More Advice for Presidents

Looking for an early stocking stuffer for a new community college president? Or maybe you are interested in building out your library of books for college presidents? As I prepared for my transition to a community college presidency I read widely, though not necessarily wisely. It is difficult to know in advance which advice might…

High Expectations for Higher Education

The opening night of the Time Summit on Higher Education featured a lively discussion, moderated by foreign policy expert Fareed Zakaria. Norman Augustine (former chair of Lockheed Martin), Mitch Daniels (former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University), John Holdren (Assistant to the President for Science and Technology), and Condoleeza Rice (former Secretary…

Prep for Community College Presidents

This July I joined Wilbur Wright College as its president. Never having been a college president before, I did what all academics do when starting a new task: head to a library for resources to study the literature. Scores of books are published every year on college leadership and presidencies, and an increasing number focus…

Recasting Remedial Education

Contemporary discussions about remedial education are often cast in the rhetoric of crisis, high cost, and failure. Remedial education, the courses and programs that help students with the basic mathematics, writing, and reading skills necessary to be college ready,  is a long-standing component of many community college students’ lives. In fact, more than half of…

College Presidency and an Early Thanksgiving

Since the end of July I have a new position: president of Wilbur Wright College, one of the seven community colleges in the City Colleges of Chicago system. Diverse, dynamic, committed to serving its students and community, Wright College is similar to the thousand other public community colleges in the United States. We are an…

Smart Scientists, Smart Engineers, Smart Company

Growing up in northern New Jersey in the 1960s and 1970s, everyone knew about Bell Laboratories. A major employer and a company with well-publicized inventions, Bell Labs was talked about as a good employer and a place where things happened. There was always a kid who had a parent who worked at Bell Labs or…