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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 Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed's Contributing Editor, speak with Dr. Mark Becker, President of Georgia State University. G.S.U. has seen tremendous growth and innovation during President Becker's tenure, and he shares his wisdom about how such a large institution with such a diverse student population is able to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests. Topics include:

  • A pivotal moment in history for higher ed
  • President Becker's administrative background in emergency preparedness
  • G.S.U.'s commitment to educational equity
  • President Becker's vision of greater structural flexibility post-pandemic
  • How to avoid burnout
  • The power of the human spirit

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Jeff Selingo, author, columnist, and special advisor at Arizona State University, are inviting insight and experiences from presidents and chancellors of universities navigating the challenge in real-time. The tenth guest is Chancellor Harold L. Martin from North Carolina, Agricultural and Technical State University.

Advice For His Counterparts Across The Country

Harold Martin states that the members of the faculty, staff, and the students of the university are all expecting calmness and leadership. He said that he could hold up well because of his nature and personality. He shares that the problems we are facing now are a moving target, and we have to be smart and strategic when it comes to pushing through with the contingency plans you have set. Learn to pivot when making critical decisions.

Make sure to have open and frank discussions with the students and engage with them even through social media.

Experiences That Has Helped Him Now

Through his experiences, he has learned that taking on challenges head-on is always the most effective way. It is also essential, he says, to respect the opinions and emotions of faculty and staff. To solve complex issues, you have to have the courage to listen to other people's problems and queries.

How Is Higher Education Going To Change In The Long-run

Online programs are here to stay, he says. He sees that his university will continue to fill-in more online services for their students. There are a variety of lessons that could be done if we maximize what technology has to offer. It is best to give the students the right tools to help them adapt to this change.

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Jeff Selingo, author, columnist, and special advisor at Arizona State University, are inviting insight and experiences from presidents and chancellors of universities navigating the challenge in real-time. The ninth guest is University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. Together, they discussed his leadership, overcoming the challenges of this moment, and what is giving him hope

How is he holding up?

Mr. Hrabowski gladly answers that he's holding up well during this troublesome time. His students and staff give him strength and inspiration every day.

Nowadays, the US faces many challenges, including the health crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the issues regarding structural racism, and the problems with the economy. So he emphasized that this is the time that sheds light on our character as a country. As leaders and educators, he says that it's important to encourage people that, "We can do this."

For someone who has served for 28 years, what kind of framework do you think a leader of an institution should have?

Mr. Hrabowski says that it's essential to think about the importance of the community of the people around you. "It's not just reaching the goal line, it is about how we get there," he added.

In these stressful times, Mr. Hrabowski says that we need to think about being supportive of each other and keeping a kind of calmness. It's important to bring honesty to work so we can hear each other, whether it's about the fears that people have about this disease or about the challenges involving racism.

In these challenging times, what gives him hope?

For Mr. Hrabowski, he believes that as human beings, we all make progress. Sometimes we slide back, we learn things, and we move ahead. Mr. Hrabowski is hopeful that Americans will one day say that "enough is enough" and "we're better than this." He believes that at every level, we've been able to say, "we're better than this," and eventually, progress comes after. That's what gives him hope.

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