Judy Beal, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, has grown — and grown up — at Simmons. Beal has been an educator, researcher, and leader at Simmons for nearly 30 years. She cares deeply about the College, and has worked to strengthen its visibility and reputation. She sees her school, in particular, as a collaborative and collegial contributor to Simmons and to the world.
WHAT SORT OF LEADER ARE YOU?
My leadership style is dynamic — always evolving with experience and internal and external demands. I also hope that I am viewed as an inspirational and transformational leader....I certainly strive for that. I have an established track record as a builder — of people, of relationships, partnerships, programs, and opportunities. I believe that I have built a culture of optimism, trust, respect, collegiality, and hope at the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Being an authentic leader is critical to success as a leader. But equally important is skill in business planning, and alignment and coherence of external trends with vision and resources.
WHAT LEADER DO YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
I admire Desmond Tutu because he was such a humanitarian. One of my favorite quotes of his is, "Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
IF YOU HAD A DAY TO GO ANYWHERE OR DO ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD YOU DO AND WHOM WOULD YOU BRING?
I would go for a long walk — either on the beach or in the woods — either alone or, better yet, with my two adult children.
DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES?
I love jazz, mostly jazz piano — to listen to, not play! I am a gourmet cook and thrive on hosting parties — the more the merrier.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES YOU SEE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION?
The growth of commercial and corporate influences is both a challenge and an opportunity. The Academy struggles with many questions: What is the essence of an education? Is it learning, or is it getting a good job upon graduation? Does everyone in the United States need to have a college degree? Is the customer always right? How do you develop strategic partnerships and share resources? The future of higher education in the health professions and education at Simmons College requires leading in lean times, strategic thinking, partnerships, and innovation.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE SIMMONS?
The people are Simmons. Harvard Business School professor and renowned business thinker Rosabeth Moss Kanter once said, "Love is the true hallmark of great leaders — love for their work and love for those with whom they work." For me, the people who work and study at Simmons are what is best about Simmons.
WHERE ARE SOME MEMORABLE PLACES YOU'VE TRAVELED?
Egypt and Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania. But my favorite spots in the whole world are Provence and Tuscany.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD?
My favorite word is fabulous...because I feel fabulously happy, and life is fabulously great!