December 8, 2017
Dr. Edmund T. Cabellon (Ed) serves as the Director of Administration in the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Bridgewater State University (MA). He is also an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) in the Ricciardi College of Business – Management.
Question (Q): Ed, how long have you been in your current role and at Bridgewater State University?
Edmund T. Cabellon (Ed): I’ve been in my current role as the Director of Administration for the last 3.5 years and I have been at Bridgewater State University for the last 20.5 years.
Q: Describe the units within your portfolio and if you have any specific duties in addition to providing supervision to those units.
Ed: My portfolio consists of Strategic Planning, Fiscal Management, Fund Raising, Human Resources, and Communications.
Q: What do you enjoy doing most in your current role?
Ed: Providing leadership to our department heads on my portfolio areas. From a 30K foot level, I can provide feedback and strategic direction to better support and position our resource allocations properly.
Q: What is something you are most proud of as an AVP?
Ed: While my role is not a traditional AVP title, serving on the VP's core leadership team has provided me the opportunity to have a voice a table regarding our division's strategic decisions. I'm proud of how I've represented myself and the value I add to our entire division through our collective accomplishments together.
Q: AVP roles are challenging! What do you do outside of work to ensure that you’re fresh and energized for your campus job?
Ed: I consume a lot of content each week. Whether it’s reading articles or listening to books on audio during a workout or in the car, I am always in a learning mode. If teaching and learning are at the center of all our work as university educators, we must continue to grow our acumen in a variety of topic areas. Also, I try to make time each day to connect with folks outside my physical office space by walking around, making a phone or video call, or by sending a note along. Finally, staying active three to four times a week by running and/or strength training helps reduce any built up stress.
Q: How have you been involved in NASPA and do you currently serve NASPA?
Ed: I am currently a member of the Technology Knowledge Community and have attended and presented at the AVP Institute, NASPA National Conference, and Region 1 Conferences.
Q: How do you balance your personal life with your professional responsibilities?
Ed: As I've gotten older, I've learned to say "no" more regularly. Not everything we do is critical or urgent, and once we learn what is, the ability to disconnect becomes easier. That being said, our Student Affairs work is personal so the idea of completely separating the two worlds is an antiquated thought... instead, determine what you need to thrive at work, share with your supervisors and staff, and be a great example for others. Whether that means delegating more and/or emailing less, only you can determine what balance means in your life.
Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
Ed: Spend time with family and friends, play a lot of golf, and disconnect from work and personal email!
Q: What is the best advice you would give to yourself as a new professional knowing what you know now?
1. Before seeking more opportunities (both on and off campus), have a strong command of your current job and demonstrate effectiveness and follow through at a level your direct supervisor expects.
2. "Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast" - Peter Drucker. To succeed in most organizations, you must first understand and embrace the organizational culture before developing any strategy.
3. Understand Your Institution's Financial Model Well. How does your unit/division receiving funding? Is it through fees? Tuition? State Allocations? Fundraising? When you understand your institutions spending rules, you strategically position your unit for better financial decisions. When you see how your institution spends its resources, you can better understand its real value system (vs. what any website or brochure will tell you).
Q: Finally, what are you reading now (or have you read recently)?
Ed): "Shoe Dog" by Phil Night. It's the story of how the Nike Company came to be and the lessons learned along the way. Great audio book as well!
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