“Learning Doesn’t Stop After You Get Your Degree:” U-Idaho Library Dean Offers Lessons to Graduates

Saturday, December 8 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – Lynn Baird, University of Idaho dean of library services, shared today a few lessons she’s learned since receiving her own bachelor’s degree with fall commencement graduates. Perhaps most important, she said is “learning doesn’t stop after you get your degree.”

“I want to share with you my journey from student to dean,” said Baird. “It was by no means a straight path, and I think I learned a few things that you may wish to note as you chart your own voyage.”

She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts at University of the Pacific (Raymond College) in 1972. She earned a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Oregon in 1974, a Master of Public Administration at the University of Idaho in 1980 and her doctoral degree in adult and organizational learning in 2010 at the University of Idaho.

After receiving her master’s degree, Baird accepted a one-year temporary position with the University of Idaho, moving from Eugene, Ore., to Moscow. The move “was a tough transition for a California girl,” said Baird.

Baird’s one-year position has grown into a profession where she can “collect and organize knowledge that serves as the foundation for new discoveries.”

In July 2012, Baird, along with other members of the University of Idaho’s leadership team, boarded a bus to launch the Morrill Act Tour. The team met with people throughout the state and listened and learned from the communities touched by the university.

She reminded graduates that 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant university system to provide “access to education for common people, people like you and me, codifying the American ideal that education is necessary to move the nation forward.”

“Our graduates will create technologies, teach the next generations, develop policies to protect our environment and grow our industries, and help discover ways to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and contribute to the betterment of society,” said Baird.

Baird said it is crucial that today’s graduates build teams that understand concepts of collaboration. “Making and nurturing professional relationships” that will provide the framework for an interesting and rewarding career. “Remember, diverse perspectives make the organizational fabric stronger.” No one can be an expert in everything.

Baird reminded graduates to take risks but keep in mind that no job is too small. “Be aware of your strengths and find ways to use them to your best advantage.”

“Wherever you land, whatever you do, you will carry your Vandal spirit with you. And because you are a Vandal, you will be making a difference to the world around you,” said Baird.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.