NEW ALBANY — Part of his collection of antique cameras were already set up in his corner office at Indiana University Southeast, but Ray Wallace still had several boxes to empty before he was completely nestled in Tuesday.
But even though it was his first day on the job as the chancellor of the campus, Wallace said he wants to get to know his neighbors immediately. To do that, he said they’ll see him quite a bit around town.
“It’s a broad community and I need to get to know them,” Wallace said. “I need to get to know what they’re happy with and what they want to see the institution grow into themselves.”
Wallace most recently served as the provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. The native Northern Irishman has nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, all of his work on regional campuses.
On his first day and even before, he said he got to know his campus. He spent lunch watching some of the World Cup with students and describes campus faculty as first-rate.
Though he’s taking the top leadership position in IU Southeast’s administration, he said he wants to get a feel for what the community — both on campus and in the region — want to see on campus before he starts cutting a path for the future.
“I want to take the polls a wee bit before I make any grandiose decisions,” Wallace said. “I’d rather have a lot of people around the table talking about what we can be.”
Wallace and his wife, Susan, are staying in Charlestown while they’re searching for a permanent residence. But in the meantime, he said he’d like to attend various community events, introduce himself to partners in business as well as folks on the street to get a feel for how IU Southeast can serve them.