Sadler Hall is frenzied with activity preparing for the impending Board of Trustees meeting.
“I’m like the air traffic controller,” Chief of Staff Jean Mrasek said. “Making sure everything will result in a smooth and productive meeting.”
This is Mrasek’s first time orchestrating the biannual meeting of the university’s chief stakeholders since taking the chief of staff position last November.
Currently, she is overseeing “a lot of moving parts,” from communicating with the 50 board members about the schedule to preparing the books for the different standing committee meetings.
Standing committee meetings will be held April 9 and 10, with reports on fiscal affairs, development and advancement, student affairs, athletics, investments and other topics.
Mrasek is also assisting with Chancellor Victor Boschini’s remarks at the general board meeting April 11 regarding the strategic plan for the Vision in Action: Academy of Tomorrow.
Boschini said Mrasek is crucial in getting background information for dinners, tasks and meetings.
“This is a very challenging job – especially one that would be difficult to learn in that it is changing all the time,” Boschini said.
Mrasek said she is learning the cycle to preparing for the meeting. Part of that is keeping everyone updated and informed to get acquainted with the board members.
Even having IT staff to troubleshoot technical issues with the committee books on trustees’ iPads – the board went paper free in 2012 – factors into Mrasek’s huge equation.
One person who can understand Mrasek’s challenge is Karen Baker, the vice chancellor for human resources and the former chief of staff.
“I’ve consulted her quite a bit,” Mrasek said.
Baker, who held the position for 10 years, has been a resource for Mrasek before and during her transition to chief of staff.
The most important piece of wisdom Baker said she passed on to Mrasek was how crucial it is to pay attention to detail. When Baker was in Mrasek’s place, she had a 12-page checklist for the meeting.
“It’s very different being in the thick of it,” Baker said.
Baker and Boschini said Mrasek was putting her own spin on the job.
Boschini said a fresh pair of eyes was healthy for the process.
“She is still asking the questions that I have ‘lost’ along the way as I am here longer,” he said.
Even though she’ll be relieved when it’s all over, Mrasek said she’s been honored to be a part of preparing for the meeting.
“There’s a lot of confidence and respect in the leadership of TCU. TCU is so blessed and fortunate to have such outstanding people with different talents and interests on the board.”