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. Alexander Cartwright, President of the University of Central Florida. As a first-generation college student in his own family, Dr. Cartwright has advocated for student success initiatives, diversity, equity, and higher graduation rates throughout his leadership career. His wisdom, compassion, and calm are truly refreshing. Topics include:

  • Building relationships at a distance as a new leader at U.C.F.
  • Advice for first-generation college students
  • Higher education's transformative role in shaping America's future
  • What servant leadership means
  • A post-pandemic balance between technology and interpersonal relationships

Bridget Burns, Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Paul Fain, Inside Higher Education's Contributing Editor, speak with Dr. Kim Wilcox, Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. Since 2013, Dr. Wilcox has overseen record improvements in Pell-eligible student success and the growth of an increasingly diverse faculty. He shares his wisdom about the unknowns and realities of beginning a new academic year during the COVID-19 pandemic. And amid all the uncertainties, he finds plenty of reasons for optimism and inspiration. Topics include:

  • Starting the new academic year with caution
  • Working within the realities of a tight budget
  • Models for decision-making and interaction
  • The power of supportive campus culture
  • Envisioning post-pandemic hybrid models for academics and admin
  • Understanding and celebrating the arc of success stories

Due to the current situation brought by COVID-19, chancellors, and university presidents are faced with unique challenges. Learn about how they navigate and lead through these difficulties. "Start the Week with Wisdom" is a short form live interview show that aims to be a source of wisdom and strength for many.

For the 16th installment of Weekly Wisdom, Bridget Burns, Executive Director of University Innovation Alliance and Madeline St. Amour from Inside Higher Ed, had a short, inspiring conversation with the Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger.

How Is She Currently Holding Up?

Ms. Ballinger is glad to say that she and the entire campus of Lorain County Community College are holding up exceptionally well during this time of crisis. Currently, they are so focused on the start of the new academic year. During these crazy times brought about by the pandemic, they are working hard with perseverance and grit determination to get ready for the fall semester.

What's it Like to Lead a Community College?

According to Ms. Ballinger, part of their roles as a community college is being that "launchpad" for individuals. She says that it's more about how they serve as the launchpad for their communities' economic recovery. She added that many adults throughout northeast Ohio are high school graduates but don't have enough credentials, whether it's an industry-recognized credential or a degree.

Ms.Ballinger emphasizes that the institution is part of the community solutions provider, even during this pandemic. As a community partner, they want to ensure that they listen to the community's needs and respond efficiently to what needs to be done.

As A Leader, How Is She Navigating And Making Big Decisions Amid The Outbreak?

Ms. Ballingers says that they have been laser-focused on the basic needs of the community. She added that they previously made an integrated, holistic center last year to help deal with students' basic needs. Little did they know that this was going to take an even higher priority prominence today.

Ms. Ballinger recalls that when the pandemic began, she and her team committed that they would not allow a single student to go hungry or attend school without technology. So, they've worked hard to create more opportunities for funding to make these things possible.

For the fall semester's opening, Ms.Ballinger says that their institution will have 80% of their education online. For courses that are laboratory-based and have accreditation requirements, Ms.Ballinger reassures them that they have put all of the COVID-19 preventive protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

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