“The University of Missouri system’s president, Timothy Wolfe, resigned Monday morning in the face of growing protests by black college students, the threat of a walkout by faculty, and a strike by football players, who said he had done too little to combat racism on campus,” reports USA Today and the New York Times moments ago.
Photo Credits: Harvard University and Yale University Commons
Further still, after President Wolfe announced his resignation, R. Bowen Loftin, the chancellor of the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, will resign at the end of the year, the Associated Press reported alongside the New York Times late Monday afternoon.
President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin faced increasing pressure to resign their leadership posts after what critics said “was a sluggish and inadequate response to a string of racially charged incidents on the overwhelmingly white college campus,” according to TPM LiveWire Breaking News.
This is now a tsunami crisis in stakeholder management and presidential and chancellorship succession in higher education and its coordinated response to diversity and inclusion on campus (alongside other pressing issues of college affordability, student learning and assessment, internationalization and globalization on campuses, cash management and investments, fundraising and endowment growth, strategic partnerships, joint venturing and alliances, and board governance).
Students, faculty, staff, and alumni stakeholders’ anger and frustration is real about how the value of diversity and inclusion on modern college campuses matters most in the modern age of demography shift and heightened engagement across government, industry, philanthropy, and “The Ivory Tower.”
So, given at the end of this piece are 20 strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the value of diversity and inclusion in “The Ivory Tower.”
Inside this piece also are some pearls of wisdom that may be relevant to the challenging constituent events taking place on the modern college campus in the age of demography shift in heightened communications through “smart” technology, whereby a simple “Tweet” about a racial incident can go viral and eventually cause the resignation of a university president, lacking some historical perspective of these 20 pearls of wisdom on how to #BetheBoss on a modern college campus.
Photo Credit: Isaac Stanley-Becker for The Washington Post. Students rally at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., on Monday, November 9, 2015.
Above all else, essentially, college presidents have basically three powers: to sign, to appoint, and most of all, to persuade.
Yale University’s president, Peter Salovey, spoke Thursday, November 5, 2015 to minority students in a closed-door meeting, saying the university had “failed” them. Salovey later said on Monday, November 9, 2015 at a Yale student rally on campus that he welcomed students’ efforts to improve Yale University and clarified his view that Yale has failed its minority students, as later that afternoon tsunami events out west were unfolding surrounding the presidential and chancellor leadership succession of the University of Missouri System.
“What I said on Thursday is if there are students who don’t feel welcome here, we need to accept that as an area where we can do better,” Salovey said in a brief interview to reporters, including The Washington Post. “And we must do better.”
“People really have to feel like they can express themselves, whatever their views are, in an environment that is open to them,” he said.
College politics of prolific public perception is profoundly at play now in the age of social media and advances in wireless communications technologies on campus.
Jonathan Holloway, the dean of Yale College, (shown above via The Washington Post, and Yale’s only black dean, who is also the Edmund Morgan Professor of African American Studies), also said recently in The Washington Post, he has been in touch with the university’s general counsel’s office about several videos created via smartphones during a recent confrontation between students and administration, as “there is a university rule that prohibits filming without prior permission within Yale’s gates,” Holloway said.
On Thursday, November 5, Yale University students gathered to protest over faculty members’ e-mails regarding culturally sensitive Halloween costumes. One student confronted Nicholas Christakis, the master of Silliman College. Several video clips of the encounter at Yale’s Silliman College were immediately posted on YouTube by the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Filmed by FIRE organization’s CEO and president, Greg Lukianoff, who spoke in Silliman on Thursday evening on the topic of free speech on college campuses, the videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
“I honestly don’t know what to do in our smartphone culture with this,” Holloway said. “And so I’ve posed that as a question to the attorney to figure out what can we do.”
Spokesman, Nico Perrino, said FIRE has not been contacted by Yale’s attorneys.
Meanwhile, the social impact of our smartphone culture continues on modern college campuses, as marches and walkouts across the nation are taking place this week by students, faculty, staff, and alumni in protest of “what they see as officials’ lenient approach to racial abuse in schools,” according to Reuters.
In recent related series of event, Reuters reports Hunter M. Park, “a 19-year-old white Missouri man (also a sophomore computer science major at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) in Rolla, which is part of the University of Missouri System) is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, November 12 charged with making threats on social media to shoot black students at the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus, just days after the school’s top two administrators resigned after protests over their handling of racial incidents at the school.
In the nation’s capitol, “messages were posted online threatening to murder students at the historically black college Howard University in Washington on Thursday, November 11,” says Reuters. School officials, which had an “all hands on deck” high-level meeting Thursday morning, decided not to close the campus, but have increased security around the DC-metropolitan campus.
“Sympathetic gatherings have taken place at Yale University, Ithaca College in New York, Smith College in Massachusetts and Claremont McKenna College in California,” according to Reuters. “At Yale on Wednesday, November 11, more than 1,000 students, professors and staff gathered to discuss race and diversity at the elite Ivy League school. The forum was held two days after about 1,000 students briefly shut down traffic around the university in a rally to protest an alleged Halloween incident in which a fraternity turned away black students from a party.”
#Mizzou Fallout Forces Resignations of a University President and a Flagship Campus Chancellor
Monday, November 9, 2015, the Missouri Students Association released a letter submitted to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, seeking University of Missouri President Timothy Wolfe’s “immediate removal,” saying that “the University of Missouri met the shooting of Mike Brown with silence … our students were left stranded, forced to face an increase in tension and inequality with no systemic support. Over the last sixteen months, the quality of life for our students has only worsened” and that Missouri President Wolfe had “enabled a culture of racism.”
“His resignation was just one of many demands from students, who say the university isn’t doing enough to handle racism and discrimination on the campus in Columbia. Another demand is to increase black representation among University of Missouri-Columbia staff and faculty members to 10 percent by the next academic calendar year. The school would have a lot of hiring to do to comply: It would take around 400 more black faculty or staff members to get representation that high,” reports FiveThirtyEightPolitics on ESPN. “Black students are less likely than students of other races or ethnicities to stay enrolled in the university after one year and are ultimately less likely to graduate,” according to data provided to FiveThirtyEight by the university.
What we are learning from the resignations of Missouri president, Timothy Wolfe, and of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, on Monday, November 9, is that responsibility and accountability for diversity and inclusion now clearly resides at the top inside the campus administration building.
Photo Credit: Supporters of the student protest group, “Concerned Student 1950 (named after the first year black students were allowed at the school),” form a perimeter of 1,950 students in locked arms (above), as students stage a “sit-in” protest (below) on the University of Missouri’s flagship Columbia campus.
Sit-ins by activists African-American students, supported by students, faculty, staff, and alumni from all walks of life, in the age of “#BlackLivesMatter“, “#SportsLivesMatter“, and the “clash of generations” (between Millennials aged 18-24, Generation Ys aged 25-34, Generation Xs aged 33-44, Baby-Busters aged 45-54, Baby-Boomers aged 55-64, and Greatest Generations aged 65 and older), alongside Saturday afternoon boycotts by college football and basketball players and marching bands, are dramatically affecting college brands and reputations, institutional advancement, communications and public relations, annual donor-giving campaign dollars, and lucrative sports television revenues given to campuses.
Moreover, such protests are voicing loudly that racism, sexism, even ageism is not tolerated on the modern campus by any groups of constituents and stakeholders. And that no longer is “just talking diversity” inside college brochures enough. But now, “actually walking diversity” is the real measure of the social, technological, educational, economic and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity on campus.
Football is big money and some change on modern college campuses.
“The Missouri athletic department’s annual operating revenue grew nearly 10 percent to $83.7 million during the 2014 fiscal year, but outstanding debt climbed by nearly $60 million and expenses also increased,” according to data obtained by The Star that is submitted annually by Mizzou to the NCAA.
Had thirty-two black football players just boycotted one game this weekend against Brigham Young University, “it would have cost the school almost $1 million,” reports The Root.
“Thirty-two black men just ousted the head of a system that employs 25,000 people and educates over 77,000 students, just by saying, “No”,” writes activist, Michael Harriot, inside The Root.
Harriot adds: “Harvard Law-degree-wielding president of one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in the country [resigning clearly says] … what should be scary to the status quo is the possibility of the pervasive rage becoming as focused and united as what just happened in Columbia, Missouri, by just saying “No.” “
“And, all it took was 32 black men.”
By the way, have you seen a Texaco Star sign anymore lately?
Diversity and inclusion matters now under the corporate seal. And, it’s not only affecting huge government and industrial interests, but also economic interests inside “The Ivory Tower.”
“Mizzou’s student-athletes just put every university president across the nation on notice,” writes Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio, inside The Root.
“Thousands of influential Mizzou alumni couldn’t care less about social justice, racism or the protection of African-American students. They like football and tailgating every Saturday. And, if firing Wolfe and addressing some racism gets them back in the parking lot with a beer and a brat watching black men run up and down a field this Saturday, so be it,” Johnson argues.
Professor Johnson goes on further to conclude: “At the end of the day, there are lots of people who can serve as a college president, but there aren’t nearly as many who can break four tackles for a score on third and 7. Let’s just hope that other prominent college football teams see the power that was shown by the Missouri Tigers today: that if you stay organized and unified, you don’t have to just run the field; you can run your school.”
Strategic knowledge leadership among the world’s best colleges and universities reflects modern presidential and board responsibility and accountability of making a real difference in diversity and inclusion with integrity and trust of self-expression and generosity amongst all stakeholders across the campus community.
Photo Credit: Columbia University Graduation Ceremony
Diversity and Inclusion is Strategic Leadership and Intent of the Modern College Presidential Boss
Strategic competitive positioning in academic and research capacity building and knowledge production and depositories among the world’s top-ranked colleges and universities stack up along four primary fronts:
- Brokerage creates knowledge and value, including identifying the relative difference among ourselves that distinguishes an institution and trading on it under a powerful university seal in the global marketplace;
- Cohesion delivers knowledge and value, involving establishing an academic environment of diversity and inclusion that attracts and retains extraordinary faculty united with a continuous supply of exceptional students;
- Branding, reputation, and trust transfers knowledge and value, allowing a climate of innovation to flow freely throughout the physical and online learning spaces and diverse culture of the university in the advancement of a general liberal education for the benefit of agriculture, industry, commerce, and The Arts;
- Partnerships sustain knowledge and value, allowing diverse strategic contracts of alliances, joint-ventures, acquisitions, warrants, options, and philanthropic giving to feed both organic and inorganic investments and growth of the university and its endowment steadily and soundly through perpetuity.
Photo Credit: Duke University
A Vision for the Value of Diversity and Inclusion on the Modern College Campus
Altogether, the above attributes properly balance and uniquely prepare modern college presidents for this strategic leadership opportunity in three essential ways:
- To honor the faculty, staff, students, and alumni and their history inside the college as a sound institution and community of learning;
- To manage the college’s education integrated with research capacity building and growth, as one of the country’s top research organizations – particularly given the college’s strategic leadership inside the federal directorates, as one of the nation’s most valuable integrated education and research assets – and finally,
- To position a college education and research enterprise with a strategic vision for making the often challenging choices amongst competing stakeholders required in interdisciplinary teaching and research oversight in modern higher education.
Furthermore, strongest most enduring college presidents are eager to participate in the collaborative and cross-cultural governance of a growing higher education and research enterprise, while helping the university build its social, technological, economic, and political value to the college’s local region, the nation, and the world.
Photo Credit: Stanford University
Hence, what it takes to be the servant college boss is sound stewardship of a longstanding institution of excellence, whose intent is to empower and enable faculty, staff, students, and alumni, to generate and fulfill new possibilities and purposeful living.
A modern college stewarded by a sound presidential boss creates new knowledge and provides academic programs and services that produce extraordinary learning and results not only for its stakeholders and constituencies, but also for the ascent of humankind.
Upon examining the compelling case for the college’s mission, what is revealed to us, as taxpayers and/or college donors, is the power of one’s transformation through combined education and leadership preparation for the college’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and for the surrounding local community, the nation and the world.
Photo Credit: University of Notre Dame
The college presidential boss proposes to advance the college’s educational and service-oriented enterprises out of values shaping deeply what we believe the college is, as a transformational academic unit of distinguished teaching, research, outreach and engagement, innovation, and technology transfer to a good society:
Making a Difference:
Colleges have a profound privilege of causing transformation of students as global leaders, the transformation of its faculty as conversation leaders and knowledge producers, the transformation of its staff as facilitators of quality service, and the transformation of its alumni in protection and as shapers of society, humanity, and our world.
Self Expression and Generosity:
Colleges are historical places of fundamental freedom of intellectual thought; giving of itself abundantly in duty and service to community and the nation and to students from all walks of life.
Creation of Knowledge:
Colleges generate potential from promise itself, shaping society today, and most of all, respecting its legacy of shaping thought in America with the ultimate purpose in the development of future leaders for a global duty and citizenry through the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
Responsibility and Accountability:
Colleges are leadership communities of excellence with an inherent responsibility and unconditional accountability to ensure the potential and promise, and ultimately, the success of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Integrity and Trust:
Colleges are whole and complete organizations of duty and quality service of higher education that must be true to its purpose to accomplish with integrity its academic and training mission, to function consistent with its values, and to manage the trust in service to its students, faculty, staff, alumni, governance, society, humanity, and the world.
Photo Credit: One Hundred Years of Harvard-Yale Football
20 Pearls of Wisdom and Lessons on College Presidential Leadership
Below are 20 additional strategic lessons on what does it take to be the college boss through the lens of several university presidential titans, who may have or who may have not weathered the storms of raising the social, technological, education, economic, and political (S.T.E.E.P.) value of diversity and inclusion inside “The Ivory Tower.”
Photo Credit: Nicholas Murrary Butler
1. A Different Kind of Captain
“The college president is “a captain of the army of faith in the Republic.” These captains “are a characteristic product of American life and of American opportunity … Rules and formulas cannot be devised to produce them … The history of American higher education for well-nigh a century is written largely in terms of the personality, the strivings and the accomplishments of these Captains. Strike them from our record … and the history of American Higher Education would be meaningless.”
– Nicholas Murray Butler, 1919, Nobel Peace Laureate (1931), 12th President of Columbia University (1905-1945), President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1925-1945)
2. The Multiversity President
The president must be “a friend of the students, a colleague of the faculty, a good fellow with the alumni, a sound administrator with the trustees, a good speaker with the public, an astute bargainer with the foundations and federal agencies, a politician with the state legislature, a friend of industry, labor and agriculture, a persuasive diplomat with donors, a champion of education generally, a supporter of the professions …, a spokesperson to the press, a scholar in his own right, a public servant …, a devotee of opera and football equally, a decent human being, a good husband and father, an active member of a church … No one can be all these things. Some succeed at being none.”
– Clark Kerr, 1963, 12th President of the University of California (1958-1967), First Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (1952-1957)
Photo Credit: Duke University
3. The Presidency as Illusion
“[The academic presidency is] a reactive job, a parochial job … [It is] important to the president [but] the presidency is an illusion … Important aspects of the role seem to disappear on close examination … It is probably a mistake for a college president to imagine that what he [she] does in office affects significantly either the long-run position of the institution or his [her] reputation as president.
Presidents occupy a minor part in the lives of a small number of people. They can act with a fair degree of confidence that if they make a mistake, it will not matter much.”
– Michael Cohen and James March, Leadership and Ambiguity, 1974, 1986
Photo Credit: Harvard University Cross Country Team
4. The Presidency Today
“It has probably always been too simple a matter to think of the president as a pilot … Still … the allegory of the captain, the ship, the sea, the voyage, remains appealing. There is romance in it, and danger; uncertainty and possibility; change and challenge; and fortune good or bad …
“That old voyager, Charles W. Eliot [21st President of Harvard University,(1869-1909), known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder], might well conclude today that the office he did so much to develop has been greatly modified since his time. It is more difficult, more daunting, and a good bit less powerful … But, surveying the greatly altered scene, Eliot might still discern … some substantial room to maneuver, some significant role for the pilot. He might join with [William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry“] now … in saying of the position that “the satisfaction which this brings no man [or woman] can describe.” He could find convincing reasons to avow again that the presidency – despite everything and whatever one’s choice of metaphor – is still unique, still a job that demands a leader, still an office that makes a difference, still a profession that has no equal in the world.”
– Joe Crowley, “No Equal in The World,” 1994
Photo Credit: Duke University
5. The President of Grey Towers (Chicago)
“The university has become a place of “cold desolateness,” headed by a president who is “absurd … an absolutist [and] a grotesque little man.”
– Anonymous, 1923
6. The President “Presides Over a Tropical Jungle”
“The president, critics say, is “an autocrat, a dollar-making capitalist, a great mogul, a grand seigneur, a mikado, and hetman all combined in one. He [She] is viewed as an austere figure sitting on a throne behind closed doors and summoning now and then the trembling vassals of his [her] realm … He [She] watches for heresies with the sleepless zeal of the Holy Inquisition, and without mercy brings vengeance on the head of the unfaithful.”
In reality, he [she] “presides over a tropical jungle … full of queer animals … Some run about, seeking whom they may devour. Others sit quietly in corners, shrinking from observation, searching curiously for unknown things … It is a vast magnificent, and historic tangle. About all that the mighty gentleman … can do, is to stand on a height above it and squirt perfume on the ensemble.”
– Somnia Vana, 1922
Photo Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
7. “Last Words of a College President”
“I walked and sat erect for thirty years, A proud merchant of correct ideas, Cold gladness and unsullied decorum, I fashioned cautious men without souls, And brittle women with measured passion. Behold a traitor, To his Creator.”
– “American Mercury,” 1948
Photo Credit: The Ivory Tower
8. The Mystery Novel President
“In academic detective novels, presidents are customarily portrayed as: “Academically, intellectually, socially, legally, and morally rotten, [and as] encyclopedias of corruption.”
– Wister Cook, “Death by Administration: Presidents, Deans, and Department Heads in Academic Detective Novels,” 1988 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]
Photo Credit: Princeton University Nassau Hall
9. The Spirit of J. Thoreau Marshall Reigns
“As acting president of fictional Washagon University inside Robert Grudin’s novel about life among that peculiar new breed of faculty … , J. Thoreau Marshall “emerges as neither decent nor much of a mover.” Nonetheless, his rise to power was inevitable:
“Terrified of being at a loss for words, he wrote out his lectures which, sauced with redundancy, seasoned with non sequitur and served up at metronomic pace in a pained nasal monotone, induced narcosis in all who heard them.
“In committee meetings, he was notably inarticulate, dead to nuance and phobic to original ideas.
“His other relationships were of a similar ilk, To his students he was autocratic and unfair, to his advisees distant and obtuse, to his colleagues earthbound and hollow.
“It was eventually apparent that these characteristics, displayed consistently and noted by all, ideally qualified Marshall for academic administration, and before long he was welcomed into a confraternity whose members by and large, shared his talents and propensities.
“When he was appointed Washagon’s provost, Marshall demonstrated “the timeworn obligations of his profession: bullying his subordinates and cringing before his superiors, stifling talent and rewarding mediocrity, promoting faddishness and punishing integrity. It is no surprise that Marshall is given the acting presidency, when the president becomes ill.” “
– Robert Grudin, “Book,” 1992 [via, Joseph N. Crowley, “No Equal in the World: An Interpretation of the Academic Presidency,” 1994]
Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White
10. “No Cessation of Duties”
“This is a dog’s life … no cessation of duties, which have always been most irksome … rebuffs — the cold shoulder — unsuccessful pleading and unheeded begging … A year or two more of this life as president will break my health hopelessly.”
– Andrew Dickson White, 1871-72, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)
Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper
11. “The Bigness of the Task”
“There were “times of great depression, when one contemplates in all its details the bigness of the task … the demands made … the number and magnitude of the difficulties involved. So numerous are the affairs of a great university; so heavy are they … so delicate and difficult … so arduous … so heart engrossing and mind disturbing.”
– William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906), “Young Man in a Hurry“
Photo Credit: Andrew Dickson White
12. Presidents On The Press
“Twenty years ago I began my official connection with Cornell University by answering defamatory attacks … in your columns, and now I seem fated to end it in the same way.”
– Andrew Dickson White, in a letter to the New York Times, 1885, First President of Cornell University (1866-1885), 16th United States Ambassador to Germany (1879-1881), First President of the American Historical Association (1884-1885)
Photo Credit: William Rainey Harper
“I wish very much that there could be enacted a law in the state of Illinois inflicting the death penalty upon irresponsible reporters for the misleading way in which they misrepresent the truth … We are helpless in the hands of the press …”
– William Rainey Harper, First President of the University of Chicago (1891-1906)
Photo Credit: Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro (right) and World-Renowned, Distinguished Ballet Artist, Mikhail Baryshnikov (left)
13. Unwise Fate Awaiting The New President
“Consider that “cruel … unnecessary … unwise fate awaiting the new president, who must make his peace with malcontents, … be patient under opposition, … explain misunderstandings, … contradict misstatements, … supplement the inefficiency of others, and … furnish enthusiasm enough not only to carry himself over all obstacles … but to warm blood in the veins of others, whose temperature never yet rose above thirty-four degrees.”
– “One of the Guild,” 1900
Photo Credit: The Ohio State University Oval
14. Presidential Complaints and “The Wailing Wall”
“The university president is “one of the most burdened … harassed … put-upon people in American life.”
– William H. Cowley, 1949, Correspondence of William H. Cowley, 11th President of Hamilton College (1938-1944)
Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower
“My schedule “for the first months … has grown to appalling proportions. If current indications provide any index of what my future life there is to be, I shall quit them cold and go to some forsaken spot on the earth’s surface to stay.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1948, 13th President of Columbia University (1948-1953), 34th President of the United States (1953-1961)
Photo Credit: Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The picture of the president emerging from presidential descriptions is of a “small, lonely, Chaplinesque figure.”
“Annual presidential meetings are like “a convocation of morticians” gathered at a “wailing wall.”
– Frederic Ness, “An Uncertain Glory,” Professor of English, United States Naval Academy, 1971
Photo Credit: Charles M. Vest
“I grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and attended public schools there where I learned many valuable things. I learned that every human being is important, has something to offer, and can be a friend and colleague.” Read more here.
– Charles M. Vest, 2006, 15th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990-2004), President of the National Academy of Engineering (2007-2013)
Photo Credit: University of Pennsylvania
16. The Presidency According to the Presidents and the Press
“An impossible job” (1913)
“Why college presidents wear out” (1945)
“The [presidential] race is extinct” (1956)
“The reeling presidency” (1976)
“The impossible job of the college president” (1988)
“The most difficult job in the world” (1990)
“The short unhappy life of academic presidents” (1990)
“The hardest job in California” (1991)
“The terrible toll in college presidents” (1994)
“Wanted: Miracle workers” (1991)
“The hunt for water walkers” (1990)
“[The job needs] someone who can walk on water.”
“[The job needs] someone who doesn’t only walk on water, but who can skip on it.”
“[The job needs] somebody who can walk on water, but who can do so without scaring the fish.”
“[The president needs an] ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
Photo Credit: Charles W. Eliot reading with his grandson (1910)
17. The Rule of Seven
“The best number of members for a university’s principal governing board is seven; because that number of men [women] can sit round a small table, talk with each other informally without waste of words or any display or pretense, provide an adequate diversity of points of view and modes of dealing with the subject in hand, and yet be prompt and efficient in the despatch of business. In a board of seven the different professions and callings can be sufficiently represented.”
– Charles W. Eliot, 1908, 21st President of Harvard University (1869-1909), Known as the “grand old man” of Harvard University – its transformer, if not its founder.
Photo Credit: H. Patrick Swygert (right) and then-U.S. Presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) (left), 2007
18. The Raison D’etre for The Institution
“Its mission, transcends everything, because without that you’re simply just raising money but for no good purpose. And by the way, don’t think you’re going to be successful at it, as well, if you cannot articulate some form of vision … And I think historically black colleges and universities at large are still about two things: opportunity for youngsters who might not otherwise have an opportunity for education, post-secondary education, and secondly, to be about the business of the greater African Diaspora. What are those issues affecting us? Whether it’s health care disparities, whether it’s environmental issues, whether it’s traditional civil rights issues, human rights issues, that’s what they should be about – what we are about.”
– H. Patrick Swygert, 15th President of Howard University, 2008
Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (right), former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-U.S. Senator (D-New York) (left)
19. More of a Politician Than a Corporatist
“The course of a university president’s day is never the same twice in a row; no tired bureaucrats need apply … A university president has to be more of politician than a corporate leader.”
– Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, “Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education,” 2008, 15th President of The George Washington University (1988-2007), 3rd President of the University of Hartford (1976-1987)
Photo Credit: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (left) poses next to his official George Washington University presidential portrait (right)
20. A Titan
“Angry now the breakers are: Gleam their white teeth in the sun, Where along the shallow bar, Fierce and high their ridges run.
But the pilot-captain, lo! How serene in strength is he! Blithe as winds that dawnward blow, Fresh and fearless as the sea.
Now the shifting breezes fail, Baffling gusts arise and die, Shakes and shudders every sail, Hark! the rocks are roaring nigh.
But the pilot keeps here keel, Where the current runneth fair, Deftly turns the massive wheel, Light as though’t were hung in air.
Hark! the bar on either side! Hiss of foam, and crash of crest, Trampling feet, and shouts – they glide, Safely out on ocean’s breast.
Then, the Pilot gives his hand, To his brother, close beside: “Now, ’tis thine to take command, I must back at turn of tide.” “
– Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887), American poet and educator, 1875
Photo Credit: Edward Rowland Sill
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