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.
Weekly Wisdom Live Event Series
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Paul Fain, Contributing Editor of Inside Higher Ed, are inviting insight and experiences from presidents and chancellors of universities navigating the challenge in real-time. The eighth guest is Ruth Watkins, president of The University of Utah. In a time of profound, rapid change, Ruth Watkins shares that it is an incredible privilege to work that matters. She adds that it is time to address white privilege and to take action to change racism.
What Is Her Leadership Philosophy?
In a time of profound, rapid change, Ruth Watkins shares that it is an incredible privilege to do work that matters. She adds that it is time to address white privilege and to take action to change racism. She states that it is an honor to lead in a crucial time like this.
Continuity in communication and information is essential in being a leader. Help others understand the current situation so they can take part in creating solutions and acting together as a community. As a leader, she says that one must inspire, motivate, help, and create an environment where anyone can succeed.
How Does She Moderate Herself To Focus On The Right Things?
She mentioned that it is always helpful to remember how much the mission matters. Ruth Watkins reminds herself to keep the pace and start using her time for the collective good. Something good that has come from this situation is that it has helped people change and act differently. When times get tiring and tough, always take a step back and remember the goal.
What Areas Beyond The University Does She Want To See Change?
After this global pandemic, Ruth Watkins would like to build a better educational delivery and to shift and use more effectively remote learning. She was also able to accelerate Telehealth, and her goal is to keep improving on it to serve better the people affected.
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 seventh guest is Angel Cabrera, president of Georgia Institute of Technology. Angel Cabrera has been running institutions for the past 15 years. This coming September 2020, will be his first year with Georgia Institute of Technology as its president.
Leading During the Pandemic
Angel Cabrera has been running institutions for the past 15 years. This coming September 2020, will be his first year with Georgia Institute of Technology as its president. He said that leading during these times needs a hands-on leadership approach. An essential part of running an organization is setting up a set of directions to create a shared mission with his fellow faculty members and students.
His Vision and Plan
Does COVID-19 change his vision and strategies? Yes. His strategic plan for higher education has developed into a more inclusive approach. He is focusing on studying the effects of remote and online training and creating hybrid-type learning. He states that after COVID, they will teach differently. Be it online or on campus.
His Advice For Incoming Presidents and Chancellors
It is not an ideal time to start during these times, but it is what it is. Angel Cabrera shares that incoming leaders should make time to find space to have a deeper connection with the institution’s people and always to see the sense of purpose of the university.
He also mentioned that looking at endless examples of leadership by students and faculty gives him hope and inspiration. And that seeing their resilience on full display puts his hopeful vision into action.