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Weekly Wisdom Live Event Series

Weekly Wisdom

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

You have to have a culture that embraces, supports, and is committed to these students and their success. The second key element is having the people who are committed to the culture. Once you have that platform, then you can start to think about programs. That’s the mindset we’ve brought to this.

Kim Wilcox

Chancellor, University of California, Riverside

We know now the world is much more complicated than we thought. Historic institutions that are non-adaptive are going to have difficulty adjusting to these kinds of high-speed changes. We need to instill the ability to adjust and keep performing our mission as a core part of what we do.

Michael Crow

President, Arizona State University

This is the time when American higher education understands that our strength as a country will be inextricably tied to our success in bringing people from all backgrounds into the problem solving as we face the future.

Freeman Hrabowski, III

President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

We’ve got a lot of important work to make sure that our institutions come through this pandemic and get stronger, at the same time that we address the issues that are right in front of us around systemic racism.

Mark Becker

President, Georgia State University

If you start to address what’s important to people, 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.

Frank Dooley

Chancellor, Purdue University Global

You’ve got to be willing to have courage to have these open and frank discussions, you’ve got to put yourself in a position to foster these kinds of discussions, and sometimes, more often than not, you will listen to your constituency and they will have the better solutions.

Harold L. Martin, Sr.

Chancellor, North Carolina A&T University

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Joseph Castro, Chancellor of the California State University System. Join us to hear his thoughts about listening to the people who depend on his leadership, the do's and don'ts of decision-making during a crisis, and the need to stay focused on the ongoing issues outside of any crisis. Topics include:

  • Balancing the system's needs with the autonomy of individual campuses

  • Being responsive to students' concerns and safety during the pandemic

  • Factoring in flexibility and compassion while responding to a crisis

  • Understanding the need to rethink and pivot based on current data

  • The ongoing work of addressing equity gaps in higher ed

  • The value of persistence, authenticity, transparency, and a good night's sleep


Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Kristina Johnson, President of Ohio State University. She talks to us about starting a new leadership job during the pandemic, how to improve public safety on and off campus, and the connection between diversity and opportunity. Topics include:

  • A year of public health restrictions

  • Connecting with students

  • Identifying the fundamental roots of increased crime

  • Academic excellence with a focus on inclusion and equity

  • The balance between team leadership and remaining a team player

  • Fostering a climate of partnership

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Marjorie Valbrun, Senior Editor of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Alexander Cartwright, President of the University of Central Florida. He talks to us about the surprise and logistics of receiving an enormous philanthropic gift, the importance of state universities partnering with community colleges, and some of the new leadership lessons he's learned during the pandemic. Topics include:

  • What to do when someone gives your institution $40 million
  • Strengthening the regional economy while helping students follow their dreams
  • Being adaptive, innovative, and approachable during hard times
  • The need to be compassionate, to listen, and to empower
  • Recognizing who's on your team and how to value their contributions

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