include your thoughts as to where you see the particular school you lead being both within the whole of the Vanderbilt Community and also within the larger scheme of academia. This is an opportunity in a sense to provide the operational figures with the vision you have for your school and to ensure the operational figures' enthusiasm in accomplishing that vision.
As it breaks down, you each will have approximately five-to six minutes to address each of the conversational topics. What that means is that you should be prepared to address the topic and not merely be present to answer specific questions. Dean Mark Wait will be asked to speak first followed by Deans McCarty, Hudnut-Beumler, Benbow and Bradford. If Dean Syverud is able to come following his class, he will be the last dean-speaker.
We look forward to your being with us. I am especially grateful for your willingness to participate. I know that each of you maintains an exceptionally busy calendar. Janet R. Hirt, University Staff Council President]
The format of this is basically each Dean will answer each of the questions in turn. I will introduce each of the gentlemen as we come to them.
Time is limited and we will not have the opportunity for questions from the floor. Perhaps afterward you can approach one individually with a question.
The first of two Johns Hopkins graduates on our panel is Mark Wait. He was the first Dean to respond to our call for participation. Thus we offered and afforded him the opportunity to speak first, but I see from reading the bio material that we should also give you that place of presence by means of your tenure here at Vanderbilt. Mark Wait has been Dean at the Blair School since 1993. He has been very active in the Nashville community doing all different kinds of things. He was nominated in 2001 and serves on the Country Music Foundation Board of Directors. Reading his bio is kind of different from reading everyone else’s bio. Everyone else has all these societies of membership, but Dean Wait’s bio has Marty Stuart’s name and others. Dean Wait also has a really cool publicity photo included in his bio. The Blair School is tucked away on the corner of campus, but it is a very important part of our institution.
Dean Mark Wait, Dean of the Blair School of Music: I think I will stand so I can see more of you. The Staff Survey was very helpful to us. It was actually complimentary to a process we started at the Blair School about a year and a half ago.
Let me tell you a little bit about the Blair School and the way it is different from other Vanderbilt school and colleges and the way that the staff participates. We have 180 music majors at the Blair School. We are the youngest and the smallest school at Vanderbilt. Our collegiate program only started in 1986. What many people don’t realize is that before that fact, in 1964, our foundation began as a school of pre-college and adult education. And so while we have 180 music majors, we have 600 students who range in age from 18 months to 85 years old. Really in a numerical sense the core of what we do is a vital link to the Nashville community in offering education, piano, violin lessons, and choruses -- a broad range of musical activity to the community. In addition, we present over 200 public concerts a year. This is where the staff is absolutely critical to what we do.
The staff are our primary ambassadors to the community. When any parent wants to call into the Blair School to enroll his or her child in music lessons, they are talking to a staff member. That staff member is our primary ambassador. People who come to our concerts meet our staff members, whether they are serving as ushers or house managers or ticket office personnel. They are our primary ambassadors to those people who come in. So we have thousands of people who