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Weekly Wisdom 12/7/20 Episode: Transcript of Conversation With Frank Dooley, Chancellor, Purdue University Global

Weekly Wisdom 12/7/20 Episode: Transcript of Conversation With Frank Dooley, Chancellor, Purdue University Global

Notes: 
1) This interview in the Weekly Wisdom Series originally aired on December 7, 2020 as part of the University Innovation Alliance’s Innovating Together podcast, appearing live on
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
2) This transcript is intended to serve primarily as a guide to the full conversation. We apologize for any inaccuracies and encourage you to
listen to the podcast.

Click here to access our summary, along with helpful links and audio from this episode.

Frank Dooley:
And the other thing I tried to practice is active listening. You know, if you listen to questions that come to you, they reveal to you what's important to the people. And then if you start to address what's important to people, then I think people are going to take you seriously regardless of if you're in a room with them, or if you're doing it virtually.

Bridget Burns:
Welcome to Innovating Together, podcast produced by the University Innovation Alliance. This is the podcast for busy people in higher education, who are looking for the best ideas, inspiration and leaders to help you improve student success. I'm your host, Bridget Burns.

You're about to watch another episode of Start the Week With Wisdom, which for those of you who are at home, if you have not seen this before, these are our weekly episodes where we conduct an interview with a sitting college president or chancellor and we want to talk to them about how they're navigating the challenge of this moment, we're in a really unique time. And we want to focus on their leadership and unpack how they are making decisions, how they're navigating. And hopefully it will leave you with a sense of optimism, a bit inspired and give you a bit of hope.

And I'm delighted to bring a longtime friend, Dr. Frank Dooley, the Chancellor of Purdue University Global, as I mentioned, to the stage to talk a bit about his experience, because while I have known Frank for quite some time, he previously served as the liaison at for the University Innovation Alliance at Purdue University. And he was serving currently, he was certainly serving in the role of Vice Provost for teaching and learning at that time. So I've known him for a long time. I know he's a person of high integrity, and he's very passionate about serving students. But he also changed jobs, like right in the middle of all of this happening, and had to figure out how to become Chancellor, had to learn online education had to learn a totally different faculty, different type of student to serve. And so I just am so curious about what he's learned in that moment. So Frank, thank you so much for coming. And joining us today, giving us a chance to learn from you.

Frank Dooley:
Well, thanks, Bridget. I'm just looking forward, it's great to be with you. Again, like you said, we've, you and I've been working together for a long time. And and I'm gonna say it's some of that work that really prepared me for the role I'm in today. So hats off to the UIA and the work that you've done.

Bridget Burns:
Yeah, well, I appreciate that. So how are you holding up right now? And can you give us a little bit of a sense of When did you arrive at Purdue University Global? You obviously the search happened prior to the pandemic? But was it right in the middle of May, correct?

Frank Dooley:
Well, actually, the search started in late March, I took the job on May one. So so I am a pandemic job hire, if you want to call it that. I'm holding up as well as one might in these worlds. I mean, I, I called my family and I've had blessings. I mean, my eldest daughter got married, we're thinking is going to be a large wedding on the Fourth of July, and we ended up with 10 people in our backyard.

My younger daughter is a fifth grade teacher. Life has been more difficult for her because teach remote now you're in class and it I see the stress that that our teachers are having, and I just hats off to all the teachers in the world, and how are you doing? I'm hanging in, right, I think I'm just like everybody else, just as I've mentioned that, it feels like going home, or taking a couple days off for Thanksgiving, all it did was show just how tired I am that we all been going at this insane pace. But taking an extra day or so off was like, oh, gosh, now I really need to like, you know, grit my teeth to make it to the end of December. So I think a lot of folks are feeling that fatigue, the loneliness is really set in. I live in Portland, Oregon. So the winter is not awesome, but we will. But we've also discovered a new level of resilience. And so we're gonna, we're gonna get there.

Bridget Burns:
Exactly, I agree with you 100%. So I want to talk about, you know, there's been a long time for you. In the traditional for your research university space, there's been some nudging from, from folks, whether it's the media or it's philanthropy to try and think about adult learners. And you know, I haven't really seen a lot of movement in the traditional for your space, there have been a few players who have really moved in that direction. And so I feel like you are kind of, you're going to be a whisper for us, hopefully to tell us what kinds of things people should be doing and what you've learned. But I guess I want to first understand, can you share with our audience a little bit about the difference between a Purdue student and a Purdue University Global student?

Frank Dooley:
Yeah. Bridget, the differences couldn't be more striking. I mean, and you're exactly right. I spent 22 years at West Lafayette. I was in the faculty in the Department of Agricultural Economics. I went into the provost office. I think it's 2011 is when I started working in the provost office.

And I love working at West Lafayette. I mean, it was a dream job. And you know, the work we did with UIA We had so much fun and we are doing such great things that I can give you a couple just data points. You know, we talked about full time part time is one, West Lafayette 97% of the students are under the age of 24 to do this, right, and level, it's 18%. And moreover, virtually every one of those 18% are active duty military. Alright, Pell eligible West Lafayette, you know, there's something UIA tracks, right, Pell eligible is a really important question 17% at West Lafayette, 60% at Global so my students are, they're older, they're poor.

Full time, part time 94% of the students at West Lafayette are full time and those who aren't typically might only need you know, a handful of credits to graduate. There's virtually no one was a part time student, I come over to Global only 16% are full time students. And then last up just you know, first gen is another thing we talk about. Often 20% roughly at West Lafayette are first gen I come over to Purdue Global it's 52%. Our first generation, so my typical student is somebody who's coming back to school. Most of them are when two thirds of the students are women. They started school. And it didn't go well, for whatever reason, or they they left because they couldn't find, you know, the passion for what they're doing.

And they most of them have been in the workplace for about a decade, they're coming back in their 30s. And I'll say I have three populations, the way I like to think about about 45% of my students were in a job have been doing really well. And then their boss comes they might say, hey, Bridget, you know, we love you, you are great, I cannot promote you to the next level because you don't have a degree.

So you're coming back to get that credential that allows you to progress. About another 45% of my students are trying to pivot. And I think they're worried about they see automation in their workplace. Some of the pivoting might be going from a Bachelor's to Master's or an associate to a bachelors, so they want another level. And then about 10% of my students are here because they promise somebody, they're going to go to school, it might be a spouse, a child, you know, might be themselves. But the biggest difference is the student who comes to West Lafayette, and like, these are just brilliant 18 year olds, and they're looking at a university that is like what you'd expect in the movies, right? They're full time, you know, STEM centric, they're going for it. And now you come into my population, it's just the opposite. These are seasoned people, that they're not looking for a dream, they're looking to advance in their career. So but but both of them at the end of the day are looking for for an education.

Bridget Burns:
Okay, and so, for those who are at home, Purdue University Global, it was an acquisition of Kaplan University, and it's an online institution. And you have different faculty than the Purdue University faculty, different students, and it's entirely online.

Frank Dooley:
Correct. Okay, so what you did not work in online really much before this correct or, since about that transition? You don't know my whole story. I actually taught online courses but my one of my third job, I guess, in your career, my third job was as on the faculty at North Dakota State. And North Dakota State launched an online program in transportation in the mid 1990s. And I taught in that one of the reasons Purdue hired me in the late 90s, is they were looking to get into online education. And I was one of the few people who had relevant experience. I also worked in I was in agricultural economics is my home department. And we did a lot of work, continuing education type of work, not, you know, not for credit. But you know, our department probably did 200 days a year of programming for adult learners. So I also had some, but, you know, it's been a long time since I've done but ever since about 2011 my focus has only been on undergrad education at West Lafayette. So, but it's not everything here was totally new to me. And I'll say the second part to it, Bridget, is when Purdue bought Kaplan that there were a lot of approvals we had to get. You might remember all of a sudden, I think there was a meeting we had at Oregon State and I came and I said I'm here I gotta go cuz I Mitch Daniels tasked me towork with that, and I spent almost a year and a half working and getting our accreditation with HLC, with the Indiana commission for higher ed, and then with the US Department of Ed. So I got to know, for Purdue University Global, I'll say at a 50,000 foot view of what the university was, what they did and how they did it. But it's totally different once you become the chancellor of the institution. 

Bridget Burns:
Yeah, I want to hear what has been most surprising about the transition from university to university level.

Frank Dooley:
Yeah, well, I'll say the one thing, you know, if you want to talk about, and I can talk about something that the most surprising thing was how little I knew about financial aid. And I'll say in all of my prior roles, even when we have projects with UIA around financial aid, I didn't really worry about it, I gave it over to the, you know, division of financial aid, etc. Now, you go back to that population of students that I have, you know, 60% Pell, so guess about how many of my students are on financial aid, a huge number of them. And moreover, these are the students that that the UIA is, is worries about so much all the time.

So then that goes into well, financial aid verification, I go, what's very, you know, I literally knew nothing about financial aid and coming up to speed on what that is, and how much of a barrier it is for our poor students. It is really something that was eye opening to me. And I think a second thing. Remember, our friends from Ithaca, Martin, and they put out a really good paper, this this fall on stranded credit. So I'm dealing with adult learners, guess what they went to college, virtually every one of them is bringing me somewhere around 24 credit hours. So that's almost a full year of credit. And we have the problem that others have out there that some of it we simply can't get to because they you know, they have a financial hole, that prior institution. So that's one that I'll say is troubling to me or Trump now.

Bridget Burns:
Can I be positive for a minute? You know, you move from one institution and the big 10 types of institutions. They're just national treasures. And I think we all know that. And now you're moving to an institution, the faculty didn't have tenure, right? And some people think, well, how can you have a faculty without tenure?

Frank Dooley:
I found the excellence and how committed all the people who work for me at Purdue Global, how dedicated they are to student success, how willing they are to work hard to help students move, move forward, has just been all inspiring. And I mean, it really has been a gift to work with these people. One of the things that we do, our faculty, typically, if you're in a class, there's an expectation that the faculty is going to check in on every student sometime during a week. And we haven't seen a large uptick in the mental health problems that we've been seeing in other parts of society. And I think probably it's the fact that most of the students would tell you that they think that somebody there who cares about their well being.

Bridget Burns:
Alright. So those are all some, you know, both sides of the house and and financial aid, I don't know that there's a good one on one, you know, how do you come up to speed with it, other than spending a lot of time studying it? I'm curious about, so you said your faculty, they don't have tenure. So they're, they're virtual. They're all over, I assume. Okay, exactly. And so I guess I'm wondering, you know, what's it like? So you worked with your, you know, the Vice President, Provost of teaching and learning at Purdue, when you transition to Global? And all of a sudden, you're not the vice part? You're the chancellor, you're now you're the man in charge? What has been the most surprising part about that particular ascension, that change in terms of your responsibility? Like, I'm just curious about how you even connect with this virtual, like group of folks who you work with, and how do you act? How do you lead in a virtual world? And especially because it's a new dimension of leadership for you?

Frank Dooley:
That's a really good question. And, and I'll say probably, Bridget, I've I've had great fortune in my life to work with some marvelous people and for some marvelous people. And probably over time, I've been paying careful attention to them. Obviously, Mitch Daniels is a model of leadership I've learned from but before Mitch, Tim Sands, who's now the president at you know, Virginia Tech up, Tim was the Provost when I was hired into the provost office and he and I became very good friends. And I learned a lot from Tim. And then the dean, when I was in the College of Agriculture is Randy Woodson, who's, you know, the chancellor of North Carolina State. So I've had a lot of role models to follow from, but you're exactly right. I'm living in a very different world. But but in other ways, I don't know that it matters, because if any of them were doing a town hall for the university, it might be in a large lecture hall. And there might be four or 500 people in the room, while I'm doing the four or 500 people town halls, and I'm doing virtually in ways it's even nicer, because the staff working for me, is monitoring the chat. We're taking questions in real time, we gather all the questions, we literally go through and answer every question that we get from faculty, and I think I've now done four town hall since I've been here. I go to the University Senate. Not every meeting, but but I tried to get to the Senate meetings.

So I think, as a leader, the beautiful thing is you're going to be invited into rooms to have conversations with and share your vision and direction. And I think what the faculty on a campus really want to know is, am I going to change anything? Am I going to move in a direction, that might mean that they need to rethink how they do their work? And that that's, you know, because at the end of the day, what each person worries about is what does this mean, for me, and I don't think that, you know, I'm an economist, that's exactly how I would think that people process something like this. And if they are thinking that is going to diametrically change that what they're very used to, I probably be very difficult. 

And the other thing I tried to practice is active listening. You know, if you listen to questions that come to you, they reveal to you what's important to the people. And then if you start to address what's important to people, then I think people are going to take you seriously, regardless of if you're in a room with him. Or if you're doing it virtually.

Bridget Burns:
So that is super helpful. I I was just creating a note about the active listening. Where did you pick that up? Was it a book was it like, What? What made you realize that, that that version of that because I we've all had presidents, chancellors, leaders, dean's who it feels like they are not really listening, but they definitely move their head at the right pace to indicate that they are. And so but that as a strategy, where did you pick that up?

Frank Dooley:
I think I first heard of active listening, probably from from Tim Sands. And like I said, so he's the Provost when I first came into the provost office. Now Tim and I shared other things, we had daughters who are in high school together, right. And, and I and I think, cuz you know, somebody on in more than one dimension, you're able to have these conversations. And, and I was literally what the title was as Provost fellow, and the Provost fellow was a program where I would shadow sometimes, and basically, he would try to share with me things that worked for him. And that was one in particular that that resonated with me real quickly. And, and I and I simply, you and I've tried to practice it ever since I'll say probably roughly 2012. And and most of the people, I don't care if it's the show we're doing today, or if it's a lecture, there's very few of us want to listen to a talking head, right? Most of us want to be engaged and most of us, how do I show respect to you? I listened to you.

Bridget Burns:
Right, that's perfect. So I wanted to follow up really quickly on the idea of leading virtual faculty. The question is, come on, we've also got a live question that I'll ask in a second, is what is the difference in the shared governance strategy between Purdue Global and Purdue University?

Frank Dooley:
Actually, there's not much difference at all. And so if I, if I go to West Lafayette, that there is a University Senate, which is the formal government but then there are 10 academic colleges, each of them have their own bylaws for the college and the faculty approved the curriculum, right. That's among the most important shared duties with with the faculty. Guess what, I have the exact same. I have a University Senate who who when we bring new program proposals for them, who do I look for, for to tell me what should be part of a curriculum? I looked at the faculty and the discipline and and we do it exactly the same. And I think most mostly universities, we if there's some things that we might do better and and and I think the reason I am using better and in a comparative sense, is that the faculty at West Lafayette and the R1 institutions have lots of things that are trying to get their attention, right, you're expected to establish a research profile, right? You're expected to teach, you're expected to have engagement or public service.

Now I come to Global and my faculty are 100% teaching. And if you wanted to look to the comparable position on a West Lafayette campus, we have a class of faculty. They're non tenure. And they're called continuing term lecturers. And most of our large universities are so dependent upon these people to teach, especially our, you know, freshmen and sophomore level courses, they just become critical to what we're trying to do in our university. And guess what, most of them are marvelous teachers. So the people that I have working for me at Global are people who have self selected to be teachers. And they really, you know, when you have somebody doing something they love, typically that it's going to be easy to work with somebody doing something that they really find to be rewarding. And so they're great. They're absolutely great.

Bridget Burns:
Wonderful. And I have a question here now from the audience. And so folks at home, feel free to submit your questions in the comments section below. So this was, you know, has it been a challenge to explain to Indiana residents the difference between traditional EU and EU Global?

Frank Dooley:
But no, that's a really good question. And it's a question I asked myself fairly often. I don't think so. And just to confuse it a little bit more. There's also regional campuses that Purdue, there's Purdue Northwest was just outside of Chicago, there's Purdue Fort Wayne, which is in the northeast corner of the state. And then if you've ever heard of IU-PUI, it's Indiana U, Purdue U Indianapolis. So Purdue has a presence in all these places as well. Purdue also is the land grant in the state of Indiana. So if you go on, there's 92 counties, and in each county, the county Extension Service is part of Purdue. So I don't think we've seen that as a challenge.

I think it was confusing to people at first, I think where it is a challenge at times is when you do go do an online search. And you might be looking for one part of Purdue. And I don't think we've got it figured out yet how we're going to make sure that we have all of our brands aligned. And that's something we're going to have to work on, we are working on. But it's something we need to do a better job with.

Bridget Burns:
I'll say for purposes, a comparison. Micro at ASU has got that down really, really well. Yeah. Well, I also, it's, I mean, they're it's the same faculty and the same, they actually have the same students too. It's a different strategy. But yeah, I mean, in terms of framing, and helping people understand what you're talking about, that's super helpful. So I want to, that does lead me to a different direction, which is, you know, you know, that we're familiar with people trying to replicate your work, but not necessarily sticking to the fidelity of the model. So we've had people try and copy our work, but then not actually stick to like the fundamental tenets of work. And then it's kind of that's kind of frustrating. In the case of the merger, which the Kaplan and Purdue University Global, you really worked with an institution that was the high at the highest standard of the for profit institutions. And now you can see others are trying to replicate your work or trying, who might be inspired, but not working with the same level of caliber of institution, perhaps, and I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts about that, or if that might create any challenges for you? Or if it doesn't worry you at all.

Frank Dooley:
But I'm going to make one clarification, you use the word merger. It was actually an acquisition. All right. So you know, and, you know, the lawyers are there. They're experts in mergers and acquisitions. But but they there is a difference. And it really is Purdue bought Kaplan University and converted the Purdue University Global.

Well, you know, I think you might say, and I'm forgetting the old saying, you know what, I'm gonna say in just a minute, but somebody's trying to copy what you're doing is the most sincere form of flattery, right. And I'll try to be really positive here right now, one of the things that what we argued to the regulators who had to give us these various approvals, is this is the next generation of the expansion of the land grant mission. And, and you know, and when you look at, I'm going to go back to Micro and the work that he, you know, where are we going with our national serving universities, there was a large population, working adults, some college, no degree, and everyone says, You know, I don't care if it's strat alumina, the federal government you ya, what are we doing for this population of people who desperately need to establish their their education. And I'm going to give Mitch Daniels in particular a lot of credit here for being willing to say, here's the best way that we can take this on. And and the most, the quickest way for us to have a large scale effect.

You're exactly right. When you look at the for profit sector at the time, Kaplan was viewed as being a very good player. And and as we know that there's some that have had problems. Now, when you look at the others who have come to this space, and are also buying some of the for profit, if you want to be if I hope they all enjoy great success, what would be because there are so many working adults who need the kinds of education that others can can help them attain.

You know, even when you have places like Western Governors and SNU, get what, over 100,000 students at this point we're sitting with about 35,000 today. But when you look at it all up, and when you compare it to the 35, or 40 million of who potentially could be the students, because there's room for a number of us to meet this need. And the other thing I'll just put on the table is if I were one of the critics, and Purdue had its critics when this all started, if you recall, I thought one of the things we wanted to get rid of, were the for profits with the predatory practices. And whether it is us or the University of Arizona, the University of Massachusetts, or others who are taking some of those players and removing them from this consideration set I would say that that's probably a good thing for the country going forward. I think that's an interesting perspective on that. So thanks for taking the hardball question.

Bridget Burns:
No problem. So I want to bring us back though to kind of the the broader picture of this conversation, which is, you speak passionately about the need to serve adult learners. And I feel like this is something that universities really need to figure out. And I haven't seen a ton of progress. And I know that institutions are really grappling with this in the midst of the pandemic of how what kinds of things they need to change in their institution to better serve those students who, especially as we're seeing the layoffs, and we're seeing what's what's happening. If we want to if we institutions want to step up, what kinds of things have you noticed that campuses would need to do from the traditional space if they wanted to learn from your experience?

Frank Dooley:
Well, once again, a great question. And believe it or not, Bridget, this is probably the hardest one that I think is out there. Let me, remember when I started I was doing this contrast between the 18 year olds at West Lafayette and the 30 year olds at Purdue Global. And and it goes a little bit further than that. One of the things that I did when Purdue had acquired Kaplan but before we had got all of our approvals is I brought faculty from West Lafayette together with faculty from Purdue Global and put them in a room together. Because as you might recall it, some of the faculty at West Lafayette didn't think this was Mitch's best move, right? Now, we brought them in a room together. Sometimes we went to Chicago, which was where Kaplan University's headquarters were at the time. Sometimes they came to West Lafayette, we went both ways. One particular, one of the first meetings, there was a West Lafayette faculty member, very esteemed in his field. And it typically is two or three people from West Lafayette, two or three people from Global, maybe their dean, myself, and one other person. And in this particular room, this I think was the first or second one as you might expect. Most of the people from West Lafayette were sitting further somewhat back with their arms crossed, and not sure why they were being punished by their dean to have to sit in this meeting.

And we have three questions. The first question was tell us about your faculty. The second one is tell us about your students. And then the third question was tell us about what are you trying to accomplish in your classroom. And and, you know, faculty will, we're all are one resource that the students they quickly learn, like I shared at the beginning that our students are night and day difference. But then when they started talking about their courses and their curriculum, they learned that they couldn't be. They're trying to do the same things. And then the faculty member from West Lafayette started to get engaged. And one of the things he said, You know, I spend all of my time being examples, because as smart as my students are, they don't know much. Whereas the faculty from Global said, Well, my students know a lot, but they only know about a small sliver. And what they don't understand is how stuff relates.

And and it ended up in a lot of the fields, if you're, if you're going for an accounting degree or a nursing degree, and you have licensure exams, you're trying to prepare for the same exam, but you're coming at it in two different ways. And it turns out that both are valid. And, you know, we talked about pedagogy and the work on a university, you know, there's an entirely different discipline of andragogy, that's talking about educating adult learners. And my caution to most traditional universities is, well, you know, a lot about pedagogy and your centers for teaching learning know a lot about that work, they probably don't know very much about andragogy. And the adult learner is wired a little bit different than than the the 18 to 24 year old.

Bridget Burns:
That's helpful. And we also had some comments that were helpful coming in from someone who was an adult student. So Vicki mentioned, she was working in adult with three children, and said that the thing that helped was adult learners' sensitivity to our commitments and lifestyle, I think that timing of when we offer courses, when semester is starting, and a lot of our rigidity in the sector and believing that things are like, you know, are, you know, tattoos, really, maybe our temporary tattoos, we can wash them off. So I think a lot more flexibility. And I am sensitive to your thoughts about financial aid as well, because I think that that system, you know, really challenging to navigate. But especially for students who are having a, you know, this is not something that they can give 100% of their time and effort to that they're doing other things, when there are obstacles in the way that really can be a long term impediment to their success.

So, well, this has been super helpful in terms of setting the table for I think, a longer term conversation about what institutions can teach each other, that helps to serve these populations that especially in the wake of the pandemic, we're going to absolutely have to step up our ability to serve. And I'm also just really appreciating your perspective about leadership, knowing that you had to go through such a rapid transition in the worst time to go through a transition. The only thing I would say that was nice for your situation is that you didn't have to physically move. At least you didn't have to do that.

Frank Dooley:
Absolutely no, correct.

Bridget Burns:
Well, as always, Frank, really appreciate you, I feel like a new flag for folks that you're a person of high integrity. And I trust you implicitly. And I think that you show today part of why and that you were willing to take hard questions and just kind of share everything as it is to be as transparent as possible. But also give us a sense of what it's like to lead an institution that is really one of the new forms of how you can deliver education.

Frank Dooley:
And wonderful share time with you again, I look forward to our next conversation. You've given me some ideas. So I'll probably be talking to you about UIA and where we might get involved. And if some of your listeners don't know about the work of the UIA, it would it would behoove them to go to that website, because you have a lot of great stuff out well.

Bridget Burns:
I appreciate the shout out then. All right. Well, folks, we hope you have a wonderful week, and we hope this has given you a little bit of perspective and inspiration. And we will see you soon. All right. Bye.

Bios of Guest and Host

Guest: Frank Dooley, Chancellor, Purdue University Global
Dr. Frank Dooley, chancellor of Purdue University Global since May 2020, oversees academics for approximately 36,000 students, most of whom earn degrees online. He previously served as Senior Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at Purdue University, providing leadership since 2014 for undergraduate education, and earning an international reputation as a gifted, innovative teacher and creative researcher. During his time with the Provost Office, he promoted and supported efforts to increase student success while maintaining Purdue’s reputation for academic rigor. Beginning in May 2017, he was a key leader in securing regulatory approvals and launching Purdue Global. Dr. Dooley has received numerous awards for teaching, research, and service, and was inducted into Purdue's Teaching Academy in 2002 and the University's Book of Great Teachers in 2014. His research interests include logistical and supply chain management for food and agribusiness. His publication record includes chapters in six books and more than 200 articles and other publications. Prior to joining Purdue's Department of Agricultural Economics in 1998, Dr. Dooley received his bachelor's degree from St. John's University, his Juris Doctor from University of North Dakota, and his doctoral degree from Washington State University. He and his wife Pamela have two daughters.

Host: Bridget Burns, Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance
Dr. Bridget Burns is the founding Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA). For the past decade, she has advised university presidents, system chancellors, and state and federal policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. The UIA was developed during Bridget’s tenure as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at Arizona State University. She held multiple roles within the Oregon University System, including serving as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor, where she won the national award for innovation in higher education government relations. She was a National Associate for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and has served on several statewide governing boards including ones governing higher education institutions, financial aid policy, and policy areas impacting children and families.

About Weekly Wisdom
Weekly Wisdom is an event series that happens live on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also becomes a podcast episode. Every week, we join forces with Inside Higher Ed and talk with a sitting college president or chancellor about how they're specifically navigating the challenges of this moment. These conversations will be filled with practicable things you can do right now by unpacking how and why college leaders are making decisions within higher education. Hopefully, these episodes will also leave you with a sense of optimism and a bit of inspiration.

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