Vanderbilt reinforced my belief in the importance of creating student experiences that develop competence in a team-based, problem-to-solution orientation from multiple perspectives. This could be multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary. But what it means is that colleges and schools in a university have to be interwoven – and not just through the general education program.

As far as fundraising is concerned, I learned the importance of having not just a guiding strategic vision and theme that brings all of the component parts of a university together, but also actual programs that tie everything together. Donors will become more passionate and give more if they can see that they are making a contribution to the solution of a big world problem. They know that these problems and solutions are complex and cannot be solved by the education and scholarship offered by only one discipline or college. That is why fundraising campaigns for one-off projects, buildings, etc., produce fewer overall dollars and dissipate energy. We sometimes think of fundraising in terms of our own needs and the potential loyalty of our graduates. That is okay, but it is not as powerful as a vision.

Beginning in 1988 and continuing through 1997 you authored a dozen or so writings including a book, covering topics ranging from war to trade and the politics of the human body. Are they still topics of interest to you?

Yes, those topics still interest me and I return to them when I am asked to teach or to give a talk for example on war, insurgency, security, terrorism, or the politics of the body. The book Jean Bethke Elshtain and I edited and published with Vanderbilt University Press was called “Politics and the Human Body.” In that book, and in a study guide I published with Vanderbilt as well called “The Gulf War and Just War,” I was blessed to work with some of the leading scholars in the world.

More recently, however, I have been doing research, writing, and teaching on leadership, management, change, and market positioning particularly in higher education and nonprofits. This comes out of my academic work in business, higher education management, and of course my own experience. I have written and presented on “Leading Change,” “The Relationship Between Price, Discount, and Institutional Differentiation,” and “Marketing, Branding, and Positioning in Higher Education.” The book I am working on in leadership studies is about how leaders develop substance, fearlessness, dexterity, resilience and inner peace in the face of disruptive turbulence.

I have had a book contract with Johns Hopkins University Press for a work on “Arms and The Citizen: War Service, Conscription, and the American Experience” in which I reflect on the potential benefits to our nation of reinstituting conscription in some form and have been doing research on a project called “NATO’s Decline and the United States’ Pivot to the East: A Study of the Rise and Fall of Alliance Strategy.”

But I know I will not be getting back to those projects anytime soon! I plan to be very busy working for Drury.

Given your specialty in international relations and in political theory, what lessons from those fields are useful in leadership and in teaching leadership?

As far as teaching leadership is concerned, there is a great deal to be mined related to those disciplines. In the area of leadership studies and organizational behavior, I teach courses like the art and science of leadership; life narratives, discourse, and leadership; change and leadership; and transformational leadership. In those courses we use contemporary social science.

In Classics and Leadership we study the theories and lives of past great leaders and look for lessons. Certain questions emerge in studying these classics: whether or not leadership is a natural trait or is learned; whether or not a leader creates success or is it just a matter of the external environment and the willingness of followers to create success – followers create successful leaders; whether or not leadership success is defined by specific contexts and historical conditions and therefore there is no universal model for leadership, etc.

People often look to someone like Machiavelli in studying classics and leadership, but there are many other examples that provide different models. Thucydides in the Peloponnesian Wars gives us examples of the failures of leaders and of how heartless action comes back to haunt leaders. Alexander the Great shows us an example of leading from the front and instilling intense loyalty and trust by demonstrating competence, taking risks, treating people fairly, and innovating. Jesus and others provide us a model of servant leadership and show us that the powerful do not always win – that love and kindness can undermine hard power. Napoleon, Wellington, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Lee, Churchill, Martin Luther King, and many others show us contrasting models of leadership. One key point is that none of these leaders was perfect. Each had flaws and often deep personal character weaknesses. The experience of failure, rejection, suffering, and overcoming terrible trials and self doubt is, I think, common to all great leaders.

Churchill once said, “Success is one failure after another without losing enthusiasm.” Unless you have been in the position of making consequential decisions for which you will be held accountable, or in a position where you and you alone will be held responsible for the success or failure of an organization over which you may, in fact, have very little authority, it will be difficult to understand the pressure and stress leaders must learn to live with. This is especially true today in our ultra-polarized environment on campuses and off. It is easier to criticize, protest, and deconstruct than it is to build something and to create a compelling vision that others follow and make real.

Many of the leaders we study were involved in war and conflict. Why does this teach us about leadership? Because it is an experience of great trial and human strife, but it is also about action, resolve, and resilience. Clausewitz said that any human interaction produces a “friction” to be overcome, a “fog” in which decisions must be made in the context of ambiguity, and the need for “audacity” to be decisive in action. But the classics also show the enduring truth that “hubris always brings nemeses” and that the wings of Icarus always eventually melt.

Read Part 4 of the Q&A series: Innovation & Growth at Hendrix


Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 2 – Formative Years

In an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd, we are publishing a Q&A series about his selection and the man himself. The first installment featured a conversation with search committee members about the selection and vetting process. Now, we turn to Dr. Cloyd to ask him about his childhood and his early career in academics. Future conversations with the incoming president are forthcoming in this series.

Where did you grow up?

dr-cloydCloyd: I grew up in a lot of places. My parents were United Methodist missionaries and teachers in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), in a region called the Katanga. My family was evacuated from the Congo during the Katanga war for secession. We then moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation where my parents ran a boarding school called the United Methodist Mission School and an outpost on the reservation in the De-Na-Zin or in English Bisti. The school was between the towns of Farmington and Shiprock in New Mexico. There were 600 Navajo students who lived on-campus. They came mostly from the remote parts of the Navajo Reservation. I remember we used to get our clothes out of mission barrels and once a week we would haul water and supplies out into the De-Na-Zin.

The cultural shift from sub-Saharan Africa to the Navajo culture and landscape was dramatic. The older boys used to carry me around on their shoulders. I remember all of those guys. I learned a great deal about cultural differences and Navajo culture and language, the way of the Dine they called it, from those older students. I remember once I was pointing at something with my finger and one of my beloved “older brothers” (I called him “Big Daddy”) said to me, “Tim we don’t point with our finger, point with your chin.” From then on I pointed with my chin. I learned hundreds of other things from them about being quiet and listening – about how the human spirit is connected to the spiritual world – about Skinwalkers – about stopping and reading the cultural and human terrain – about nature and about honor and courage from the way that they lived their lives. Many of those boys who carried me on their shoulders volunteered for military service during Vietnam – they weren’t drafted – it was just part of their culture to volunteer just like the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II. A lot of them, too many of them, never came home.

When I was about 14 or so we moved back to my family’s ancestral home in middle Tennessee. I went to high school there and arrived just in time for the busing in the 1970s. It was so strange coming from the reservation and that school, where I was from a majority culture, but living as a minority, into an environment exploding with racial tension and an undercurrent of racism. So I grew up in a lot of places and learned from real experiences the reality and value of diversity in our country and the world.

What experiences in your early life would you point to as having the most profound influence on you? Any heroes?

That is hard to narrow down. First, was my memory of my father telling me the news that one of the Navajo boys I looked up to and loved was killed in Vietnam. It was hard. What was even more difficult for me was following the Navajo tradition of not ever speaking of the dead. So when an Arthur, a Begay, or a Manygoats (I am using last names) died I could no longer talk about them with other Navajos. That is just how it was.

Second, was seeing how my parents embraced Navajo culture and traditions. Both my parents and my sister are United Methodist ministers, but when my father took over the Mission School he started encouraging the Navajos to integrate their own practices and traditional religion into Christian services. Before then, the Navajos weren’t even allowed to speak Navajo at the school much less to live out their own faith tradition. I remember funerals that blended faith traditions – so there would be a casket, but it would be filled with all sorts of things that the person would need in the next life. My father would also take me to Navajo healing services where we would sit in a Hogan (a traditional Navajo home) for long periods of time in silence where medicine men would do sand paintings and sing to heal a person. One of my parent’s closest friends was a Creek medicine man named Harry Long. Every time we moved to a new house Harry would come and burn sweet grass, wave over it with an eagle feather, and sing in every room to cleanse the house. My younger sister was struck with a debilitating illness when she was around 13 and I remember my father calling Harry Long and some Navajo medicine men to come and sing over her. This shaped my perspective of my Christian faith as open and accepting – connecting with others through their own faith.

Third, was the fact that I grew up in a home that was open to everyone. My parents taught us hospitality and generosity. They were always bringing people home who needed a place to stay. Many mornings I would get up to have breakfast and there would be two or three people at the table who I had never met or seen before. Once, some Creek friends of Harry’s were travelling across the country and they stopped to camp out in our back yard – they stayed for six weeks. As far as heroes are concerned there are of course my parents, Harry Long, a Navajo elder named Fred Yazzie, a minister from the Congo from the Kasai tribe named Leon Mwambai, and many of my teachers and United Methodist minister mentors.

At what point did you realize that you wanted to pursue the career path you selected?

Well, first of all, I do not often use the language of “career” in referring to my vocation. I prefer to use the old notion of a calling. My father has a Ph.D. in cross-cultural – what we would call today multi-cultural – education. I witnessed him raising funds for the mission school. So that influenced me.

But when I was in high school I played football, soccer, baseball and wrestled. You could not do that today because a single sport is now a year-round activity. I thought I was going to go to college to play football on a scholarship. Then when I was a junior I suffered a terrible knee injury followed by an infection. I was not a very good student at the time and had placed such energy and hope into my football aspirations that I thought life was over.

This injury turned out to be a blessing that changed my life. I had to miss a semester of high school and was assigned a homeschool teacher. She was hard on me, but inspired me to begin reading the classics and philosophy. I was immediately transformed and decided to pursue a vocation as an academic – reading, studying, writing about, and teaching what I loved. As far as “presidenting” is concerned, well you don’t major in that, but I knew that God had blessed me with a passion for the transformational impact of education, talents to work with others in developing a shared vision, executing that vision by getting others excited about it and to buy into the dream through actions, and a gift for communication. When the opportunity arose for me to become president of Hendrix College, I was drafted. I enjoy the work of leadership, but still love my academic discipline.

Were you more competitive or more collaborative growing up? What about now?

I have always been intensely competitive and I still have that zest in me. It is what makes me push myself to achieve excellence and it is what drives me to achieve the best for any organization for which I work. Wisdom and change, however, come to us with age and with learning. So over the years, particularly in the context of leadership, I have learned that collaboration is the most effective method to achieve buy-in and to achieve sustainable change and momentum. This is particularly true in the context of higher education where our values and practice of shared governance means that all key stakeholders are at the table – all voices are heard.  It means that we all work together and support each other and our shared vision and objectives. Too many times I have witnessed situations where individual board members are doing one thing with pet projects, individual deans and faculty members are doing another thing, and the administration is doing something else. This produces chaos where what is needed is coherent collaboration.

The value of collaboration lies in the fact that no one person has all of the answers, ideas, or skills to accomplish significant goals, to develop a vision, or to realize a transformational vision. There was a time in our society when we believed that all the priorities, direction, even the specific objectives for an organization came out of the office of the CEO or the president. This view alleviated everyone else in the organization from taking ownership and making things happen all the way up and down the institution. If things did not work out it was the president’s fault, but with collaboration if things are not working the community bears responsibility, too. In a collaborative process with community input, the leader is responsible for setting the tone and the direction and holding people accountable for their roles and commitments. It is more like what Eisenhower did when developing the plan for the European operations in WW II. He just continuously said: “Direction Berlin!”

What experiences had the greatest impact on you as an undergraduate? How does that inform the way you have tried to lead undergraduate institutions?

I remember sitting in my first philosophy class and reading Socrates. In his dialogues a question is raised (and I am paraphrasing): “Is what is good, good because the gods say it is good, or do the gods point to what is good because it is good?” This challenged my view of the source of the good and of God. I went on to read many other thinkers who shocked and challenged my views, such as Hume, Wollstonecraft, Nietzsche, W.E.B. Dubois, Foucault, Cornell West, and others. I struggled with the questions raised and was forced to examine my assumptions. So the experience that had the greatest impact on me was to be challenged to think critically and analytically. “To learn how to learn” – that is part of the essence of the liberal arts. So I think that quality education is liberal arts and science – interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary. It is an education that teaches students how to solve puzzles, to make connections between disciplines, to see difference, and to realize that perhaps more than one interpretation of the truth may be possible. I was challenged to ask questions about the historical context in which something was discovered or argued, to try and understand the meaning and significance of topics in courses from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. In an ideal community it is also a place where people, no matter their background or ideas, can be called into accountability for the arguments they make or positions they take without fear.

This informed my leadership of undergraduate institutions because I believe my role is one of service that provides the context and the resources for faculty and the community to challenge students in this way and to make connections both inside and outside of the classroom. This is also why I have concerns about liberal arts colleges or liberal arts universities that try sometimes to mimic large research universities. Those institutions are fragmented. Knowledge is in siloes. Our complex and changing world requires interconnectivity. It also requires an environment that challenges students’ basic assumptions and avoids becoming an echo chamber.

Why did you choose to study political science as you earned advanced degrees?

I assign a book in my Introduction to Politics courses. It is called “Attacking Faulty Reasoning.” The book takes students through each fallacy in reasoning and sharpens the mind. I read that book as an undergraduate and it helped me a great deal. My undergraduate degree as a double major in philosophy and political science prepared me well for graduate school. Within political science, I focused on international relations and political theory. I also studied management and business at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. I chose political science because it allowed me to study normative questions such as what gives legitimacy to the way in which we organize ourselves into communities. It also trained me in qualitative and quantitative methodologies to test assumptions. So I guess it was the intersection of something like the humanities and the social sciences that drew me to the field.

How did your experiences traveling and studying abroad shape you then – and now?

A famous author once said that he intended his writing to “de-familiarize the familiar.” I have travelled, worked, and studied abroad quite a bit and in a variety of roles. I think I have lived a total, off and on, for four years in Eastern and Western Europe. I have also worked in volunteer projects and been on study tours to Central and South America and the Middle East. For example, I have worked on Habitat for Humanity and UMCOR projects. No matter where I have been, it has changed me in that it has refreshed my mind and put my little corner of the world and my big issues into perspective. I have had these experiences abroad in different seasons of my life and have found they have affected my thinking in different ways at different times. My wife lived in New Zealand for 10 years. I lived for a few years in Belgium. While there I studied and worked and learned not only French, but became fluent in Flemish/Dutch. I became totally immersed in the culture. In fact, so much so that most people did not realize I was from the United States. Usually, expats hang out with each other while abroad, but it is the immersion that I think is key to really getting outside of yourself and your particularistic identity. I have been to various parts of Africa many times. We started several exchange and study abroad programs while I was at Hendrix. The one of which I am most proud was the Rwandan Presidential Scholars program. We were able to bring 185 Rwandan students here to study math and science at liberal arts colleges and we sent scores of students there to study and to do internships. These experiences have shaped me and made me a strong advocate for these kinds of experiences for all students.

How do you think those early experiences shaped your views on higher education?

Those experiences definitely had an impact on how I view higher education today. I believe that the institutions that will thrive and gain recognition in this competitive environment will be those that have a coherent, compelling, differentiating vision and narrative. This will have to be something that is produced through collaboration with all stakeholders, and through empirical research we will have to know that the key differentiator will be compelling in our markets and with donors. What differentiates us must be universal and defining of the experience that students have at the institution.

How did all of this end up shaping your overall world view?

These experiences taught me that there are many roads to spirituality and ways to have a faith journey. Harry Long used to say to me that a teepee is held up by many poles, but all of them point toward heaven. My own Christian faith defines who I am. The life of Christian prayer, discipleship, and embracing the gifts of the Holy Spirit is what Wendy and I try to live each day. But these defining childhood experiences taught me that there are perhaps other paths to living out an authentic and meaningful faith journey. What we as Christians, and citizens of this country or of any campus community, should remember and embrace is that we must have the humility to know that we do not have all the answers.

We are all fallible and fallen. When we claim to have or know the whole truth out of our particularistic identity, or claim that because of our particular identity we hold a virtue that others do not, this leads quickly to the silencing of voices different than our own. If we do this we learn nothing and dialogue stops. This is happening on many campuses and the result has been a disintegration of civility, a rejection of the free exchange of ideas and a labeling of one another. I believe John Stuart Mill was right in defending openness as the expression and discussion of all ideas, ideals, and opinions if they are not part of hate speech or incite physical violence toward others.

Read Part 3 of the Q&A series: Teaching, Scholarship & Leadership


Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 1 – The Selection Process

Part One: The View from the Search Committee

In an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd following a confidential search process, we asked several members of the search committee to discuss how and why they chose the school’s next leader. We will hear directly from Dr. Cloyd himself in future installments.

How did Dr. Cloyd come to the search team’s attention?

Lyle Reed, Chair, Board of Trustess: I was speaking with my good friend Dr. Robert Wyatt, President of Coker College and former director of Drury’s Breech School of Business Administration and asked him if he could think of any candidates he would recommend. He highly recommended Dr. Tim Cloyd, who had been president of Hendrix College when Robert was an ACE Fellow (mentoring and training individuals to be higher education senior leaders) assigned to Hendrix.  He indicated Tim had returned to the classroom, but might now be interested in returning to leadership and would check with him.  He then told me Dr. Cloyd was interested and gave me his contact information. We set up a meeting in Conway and he subsequently applied to be a candidate for the presidency.

What was your first impression of Dr. Cloyd?

Reed: I think many of us were looking for a charismatic individual, with a broadcaster’s voice, right out of Central Casting, who would quiet a room as soon as he walked in. That is not Dr. Cloyd. He is soft spoken, and doesn’t desire to take over a room.

Second impression?

Reed: His thoughtful and strategic mind quickly becomes captivating on any subject, especially higher education as it relates to yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His extensive background and experience provides plenty of substance for those discussions.

So, why did you choose him?

Bill Hart, Board of Trustees: Our search committee, with survey input from faculty, staff and alumni, compiled a list of specific criteria our new president must have. Dr. Cloyd easily met all the criteria. Additionally, and to me most importantly, Dr. Cloyd did for Hendrix what we’re hoping to do here at Drury. I believe he will assimilate all the strengths and wonderful attributes of Drury in a new vision of the University, which will be compelling and attractive to today’s students.

What excites you most about him?

Penny Clayton, faculty member: Dr. Cloyd is clearly a visionary leader and impressive intellectual. He has become quickly familiar with Drury’s background and is looking forward to providing fresh solutions to ongoing struggles. He has already developed a strong desire to get to know the Drury community and during interviews, spoke of the importance of exercising emotional intelligence.

Hart: Dr. Cloyd has such an incredible breadth and depth to his background, education and life experiences. I believe he demonstrates a quiet, but successful, analytical approach to problems and issues which will appeal to everyone at Drury: students, faculty, alumni and the Board.

How extensive was the vetting process?

Reed: It was as extensive as possible without hiring a gumshoe to shadow him and interrogate his acquaintances back to childhood. It included multiple face-to-face interviews with committee members, numerous telephone conversations, a volume of emails, Internet searches, and extensive reference and public records checking by our professional search firm. The search firm conducted a comprehensive interview with him. And our search committee received his medical reports and had background conversations with other confidential sources.

What did you learn from vetting that you didn’t know from his CV?

Reed: We learned more about his personal life, especially his family.  He was divorced some seven years ago from the mother of his children – Thomas, 16, and Samuel, 18. He is remarried and his wife, Wendy, has a son from a previous marriage, Logan, who is attending college in New Zealand. She lived in New Zealand for several years after running the family business in Nashville. Wendy and Tim were neighbors and classmates in high school and were reacquainted at a class reunion.

Were there any surprising moments during the process?

Reed: No, but there were some very candid discussions about serious topics, including one in particular about an incident that significantly impacted his family. On Christmas evening 2012, Dr. Cloyd hosted some international students at his home. That event had ended and he, his wife and sons were having family Christmas time together which included exchanging gifts, relaxing together, and he had a drink. Around midnight, an armed fugitive forced his way into their home and overtly threatened Dr. Cloyd’s family with harm if they didn’t do as told. He was in another room and heard the commotion, retrieved his personal handgun for which he is trained and holds a permit, and proceeded to hold the intruder at bay until the police arrived. Fortunately, the police arrived fairly quickly. Numerous police officers entered the residence while the person was still at large in the house. There was a considerable struggle and force was required to restrain the intruder, who was on drugs. He recalled it for us as a very frightening, chaotic scene, and a traumatic situation for his family, who witnessed everything first hand. It was clear to us that he did exactly what he believed he needed to do to protect his family in that difficult situation, and the good news was that none of his family was harmed, nor did he have to harm the intruder. It was a horrifying experience for the Cloyd family that required them to receive subsequent victim counseling. It is hard to be prepared for emergencies where you only have adrenaline-filled seconds to react.

Hart: I was an FBI agent for four years before entering a legal practice. After hearing the facts about the entire incident, I could understand why this event was so impactful. No one can imagine or anticipate how fast something like that happens and how disorienting, confusing and terrifying the situation can be. Law enforcement trains for that type of incident and still, you never know how you will react until it happens. In training, you talk about the incident after it’s over and invariably someone says they wish they had done something a little differently. It is never the same next time, there is always some circumstance that changes. This is certainly the kind of situation no one wants to go through.

What path led Dr. Cloyd to Drury?

Reed: Well, he had resigned as president of Hendrix about three years ago. The committee wanted to know why such a successful president would step down and return to the classroom. Those decision processes are not often a straight line and usually have multiple influences.  He had been thinking about stepping down for a year or so. He had twelve years of major happenings at Hendrix, including weathering two major recessions and had just completed a successful comprehensive capital campaign. Presidencies are demanding of personal time. Tim believes that presidents often have a “shelf life” at a particular institution and new thinking is needed to keep strategies fresh and relevant. And, while it was not a primary driver, the invasion incident was a life-changing experience for him and his family and influenced their personal priorities. I think all of those things combined to cause him to take a timeout. And, his timeout came to an end at the same time we began our search.

What is the one thing you want the Drury community to know about Dr. Cloyd?

Hart: I believe he is a really quick study. We shouldn’t be surprised if he has discovered a lot more about the issues facing Drury and today’s liberal arts education by July 1 than any of us expect. I suspect he will have many ideas about how to move Drury forward sooner than we anticipate and he will be right.

Clayton: He will be active in the Drury and Springfield communities and is dedicated to ensuring Drury’s future as a prestigious liberal arts university. I believe he will thoughtfully assess the current Drury climate, yet move quickly in developing momentum for a successful Drury future.

Reed: He is an empirical decision-maker and action-oriented. Traits that all references shared were: he is a strategic thinker, idea generator, entrepreneur, risk taker, visionary and efficacious leader. Our committee asked Dr. Cloyd: Of those traits, which one he would most embrace?  His answer: he is an “idea person.”  But, I believe they all speak to who Tim Cloyd is. I have personally spent a lot of time with Dr. Cloyd since the search team voted unanimously to recommend him to the full board of trustees as Drury’s 18th president, and I am now even more convinced that Tim Cloyd is the right person to lead Drury into the future we all desire.

Read Part 2 of the Q&A Series: The Formative Years.