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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. Valerie Sheares Ashby, who recently assumed the role of president at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. President Sheares Ashby talks about becoming UMBC's first new leader in decades, the nature of servant leadership, how higher ed can shape the future, and how self-care is vital in doing her work effectively. Topics include:

  • The most effective way that outgoing leaders can make their departure easier for their successor and their institution
  • Positive examples and lessons for leadership
  • The critical need for inclusive excellence at all levels of higher ed
  • The day-to-day importance of staying grounded while pursuing visionary work
  • Shared wisdom and reading recommendations for higher ed leaders

In February 2023, the University Innovation Alliance celebrated the 100th episode of its Innovating Together Podcast. To honor the occasion, UIA founder and CEO Bridget Burns sat in the guest chair, this time answering the questions instead of asking them. She spoke with Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, about the origins of the podcast, the challenges that all higher ed leaders share regardless of institution, the roles of generosity and kindness in leadership, and the necessary qualities of humanity and humility. Topics include:

  • Audience interest in seeing the human face of higher ed leadership

  • The day-to-day challenges and aspirations of truly iconic leaders

  • The best career advice Dr. Burns received and the advice she most frequently gives

  • Recommended reading for leaders of higher ed institutions

Bridget Burns, CEO of the University Innovation Alliance, and Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder of Inside Higher Ed, speak with Dr. Javier Reyes, Interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois Chicago, one of the UIA's newest member institutions. Chancellor Reyes talks about his leadership style, expectations he's faced, lessons he's learning from the experience as interim, and how future administrators might best prepare for this kind of leadership. Topics include:

  • The expectations vs. realities of accepting an interim position

  • How higher ed administrators can and should be prepared for top leadership positions

  • Why an interim chancellor is so much more than just a caretaker

  • How Dr. Reyes will rethink his role as provost after his term as chancellor concludes

  • Checking your own perceptions and ensuring that everyone is on the same page

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