February 12, 2016

On Leadership

The Chronicle’s On Leadership video series explores various aspects of campus leadership with top executives and other movers and shakers across academe.

Hosted by Chronicle editors and reporters, the series explores trending and relevant topics in higher education. Watch as the University of Missouri's interim president, Michael A. Middleton, talks about how to bring stability to a system rocked by racial issues; and as Sweet Briar College's president, Phillip C. Stone, talks about how to save a campus. Other executives at institutions small and large discuss race, sexual assault, managing change, student activism, social media, crisis management, and much more.

Think your campus executive should be interviewed for On Leadership? Let us know.

Sean M. Decatur, president of Kenyon College, stopped by The Chronicle's offices recently to discuss how his institution is working to reach more low-income students.

Greg Postel has been at his institution for 23 years. Although he is interim executive vice president for health affairs, he also stepped into the top role when the president resigned last summer. He talks about how he has tried to help the university move past its controversies.

After spending her academic career outside her native California, Mary A. Papazian, president of San Jose State University, describes her arrival there as “coming home.” She talks about committing to be a long-term leader at the university, and about what she’s doing to help it reach its potential.

F. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University, says he will continue to speak out for public higher education and against politicians who undermine it. But he sometimes wonders where the voices of his peers are.

Nicholas B. Dirks talks about public support for higher education and the controversy involving a conservative provocateur who plans to speak on the campus on Thursday, even though Berkeley officials say it is not safe to do so.

Judy L. Genshaft, president of the University of South Florida, is among the still-small group of women who lead research universities. Her advice to others? Get the right credential, and be prepared for the demands and sacrifices of the job.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison has endured several years of budget cuts and a stronger hand by the state government in its policies. Chancellor Rebecca Blank discusses winning back some funds, repairing dings to its reputation, and navigating the Trump administration.


Lisa W. Wardell, the new president and chief executive officer of the DeVry Education Group, talks about the regulatory changes she expects under the Trump administration, why DeVry University recently settled several legal problems, and more.

Presidents of historically black colleges are visiting the nation's capital this week to meet with President Trump and other political leaders. Their institutions have value for the nation but need more support from the White House and the Education Department, says Roslyn Artis, president of Florida Memorial University.

Karen A. Stout, president of Achieving the Dream, says the organization has fostered a conversation around data-driven decision making, and helped improve student outcomes, at the more than 200 colleges it has worked with since 2004. But she says much more needs to be done.

Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University, in Missouri, describes some of the interesting changes it has recently made in the education it offers. Technology plays a key role.

Eboo Patel, author of a new book, Interfaith Leadership: A Primer, says religion — and the contributions of believers — should be an integral part of diversity efforts.

Alfred Bloom, vice chancellor of New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi, recently spoke with The Chronicle about the importance of higher education to help counter anti-globalist sentiment.

Andrew Ainslie, dean of the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, analyzes which business-school strategies serve students well and which fall short.

Lynn Pasquerella, the new president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, stopped by The Chronicle’s offices to talk about the best way to make the case for liberal education.

It makes them attractive to employers, for one thing, says Joyce Russell, who became dean of Villanova University's School of Business this past summer.

Eli Capilouto, Kentucky’s president, stopped by The Chronicle's offices this week to talk about the case and the university’s broader efforts to create an environment where victims feel they can safely and confidentially report those crimes.

David W. Oxtoby, president of Pomona College, recently spoke with The Chronicle about his advocacy on behalf of undocumented immigrant students and what advice he has for new college presidents.


Students from homes or high schools where few others have gone on to college don’t have peers they can turn to for advice when times get tough, explains Carl Strikwerda, president of Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania.

Scott Pulsipher, the new president of Western Governors University, describes how the competency-based education provider builds relationships with students.

Katherine Bergeron, president of Connecticut College, discusses how it revamped its curriculum to help students better connect their experiences in and out of the classroom and to help them develop a broad question to frame their education.

Joanne Berger-Sweeney, the first female and first African-American president of Connecticut's Trinity College, explains what it is doing to make it easier for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to attend.

In a recent interview, the University of North Carolina president also spoke about a new tuition rate of $500 per semester on three campuses and – perhaps most important – how she compares North Carolina barbecue to Texas barbecue.

Edward Byrne, president of King’s College London, believes that deeper collaboration across borders could shake up the international hierarchy of great institutions.

Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, discusses how his institution has used a combination of global focus and experiential learning to raise its profile, and how colleges should be preparing students for the job market of tomorrow.

In a Chronicle video, Nariman Farvardin, president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, describes balancing its hands-on majors with the liberal arts.


President Kevin F.F. Quigley talks about the college's Town Meeting governance structure and a scholarship program designed to bring one student from every state to this New England campus.

The group's protests against racism at predominantly white colleges have led to a different set of conversations on historically black campuses, says Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.

Ted Mitchell visited The Chronicle’s newsroom to talk about the Education Department’s role in promoting innovation and change, and ways the legacy of that work could endure after the Obama administration.

Sheila Bair, president of Washington College, in Maryland, says it’s been too easy for colleges to raise tuition because it’s been too easy for students to borrow money, and that has created a drag on the economy.


Allison Garrett, president of Emporia State University, in Kansas, talks about how her institution is dealing with a challenging state budget.

Being a low-income student is difficult, but it’s even more difficult if you’re also a woman. Barbara Gault, executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, says colleges’ schedules and services have long catered to traditional, childless students. They should change to accommodate a new student population.

Randy Woodson, chancellor of North Carolina State University, says a controversial law that requires transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates is discriminatory and could damage his campus's standing in the scholarly community.


David Longanecker, set to retire as president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, says colleges must become more “friendly” to low-income and first-generation students.

Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of the SUNY system, says it's time to rethink how public universities prepare tomorrow’s educators.

Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, discusses the importance of university research and new projects involving academic scientists.

Carol Geary Schneider, who will retire in June from the presidency of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, describes what we know about a high-quality education and its greatest threats.

Darron Collins, president of the College of the Atlantic, explains how an institution of only 350 students can have an impact on innovation in higher education.

Wayne Frederick, president of the historically black university, says it needs to be more selective in enrolling students and choosing how to support them.

The university has given Eric F. Spina, the new president, 10 months to learn from his predecessor, Daniel J. Curran, before taking over. In a recent conversation, the two leaders talked about the methodical changing of the guard.

Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon, also talks about his plans to focus marketing efforts more on academics and less on athletics.

Gregory L. Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, doesn’t believe guns belong on campuses. But a new state law disagrees with him. In an interview, he explains how he set rules to carry out the law.

Ian Bickford, the provost of Bard College at Simon's Rock, describes what it's like to run a college whose students never finished high school.

James A. Troha, president of Juniata College, discusses how he draws on his background in student affairs to meet students "where they are" about their college experience, and to improve diversity on the Pennsylvania campus.

Dennis Di Lorenzo, dean of New York University’s School of Professional Studies, describes how recent changes at his institution aim to help more students get jobs. 

Ajay Nair, senior vice president and dean of campus life at Emory University, describes his institution’s unusually detailed response to activism over the campus racial climate this fall.


Jay A. Perman, president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, talks about how his institution worked to help the city before the recent unrest there, and how it has intervened to help at-risk youth before they reach college age.

The Education Trust’s president says colleges that are serious about helping low-income students succeed should make it their job from Day 1.

The university faces declining enrollment, but its president, Timothy P. Slottow, says it will remain a relevant and valuable option for students.

With the University of Wisconsin's board expected to vote soon on new  tenure policies, Raymond W. Cross, the system's president, describes the challenges he faces in both reassuring professors and making lawmakers more supportive of higher education.

The best way to lend support to higher education is to “help colleges do what they need to do,” says Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Phillip C. Stone talks about how he hopes to dig out and rebuild the Virginia college stronger than ever.

How community colleges gauge students’ readiness, place them in courses, and guide them through developmental education reveals some promising but not yet widespread innovations, says Evelyn Waiwaiole, director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement.

Michael F. Adams, a longtime NCAA leader, spoke with The Chronicle about the need for tougher admissions requirements for athletes and for strong deterrents to cheating to ensure the legitimacy of big-time college sports.


The University System of Maryland has some innovative teaching approaches that help retain students. Robert Caret, its chancellor, describes how they work
and why they are key right now.

Public universities should deepen their engagement with their communities and make those partnerships part of their core academic missions, says Robert J. Jones, president of the University at Albany.

The University of Missouri has never effectively dealt with the "serious scars" of systemic racism and discrimination against African-Americans, says Michael Middleton, its interim president, and he hopes to help grapple with those issues.

Bernard J. Milano, president of the Ph.D. Project — a nonprofit organization committed to diversifying the faculty ranks at the nation’s business schools — talks about how the Ph.D. Project works, its track record, and why faculty diversity matters. 

Benjamin Ola. Akande, president of Westminster College (Mo.), is less interested in singing "Kumbaya" than in seeing results.


David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, says the protests in Baltimore, following the death of Freddie Gray, gave the institution an opportunity to help the city heal.

President Sari Feldman of the American Library Association discusses programs that preserve tweets as well as books.

The University of Exeter's vice chancellor speaks on what American policy makers and colleges can learn from Britain as they look to improve access to higher education for disadvantaged people.

Mark P. Becker, president of Georgia State University, discusses the institution's success raising graduation rates and the challenges of maneuvering a fledgling football team into the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics.

Ana Mari Cauce’s own life has been touched by prejudice and racial violence. At Washington, she’s pushing for a frank dialogue about diversity and inequality. 

President Phillip C. Stone discusses what students and faculty can expect this fall and how he'll work with alumnae. Part 2 of 3.

Phillip C. Stone talks about the pressure he feels to succeed for the sake of all liberal-art colleges and what his institution might look like in five years. Part 3 of 3.

Seton Hall University’s A. Gabriel Esteban talks about how he furthers new strategies while seeking to shift the institution's direction.

Rohit Chopra, a former official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, talks about the pitfalls of what he calls a "broken" system and the pressures on for-profit colleges.

Timothy M. Wolfe of the University of Missouri system says higher ed needs to do a better job of defending itself when its budget comes under attack.

Arthur Levine shares his insights on what went into the creation of the open-source Woodrow Wilson Academy for Teaching and Learning.

Kevin Kruger, president of the student-affairs group Naspa, speaks on student activism and why administrators shouldn’t be afraid of it.

The president of Becker College discusses how the Massachusetts institution is prepared "to thrive in volatile times."

Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, explains his vision of competency-based education and what has surprised him from his college's own experiment.

Scott Coltrane, interim president of the University of Oregon, talks about the university's new board, its state support, and its AAU membership.

Mary C. Willingham spoke with The Chronicle about how Chapel Hill's academic scandal highlighted larger problems in big-time college sports.

Laurie A. Leshin, the first woman to lead Worcester Polytechnic Institute, talked about the importance of having female leaders in higher education.

Harold E. Varmus, former head of the National Cancer Institute, discusses the budgetary challenges facing the National Institutes of Health.

The director of the National Science Foundation, France A. Córdova, is devising strategies to improve the standing of female scientists, who are paid less and promoted less often than men are.

Once the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s chancellor, Mr. Thorp is trying to raise admission of low-income students at Washington University in St. Louis.

Declining student demand and a weak job market have turned up the pressure on law schools. Blake Morant, dean of the George Washington University Law School and president of the Association of American Law Schools, describes some of the things they are doing about it.

President Tuajuanda Jordan's priorities include stabilizing finances and enrollments at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after it missed its targets by significant margins.

Francis S. Collins believes better times are ahead for his agency and medical researchers after a decade of tough budgetary constraints.

Gen. Charles C. Krulak talks about the steps that he took to restore stability to Birmingham-Southern College.

Columbia College Chicago lost 24 percent of its enrollment in the five years before Kwang-Wu Kim took over as president, in 2013.

Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities, says ideologically motivated and corporate-minded board members are hurting public colleges.

Vassar College's president argues that a key constraint colleges face in diversifying their enrollment is not finding needy students; it's allocating money for adequate aid.

Michael J. Sorrell has had to resort to unusual means to rescue Paul Quinn College from collapse after its accreditation was revoked.

President Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College has helped create a strong culture of alumni giving during her tenure.

Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, thinks he knows what students need: lots of support.

Blending a traditional liberal-arts education with practical real-world projects can make students more valuable contributors to the organizations they will work for when they graduate, says David P. Angel, Clark University’s president.

Karen R. Lawrence, president of Sarah Lawrence College, talked with The Chronicle about the college's new assessment tool and how she expects it to help prove that the institution is doing what it claims to be doing. Watch the interview here.

In a video interview, Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, talks about the importance of mentors and how her background shapes her approach to leadership.

Raymond E. Crossman, president of the Adler School of Professional Psychology, discusses the myths that persist about gay presidents in academe.

The new president sees the system as an engine of social mobility for the state.

James M. Danko, president of Butler University, talks about how colleges could do better at conveying the value of their "product."

West Virginia University's president sat down with The Chronicle to reflect on the troubled end of his time at Ohio State and his efforts to secure his legacy.

Mariko Silver, president of Bennington College, talked with The Chronicle about the challenges of replacing a long-serving predecessor, and about how her age—36—affected her reception.

Santa J. Ono, president of the University of Cincinnati, talked with The Chronicle about how being genuine on Twitter can bolster a leader’s reputation and the university’s, too. Watch the interview here.

Kim A. Wilcox, chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, talked to The Chronicle about what works for improving student success.