All In: The Networks That Move the University

MORE THAN A GAME

More Than a GameYou have to be careful with sports metaphors. For instance, football is absolutely nothing like “fighting in the trenches.” Nor is it religion or life, even if such similes persist.

Likewise, the university’s direction means more than any Saturday afternoon on the football field.

Fans may want Coach Keller’s game plans to work. (We may even hold our breaths in Abel Stadium as the clock ticks down.) But as our community faces a deep recession, we need the university’s plan to succeed. At stake are our students’ educations, the livelihoods of our faculty and staff and the continuing value of our alumni’s degrees.

Understanding that distinction, it’s the necessity of teamwork that translates. It’s people working together to overcome common—and even uncommon—obstacles.

NWU has seen its share of obstacles lately. “Few, if any, organizations have been untouched by the collapse of financial markets,” Vice President for Finance and Administration Clark Chandler wrote in the university’s financial overview in the last issue of Archways. “The decline in the financial market has resulted in financial stress to Nebraska Wesleyan, just as it has to every member of the community.”

For NWU, the stress came in the shape of a nearly 16 percent drop in net assets. That’s a blow strong enough to make every Prairie Wolf, Plainswoman and Plainsman search for breath. But what quickly becomes relevant is not the setback outside a team’s control, but the response within it. And that response, seen across the Nebraska Wesleyan community, is what’s proving again in 2010 to be so inspiring.