Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
April 12, 2022
Like many college presidents, commencement is my favorite day on campus. This May, after more than a year of primarily virtual events, the opportunity to present diplomas to students in person reinvigorated my passion for supporting their success. As a first-generation college graduate coming from meager means, my life has been transformed by the power of education. Therefore, when each graduate walks across the stage to receive their diploma, whether on their way to a new career, graduate school, or planned service opportunity, I view their educational experience as a successful outcome.
March 23, 2022
How is higher education emerging from the pandemic better, stronger, and more equitable? What have we learned during this historic moment? As we emerge from the global pandemic and the intersecting public health crises that it helped to expose, our nation needs its community colleges to shape the near and distant future of our country.
February 06, 2022
I suffer from panic attacks. They typically happen in the middle of the night and are triggered by a lost sense of control. This past year has been a challenge for worriers like me. The COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and an extraordinary political season that culminated in the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill caused even the most confident, experienced, and successful among us to wonder if they could effectively lead through the chaos. Everything felt out of control.
November 17, 2021
We are in Washington, D.C., in the year 2028. It's the 20th anniversary of the election of Barack Obama. Equality in America has finally been realized some 409 years since enslaved individuals first reached America’s shores. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are nominated and elected to public office at percentages similar to their respective populations.
October 20, 2021
It’s no secret that the landscape of higher education is changing rapidly. Every day, tuition-dependent private institutions are grappling with issues related to affordability, enrollment, competition, shrinking state and federal funding, student success and retention, and the looming drop in the number of high school graduates. As if this wasn’t enough, a global pandemic swept in, exacerbating existing challenges and creating unforeseen new ones.
September 29, 2021
The magic of social mobility is that it creates a future that students cannot fathom. That was true in my case growing up in a rural suburb of Manila, Philippines, under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. I never imagined I could become the president of not one, but two major American universities. Lived experience—both as an immigrant student and an academic administrator—inspires my recommendations on the most meaningful actions we, as university presidents, can take to set our students on an upward class trajectory. This is undeniably higher education’s most transformative outcome.
December 07, 2020
There have been few moments as filled with transition and innovation as the spring of 2020. With limited warning, all of American higher education pivoted to respond to the global pandemic brought forth by COVID-19. In the face of a global public health and economic crisis, we found that what we value most in higher education was suddenly pathologized: no longer were we allowed to be in proximity to one another as we learned and lived together.
February 05, 2020
Having been engaged in K-12 and higher education leadership for over 40 years, I have personally experienced the significant changes in the higher education landscape in the past two decades in particular.
January 15, 2020
Alarms sound about the future of American colleges and universities as innovations proliferate to address the dynamics of how we educate, whom we educate, for what purpose, and with what value. Near universal agreement can be reached that business as usual will not serve anyone well; yet, no single solution can address the challenges we face. One size never fits all.
March 07, 2019
Equity, diversity, and inclusive excellence are critical and complex issues facing leaders of colleges and universities.
October 31, 2018
“College kids” is a phrase beloved by lawmakers working on higher education policy and reporters covering campus life.
September 05, 2018
During my lengthy academic career, the higher education sector has witnessed significant disruption and change—from violent protests over what were believed to be unjust wars, to the desegregation of Southern colleges and universities, to affirmative action challenges decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chapter 5: Staying True to Mission and History: University of Detroit Mercy's Role in the Revitalization of a Historic City and Its Communities
January 10, 2018
Nearly 20 years into the 21st century, university presidents are developing potential solutions to ensure their institutions' sustainability and viability for future decades.
February 13, 2018
Hillsborough Community College (HCC), a two-year public institution with five campuses in Hillsborough County, Tampa, is one of 28 community colleges in Florida.
Chapter 4: The StepUP Program at Augsburg: Overcoming the Stigma of Addiction on a University Campus
January 05, 2017
It began nearly 20 years ago with one student, a student who went to one of his professors with a remarkable story. As he recounts it, the student told the faculty member that he was in recovery from addiction and that college was a really tough place for someone in recovery to negotiate. The faculty member responded with humility and compassion: "I don't know anything about recovery, but if I can help you succeed in college, we will go on this path together."
February 13, 2017
It was as if a blanket of snow covered the auditorium floor in the Center for Global Citizenship, where 52 years earlier, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke while visiting Saint Louis University (SLU). Nearly all were dressed in white. Some wore hijabs. They sat quietly in 11 rows of 25 folding chairs, waiting.
March 06, 2017
A salient influence during my time at Drew University has been the crescendo-reaching national conversation on race and inclusion. Campuses are engaging in conversations about race, ethnicity, discrimination, religious intolerance, LGBTQ acceptance and rights, and sanctuary.
Chapter 10: Pathways to Success: Easing the Transition to Four-Year Universities with Comprehensive Guidance and Institutional Support
May 08, 2017
About 80 percent of students entering two-year institutions say they aim to ultimately complete a four-year degree. But only 14 percent of those students attain their goal within six years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.