In His Own Words
Bob Lannin, Nebraska ’81, was elected as the 32nd Chairman for the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, after four years of Board service. The DU Quarterly team recently spoke with the Nebraska-based attorney about his experiences on the Board, the state of the Fraternity, and the future of Delta Upsilon. Bob is a 2000 recipient of DU’s Chairman’s Award: Volunteer of the Year, as well as a 2007 recipient of the Founders Medal.
Congratulations on becoming Chairman of the Board. After four years as an Alumni Director, what inspired you to become Chairman?
Because I was asked. I know that sounds flippant, but it’s the truth. My time on the board thus far has shown me that there’s a lot DU is doing right. My hope is to build upon that. I originally joined the Board because I have a passion for Delta Upsilon, and after years of serving as an alumni chapter officer, wanted to help even more.
There have surely been lots of take-aways from your time on the Board. What have been the biggest things you have learned?
The fraternity world is evolving. Public pressure for safety is mounting, for good reason. I want to work with our staff and undergraduates to make certain DU presents an enjoyable yet safe opportunity. I’m a big believer in fraternal life, but we need to do things the right way.
Share with us some of the initiatives/plans that are on the horizon for the Board of Directors and Delta Upsilon.
We will start off this fall with some strategic planning. It’s been about five years since our strategic plan was written—prior to my time on the board. It’s time to give it a review and see if there are some appropriate modifications or changes. The five-year mark in any strategic plan is a great time for a thorough review.
What is one thing you want all DUs to know about you as you embark on your journey in the Chairman role?
I guess that I want people to know I will listen. For a variety of well-informed reasons, we may not always be able to do what is asked, but I want people to always feel as though they’ve at least been heard.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing DU in the road ahead? And how do we overcome that challenge?
We have great leadership and staff at the International Headquarters, but while they provide great programming and support, it’s up to our students to decide to make the right decisions. Our work on the Membership Outcomes Assessment has provided tremendous insight into our undergraduates and their thinking. We need to improve upon this so that there’s understanding by our college constituencies of the challenges they face. People simply can’t be put at risk as a result of the fraternity experience.
What are you most excited about in terms of the future of DU?
While there are obvious challenges facing the fraternal world, and they are not lost on DU, I think we are poised to play a leadership role in what I would call a renaissance for the Greek community. Frankly, at DU, we are doing a lot of things right. We need a partnership with our undergraduates to make sure we continue down the right path.