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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, CEO of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Charles Welch, President and CEO, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), on the Weekly Wisdom Podcast. President Welch shares what inspired him to work in the education sector, leadership’s unique perspective, painful decisions for the good of the institution, and the value of authenticity and lived experience. Topics include:

  • How leadership can be modeled by kindness, inclusivity, and forward-thinking
  • How a college presidency is essentially on-the-job training

  • How averting disaster isn’t always a happy ending for everyone

  • The position is you; you are not the position

  • Leadership can be reinforced through biographies as well as how-to books

Bridget Burns, CEO of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Shonda Gibson, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University, on the Weekly Wisdom Podcast. Dr. Gibson talks about what America needs most from higher education, the operational challenges and rewards for a major university system, how to best serve returning students, and humility and perspective as leadership attributes. Topics include:

  • Innovation in higher ed begins with individual faculty and department chairs
Examining the barriers that prevent institutions from putting students first
  • Transcending schools’ or departments’ traditional battle for resources
Career advice and recommended reading for higher ed leaders

Bridget Burns, CEO of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, President of SUNY Empire State, on the Weekly Wisdom Podcast. President Vollendorf talks about what has shaped her as a leader, reversing higher ed’s tendency toward elitism, how leaders and institutions can grow through traumatic events, and the value of being present and making the best possible impact. Topics include:

  • How educational status is a proven marker for longevity in the U.S.

  • The problem with students losing credits when transferring between institutions

  • Surviving both a regional wildfire and the stress of pursuing a harassment case
  • Identifying and following your north star
  • Two books supporting effective leadership

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