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Apr 10, 2024

Becoming a One-Trick Pony

As I settle into my new role as the AI Chief Officer, I find myself reflecting on the stark contrast between this position and my previous one as a dean. The transition has been an eye-opening experience, leading me to explore parts of the campus that I had rarely ventured into before. It is as if I have been handed a new pair of lenses, allowing me to see the interactions between different divisions in a whole new light.

One of the most striking changes I have noticed is the shift in my perspective. When I was a dean, my mind was constantly occupied with a myriad of concerns, ranging from student affairs to faculty development. Now, as the AI Chief Officer, I find myself becoming a one-trick pony, or rather, a hammer that sees everything as a nail. It is an interesting phenomenon, watching how my new position dictates my focus and shapes my thoughts.

I catch myself listening to colleagues, and almost instinctively, my mind jumps to how AI can help address their challenges. It is a reflex that has become increasingly prominent in my daily interactions. However, I must remind myself that not all problems can be solved with AI. It is an illusion that we, as a society, need to overcome. AI is a powerful tool, but it is not a panacea for every issue that arises.

This experience has taught me that every position we hold is both limiting and eye-opening. Our roles shape our perspectives, and sometimes, we may not even realize how narrow our focus has become. That is why I recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to change roles should do so. It is a chance to learn more about the campus you thought you knew everything about. Trust me, no one does.

Those who have had the privilege of changing focus, like myself, have gained a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate workings of our institution. It is a humbling realization, knowing that there is always more to discover and learn.

Many people step out of their comfort zone and explore new roles whenever the opportunity arises. You may be surprised at how much more there is to learn about the campus you thought you knew so well. And who knows, you might just discover a new passion or perspective that you never knew existed.