As Dr. Robert Cushman Jr. enters his first year as president of Pacific Union College, we thought we would ask him a few questions to get to know him better. He was more than willing to play along and his answers are below. We here at the Campus Chronicle wish him luck as the 2017-2018 school year begins.
Q: Where did you take your wife on your first date?
A: During our sophomore year in college, I was the PR Director for Campus Ministries at Walla Walla University. I was invited to a dinner at the chaplain’s house to host a motivational speaker on campus. We could only attend this dinner if we brought a date. I called Judy (who lived in the village) to see if she would go with me. When she said “yes,” I asked her to drive because I lived in the dorm and did not have a car. The rest is history...
Q: Now that your wife knows you better, what about you does she no longer think is “cute”?
A: She told me this week that leaving my coat on the dining room chair is no longer attractive. …
Q: If PUC students were to infiltrate your bedroom tonight, what books would they find on your nightstand?
A: So, having PUC students infiltrate my bedroom tonight is creepy. But if they were to find their way into my house at night, they would find my Kindle sleeping soundly. I do find it relaxing at night to read something light as I decompress, like David Baldacci’s new book, “The Fix”.
Q: Up until now, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
A: In academy, I worked at an amusement park with a big slide and a go-cart track on Sundays. When things got slow, we would go down the slide while sitting on wax paper to increase our speed.
Q: At what job were you a dismal failure?
A: Dismal failure might be overstating your case here. However, after college I tried my hand at being an apprentice framing carpenter. I decided I would be better off using my head to make a living rather than my hands.
Q: What do you dislike most about your appearance?
A: Hmmm, wrinkled skin on my hands as I get older.
Q: What do you consider your most overrated virtue?
A: How can one overrate a virtue? That is why they are called virtues. In David Brooks’ book, “The Road to Character”, he compares “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues.” The “eulogy virtues” are the ones that give meaning to life. The “resume virtues” are the ones that you bring to the marketplace. According to Brooks, my “resume virtues” would be the ones that are overrated.
Q: What words or phrases do you most overuse?
A: “It is what it is” when something is out of my control and I cannot fix it.
Q: What trait do you most deplore in yourself?
A: I like my traits. That is why I am keeping them.
Q: What trait do you most deplore in college students?
A: When they are working on homework from another class while they are attending my class.
Q: What was the last television/Netflix/HBO show you binged watched?
A: The Super Bowl. I do not usually watch television for more than an hour or so at a time.
Q: Other than the Campus Chronicle, where do you get your news?
A: I get my news online from CNN while I am eating breakfast.
Q: What’s the first project you are going to tackle as president of PUC?
A: I want to get to know the people at PUC: faculty, staff and students by visiting various departments, student meetings, eating lunch in the cafeteria, etc. I will also be joining the vision and strategic planning project team that is already working on plans for the future. I am also hoping our conversation about the cafeteria during my last visit to PUC [last spring] will precipitate some improvements to better meet the needs of students