Students walking on their way to class in front of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies
Photograph by Jamie Betts

Back in the classroom

October 20, 2022


President Hallock is grateful to add a familiar role to his priorities this semester: professor.

By Kevin F. Hallock, president
President Kevin F. Hallock

The school year started swiftly in August with the familiar footsteps of returning staff, faculty, and students — and nearly 1,000 new Spiders. Our community arrived from around the world, sharing a vibrant diversity of experiences, values, and beliefs.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the start of the new school year. I love thinking about new ideas, meeting new colleagues, making new friends, and considering all of the new opportunities ahead. I even love office supplies.

And I love the University of Richmond. So many people have dedicated their time, effort, and means to develop and steward this awesome institution. Today Richmond stands on a foundation of generosity.

I am especially grateful this semester to be teaching my first course at Richmond — a First-Year Seminar on compensation. Every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m., I work with 16 undergraduates, teaching in rhythm with faculty across campus. We explore why people earn what they earn while honing skills in writing, public speaking, and library research.

The class is also teaching me. I am learning more about Richmond student experiences, faculty teaching experiences, and the many ways in which our staff makes what happens in and outside our classrooms possible. I am also learning how to demonstrate values I hold dear: integrity, transparency, effort, inclusion, well-being, collegiality, and giving the benefit of the doubt.

This last one is particularly important, especially in a community as close-knit as ours. A university campus is precisely where we should have open and sometimes difficult dialogue about issues. We have a great deal to gain from engaging in respectful, compassionate conversations and assuming positive intent. I have learned so much in my life from so many people, including those with whom I have disagreed. Together, we have the opportunity to engage across differences, grow, and build understanding.

And, we have the responsibility to ensure Richmond becomes even more remarkable. As an economist, I will continue to champion our comparative advantages, encourage investment in areas of opportunity, and push our Spider community to maximize our impact. I will also continue to actively listen and learn from you.

Together, we will ensure UR’s best days are ahead.