Chapter 10: A Grassroots Approach to Comprehensive Wellness

February 23, 2023

The irony is that I was late submitting to the editor this chapter on leading a well campus because I was facing several challenges to remaining well myself. Over the two months that I had to complete this chapter, I was faced with the unexpected death of my mother, COVID among my family members (but not me, unless I was asymptomatic and the numerous tests with negative results were all wrong), the stress of trying to impossibly balance the university’s operating budget, and, most recently, the decision to move my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s from Indiana, where he has lived his entire life, to Cleveland to be near me. But of course, my situation is not at all unique. As I look around my campus, I see many of us who are caring for elderly parents, often with dementia involved. The effects of COVID, both physical and emotional/mental, are everywhere to be seen. And the enormous pressures of enrollment and finances that higher education institutions are facing can be felt by both faculty and staff daily. So, taking the time to intentionally focus our campuses on being institutions where the well-being of faculty, staff, and students is at the heart of the institution is much needed these days.

Chapter 9: University Stewardship of a Healing Community

February 23, 2023

Students, faculty, and staff at our institutions bring with them a variety of experiences; some experiences add to their potential for success, others create potential barriers. It is incumbent upon all higher education leaders to do everything in their power to understand, and when possible, provide solutions that help students overcome those barriers, enhancing the potential for increased educational attainment. While many of the barriers to student retention and graduation are well documented, easily studied, and have implementable solutions, there are others that are subtler and require broad systemic solutions. One such set of barriers, created long before students arrive to our campus, are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). In the mid-to-late 1990s, Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that demonstrated the likely impact of ACEs through adulthood. East Tennessee State University (ETSU) has taken a community-based, trauma-informed care (TIC) approach to addressing the impact of ACEs not just within our student population, but within the broader community as well.

Chapter 8: Unprecedented

February 23, 2023

Throughout the pandemic, all of us frequently invoked a single word to describe our experiences: “unprecedented.” How frequently? In 2020, The New York Times “Dealbook” called it one of the words of the year1, and this year, a quick Google search I did in writing this piece turned up 117 million hits and counting that paired “unprecedented” with COVID.

Chapter 7: We Are in This Together

February 02, 2023

A healthy campus is one link in the chain that connects communities and helps build a healthier world. Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU’s) vision for a healthy campus is one that recognizes how we are all connected and seeks to improve those connections by focusing on eight areas of impact. These eight areas represent an all-encompassing approach that supports the health of a community in every aspect.

Chapter 6: Respectfulness and Community: Preserving Legacy in a Modern Era

January 06, 2023

Moravian University’s 1742 founding places it as the sixth-oldest college in our nation. The Moravian Bishop John Amos Comenius, the Father of Modern Education, more than a century earlier inspired the school’s establishment: “Not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school.” The Moravians sought a more equitable and just world. They, therefore, believed that one would never have an educated society without first educating women because the women are the first educators of the children. In April of 1742, Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf, with financial support from her stepmother, Anna Nitschmann, led 24 young girls on an educational journey that became the first residential school for women in North America, a journey that now has nearly a 300- year history. The Moravians then established the men’s school six months later. The two institutions existed separately until 1953, when they merged into Moravian College and became the first coeducational college in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. In 2021, Moravian College became Moravian University.

Chapter 5: Effecting change while respecting the past

December 07, 2022

Some people accuse universities of being old fashioned, of resisting change. Others, mostly alumni, expect the institution to stay frozen in time.

Chapter 4: Higher Educational Relevancy: Aligning Programs, Economic Development, and Outreach to Community Needs and Aspirations

November 14, 2022

Higher education is in crisis with decreasing public opinion on the need for a college education, increased demands for expanded services with immediate and tangible outcomes, and rising costs. Transcendent institutions are those that align academic programs, economic growth and development, and research and outreach with community needs and aspirations. This involves a sea change in the historical higher educational model, with its focus on the institution, to one where the institution adapts to the rapidly changing economic and social environment with accountability to and collaboration with students, prospective employers, and the community (Ambrose and Wankel 2020).

Chapter 3: Liberal Arts Education: A Path Towards a More Thoughtful and Caring World

October 13, 2022

"A liberal education is at the heart of a civil society, and at the heart of a liberal education is the act of teaching." - A. Bartlett Giamatti

Chapter 2: A University’s Commitment to Social Justice

September 22, 2022

For more than 125 years, Southern Connecticut State University’s mission has been defined by access, affordability, and social mobility. As with most regional publics, our student population is drawn from a variety of racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and economic backgrounds and is increasingly diverse.

Chapter 1: Educating for a Civil Society

September 06, 2022

We live in a time of high inflation, a shrinking middle class, and the widest wealth gap since the great depression. The James Webb telescope has been created to find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe. We have more technology, information, digital media, and data than ever. The pandemic has caused food insecurity rates to rise to more than 323 million people worldwide, according to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). The world is more connected via technology, and yet people seem to feel more isolated and depressed than ever. What is the role of colleges and universities in educating the next generation of leaders to ensure we have a civil society? Educating for a civil society must include mastering civil discourse and maintaining mutual respect, which will ultimately create a mindset for citizenry. 

2022-2023 Series Foreword

August 29, 2022

As the President to President publication enters its 19th year, higher education has experienced and been affected over the last several years by external forces and unexpected crises never experienced in most of our lifetimes. The demographic shifts throughout our country have changed the student populations we serve. Our institutions are serving a more ethnically diverse population that is the new majority of America. In addition, these students are not the traditional 17-21-year-olds. As a matter of fact, this particular population is a small minority of who we serve nationwide. In my experience as a three-time college and university president, most students are ethnically diverse, older adults, employed, and/or low-income and/or are attending to family responsibilities.