UAH Excited by New President’s Arrival

September 22, 2011

An article by Paul Gattis, of The Huntsville Times, talks about the new, soft-spoken president at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. Robert Altenkirch, a man that measures his words carefully and whose reserved demeanor has stirred excitement across campus.

Altenkirch, 63, was unanimously approved by the UA System board of trustees at a brief meeting Wednesday at UAH. Dr. Jennifer English, past president of the UAH faculty senate and a member of the presidential search committee describes the campus attitude as “Very excited, very hopeful.” She said, “We seem to have been in this potential energy situation for so long. I’m ready for the catalyst to come and really get us moving.”

I found it interesting as to why Dr. Altenkirch’s arrival at UAH would be so highly anticipated. After all, he resigned as president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and is largely an unknown entity in Alabama.

But when you listen to Altenkirch, it’s easy to see why the UAH community has high hopes for his impending leadership:

“My top priority for the first six months is to learn all I can,” Altenkirch said. “It’s like drinking from a fire hose. Talking to everybody before setting an agenda.”

Dr. Altenkirch is obviously sympathetic to the ideas and desires of others, which is a fundamental Success Principle that Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama teaches in its programs.

Dr. English, who recognized this quality in Altenkirch right away, said, “That’s a problem when you want some people to follow you and you can’t explain why you want them to follow you. You’re going to have very few people behind you. Dr. Altenkirch has clear examples in his history at NJIT of doing just that.”

Dr. Altenkirch clearly hit the ground running in his new position as President of UAH. It will be interesting to watch what positive changes come about as a result of his leadership.

Here’s an example of being sympathetic to the ideas and desires of others from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama:

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