2020-2021 Series Foreword

August 24, 2020

Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in a turnaround of a small college. What I learned along the way was that fiscal stress is debilitating. The stakes are high, and you can’t think about much else. Innovations that occur are focused on revenue. Then one day you finally get to the tipping point when all of your community’s resolve is rewarded and you can start looking forward to sustainability—fiscally and otherwise. Which brings me to the introduction of this volume of President to President.

Chapter 1: Leveraging Institutional Culture to Foster Innovation

September 08, 2020

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Defense closed Fort Ord as part of its Base Realignment and Closure process, the largest U.S. military base to be closed at the time. Built in 1917, Fort Ord housed 50,000 service members at its height and was the staging ground for the Korean and Vietnam wars. Fort Ord’s closure meant that a third of the economic base of the region was eliminated in one stroke.

Chapter 2: Embracing Campus Capital: Formulating a Vocabulary for Change

September 24, 2020

Like any new president, when I arrived on the campus of Wofford College in July 2013, there was a sense of anticipation and an expectation of change. The 11th president in the college’s 160-year history, this was my first presidency, and I knew that there was an opportunity to be seized.

Chapter 3: Bringing Corporate America to Your Campus

October 28, 2020

Innovation—the ability to anticipate and respond to changes taking place on our campus and throughout this 21st-century world—sets leading colleges and universities apart from the thousands of other institutions in the higher education marketplace. Innovation on our campuses can take many forms. Often it means adapting an existing strategy to emerging demands.

Chapter 4: Leading Through Crisis: Leveraging Goals to Build a Lasting Legacy

November 16, 2020

In 2020, those of us who have the privilege of working in higher education as college and university presidents have found ourselves at the helm of complex organizations coping with three significant crises. The first crisis is the public health emergency represented by COVID-19, a once-in-a-generation global outbreak of a highly contagious and novel disease. The second is the economic emergency triggered by the pandemic, requiring teams around the world to reinvent the way they do business. The third, prompted by the tragic loss of another Black life at the hands of law enforcement, is the unrest associated with renewed calls for social justice as we reexamine issues of racism and abuse of power.