A New Perspective on Stewardship

magnifying-glassAs we consider our Minnesota State leadership competencies and focus on stewardship, I find myself wondering how it applies to me as a leader. While I try to be responsible with the resources assigned to me, I don’t meet with donors or make financial decisions. So how can I demonstrate stewardship in my day-to-day leadership?

Rose Pascarell is the  VP for Student Life at George Mason University. She wrote an article challenging her readers to consider how student affairs might look if stewardship was the guiding principal. How might that change the services we provide to students and the outcomes they experience?

Pascarell said that stewardship means examining how we use our financial resources to support our core goals. To do this, we need to seek new perspectives and multiple viewpoints.

“I challenge us all to consider whether we truly serve our students to the best of our ability when we build organizations that are complex, internally competitive, and focus on our own professional growth and professional curiosity without honest reflection on resources necessary to build our ideal student affairs environment.”

I can take “student affairs” out of the challenge above and insert my own area of human resources.Thinking about the goals of my work unit, I can ask whether my actions support Minnesota State in attracting, retaining, and developing employees to meet current and future educational needs. If I can’t make a direct connection, then being a good steward means taking a look at that activity and thinking of ways to stop doing it, or to do it more effectively.

How might your work be different if  stewardship was the guiding principle?

Dee Anne Bonebright



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