Ruth interviewed for NYTimes leadership series, claims she was “impossible”

Our very own Ruth J. Simmons was interviewed for an article published today in a New York Times series called “Corner Office,” a weekly conversation feature “about leadership and management” by Adam Bryant. You can read the whole interview here, or in today’s New York Times.

The conversation included some great insights into how Ruth leads our school. Among the quotations that are surely about to be memorized as if they were sayings of the Dalai Lama: “I have always thought that in leadership that it’s much easier to convey to people what they should do in different situations if you convey the underlying principles… I would not have any tolerance at all for people who did not, in fact, strive hard to be a part of [the] team.” She definitely isn’t a micromanager.

Definitely the most interesting part of the interview, however, was Ruth’s reflection on her younger years. Although she was the youngest of 12 children, Ruth wanted to be the boss from a very young age: “I intervened in school… to tell teachers what they were doing wrong, or at least to tell them what I didn’t like about what they were doing.” If you’re ever in one of her Africana Studies or Comp Lit classes, try that and let me know how that goes.

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