Earlier in March, Ryan Crocker, dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, joined administrators from across campus and speakers from around the country for the third annual Campus Climate Conference at Texas A&M University. The annual conference provides an opportunity for the University to learn strategies for fostering a climate of diversity and equity in the workplace.
On the second day of the conference, Dean Crocker spoke about the importance of civility and creating a civil workplace.
“In popular usage, civility and diplomacy are treated as synonymous with being polite,” said Crocker. “Being polite very often can mean not saying uncomfortable things: you don’t want to make people feel bad, you don’t want to ruffle feathers, you don’t want to get in an argument. I’m here to tell you that is really bad diplomacy and it’s also bad for our society. If you are being silent, you are at the very least not grappling with real problems in society. At worst, your silence can be seen as acceptance. My definition for both civility and diplomacy is ‘a way of having hard conversations that lead to positive outcomes.’”
The previous evening, the conference kicked off with a keynote address by Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the Life is Good Company, who gave a talk entitled “The Role of Optimism and a Positive Attitude in Creating Optimal Success.” Other featured speakers included Dr. Eli Jones, dean of the Mays Business School, Dr. Pamela Matthews, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture.