Tim Moore, the executive director of recreation at Boston University answers a few of our questions.
1.What drew you to the recreation industry?
I think for me what drew me to recreation was the opportunity to positively impact student development and the quality of our participants’ lives. When I started out in this industry I had one simple goal and that was to positively impact the lives of the people that I touch.
2. Throughout your time at Boston University, what is one of the biggest changes you have seen?
We have conducted renovations, improved our hiring practices, expanded our program offerings, but I think the biggest change I have had to implement is changing the mindset of the professional staff to not just focus on programming, but to focus on the business of what we do. We were given a mandate when I started here to become budget neutral. So money in has to equal money out. We worked together as a team to create a business plan that would allow us to do that, and that was a major feat. We had to think about how we were going to continue to grow our programs, but also be budget neutral. It was a huge change. The team came together, we developed a business plan, created our goals and together achieved that. To me that speaks very highly of the people I have the opportunity to work with every day.
3. What is one accomplishment you are most proud of?
The thing that I am proud of here is the fact that we have been able to address that mandate of the university to become budget neutral, but at the same time we have expanded services and programming to our community. It would have been easy to say the simplest way to become budget neutral is to cut out all the services that we provide to our community and focus on the fee-based stuff that we do. But the staff didn’t choose the easy path, they chose the difficult path of continuing to grow and expand and serve our community, while becoming budget neutral.
4. What gets you excited to come to work every day?
The opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives that we serve. We are constantly looking to improve the experience we provide and that gets me jazzed up. Every day I pinch myself because I have the opportunity to come here and serve this community and make a difference in people’s lives. This is one of those industries where you can do that and actually see it.
5. What is one lesson you have learned that other recreation professionals can learn from?
For me, there are a few lessons that have proved helpful: patience is a virtue, listen and learn and don’t get discouraged. One of the most exciting parts of working in campus recreation is we have so many opportunities to develop creative solutions, so I tell people to savor that, enjoy it and don’t get discouraged.
6. Tell us one fun fact about yourself that others may not know.
During the winter holidays, I am Santa. I have the real beard, I have a suit, but I do wear a fake belly. For a month each year I get to be magic. I get hugs and smiles from everyone, I get to hear about what little kids want for Christmas. It doesn’t get better than that. I was about 50 years old, my hair was white, my beard was white and I thought I was Santa. So I grew my beard out for Christmas, I bought the suit and I started to do some charity events as Santa.