My career in higher education reaches back to 1989, when I accepted a job as a Teaching Assistant at The University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Though I didn't really know what I was doing when I taught that first composition class, I was pretty clear about one thing: I loved the university, and I wanted to work in higher education for as long as I possibly could.

So it should be no small surprise that I'm still working in a university setting. As most things in life, I'm either totally committed or somewhat disinterested; when it comes to making the university a great place for our students, well, I'm invested.

I'm also invested in my family: my wonderful wife, two kids, one dog, and three cats. They are the most important "thing" in my life. They are the highest priority.

So it's somewhat serendipitous that my oldest daughter, Kait, is now a freshman in college. She loves college. She's getting great grades and making great friends--basically, she's living the post-secondary dream. It's good to talk to her on the phone and hear how much she loves the university lifestyle; it makes me want to be a better Dean, so every student I work with--every student I am accountable to--can enjoy college as much as Kait does.

Note: here's a photo of Kait and I before we did Ironman Wisconsin last September--that was a good day.