Archive for the ‘chief diversity officer’ Category

The coyote knew full well that despite his best efforts and the strongest ACME (sp) product available to him, there was no way he would ever catch the fleeting road-runner.  An anvil would crush him, he would fall into a deep chasm, or if all failed – they would go to commercial.  He knew it.  His wife knew it.  His children knew it. His neighborhood knew it. Every television show, book and movie reinforced it.  So he quit and drove a cab.  

In a recent self-identity study on 342 Afro and Indo-Caribbean students ages 8 – 11, respondents were invited to choose one of 5 male models (1 Asian, 1 East Indian, 1 White, and 2 Black) for the role of Medical Doctor, Security Agent, Police Investigator, Drug Pusher, or Janitor for an upcoming movie. 
Results indicated that
118 (35%) of students investigated chose the Indian model for the role of Medical Doctor in the movie, while 65 (19%) chose one of the two Black models for the same role.  Conversely, 63 (18%) of the students chose the Indian for the role of Drug Pusher while one of the two Black models was chosen to perform the role of the Drug Pusher by 168 (49%) of the respondents. 

In short: The East Indian students chose the East Indian for the role of the Medical Doctor.  The Black students chose the East Indian for the role of the Medical Doctor.  It was more likely for a Black student to choose a Black for the role of the Drug Pusher than it was for him/her to choose a Black for the role of the Medical Doctor.

Results suggest that regardless of the race of the respondents, East Indians were more likely to be perceived in the role of Medical Doctor – Blacks were more likely to be perceived in the role of the Drug Pusher. 

Of the 342 students tested, only 88 (26%) were of East Indian descent, while 254 or 74% were of Afro-Caribbean descent.

This study has very strong implications for the relationship between a child’s…a culture’s early identity development and academic success. It suggests that if evidence of success is not demonstrated within a child’s early environment (home, story books, neighborhood, movies, television shows, school, pictures, et cetera), the stories of “You can be whatever you want to be” are only rhetoric that we adults enjoy spewing for emotional and political release. 

…from a child the little coyote knew in his heart that there was no way he would ever catch the road runner…so he rejected that possibility – to himself.  Sad but True.   

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Inclusive Excellence: The Prologue – Revisited

Universities are Businesses:

Universities are businesses.  They are in the business of selling both their college name (Harvard, Brown, Columbia) and what may accrue from having had an educational experience at their institution.   Universities are recognized for their area of expertise – or projected area of expertise.  We can all agree that it is easier to sell a degree in some aspect of Technology from MIT than a similar one from Florida State.  Conversely, it is easier to sell an experience as a four-year starter on the basketball team at Florida than it is from MIT.  Universities make their names and sell on the strength of those names.  This is not unlike any popular brand of shoe or restaurant. 

The best advertisements for a type of car are the consumer reports.  Ask the people who drive them or have driven them.

The best advertisements for a restaurant are the consumer reports.  Ask the people who frequent there or have frequented that restaurant.

Similarly, the best advertisements for a university are the consumer reports.  Ask the students who attend there or ask the alumni.   

There is a popular listing called the “Who’s Who” on which a number of universities are prominently displayed.   Universities are judged on the number of alumni they have listed in the Who’s Who of American life.  There can be a Who’s Who of prominent athletes or entertainers, academicians, or top 500 company executives.   This is, rightfully, part of the selling tool for any university.   That you can identify a number of people in the Who’s Who of American life, suggests to your recruits that they have a better than average potential of finding themselves in this rarest of groups.  The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (1996) identified Harvard as number one with a total listing of 17, 428.  Columbia ranked second with a listing of 12,159 citations.  Northwestern University with its 5,591 citations ranks third.

If listing in the “Who’s Who” of American life is a selling tool, if the size of your endowment is a selling tool, if the dominance of your football of basketball team is a selling tool, if touting the beauty of your campus is a selling tool: if all of these things are selling tools – then let us be very clear that “Education is a product to be marketed and universities are in the business of selling the promise of an educative experience.”   

Not everyone who purchases a product will be satisfied with either the product itself and/or his/her experience with purchasing that product.  Not everyone gives good reviews.  Not everyone who goes to a restaurant is satisfied with either the food or the treatment.   Similarly, not everyone who attends a certain college or university will be satisfied with his/her experience.  However, we probably would agree that any place of business (other than congress) with a forty, fifty, or sixty percent-satisfactory rating would not survive very long.  In a recent study (Felice, 2010) a number of African American and White students attending a PWI were surveyed about their connection to the university.    

  • Sixty-seven percent (67%) of White respondents indicated that they wore their school colors around campus.  This compared with 21% of Black students. 
  • Seventy-two percent (72%) of White respondents identified themselves as “A (insert school mascot name) through and through.”  Twenty-five percent (25%) of Black students identified closely with their school.  
  • Ninety-seven percent (97%) of White respondents described themselves as “very connected to the University.”  This compared with 62% of Black students.   
  • Of great interest was that 14% of White students identified themselves as first-generation whereas 55% of Black students suggested that they were. 

Determining the level of connectedness to campus between first and second-generation African American students may be of interest.  We may also wish to ascertain the levels of connectedness perceived by African American students at HBCUs versus African American students at PWIs.  

 How then do colleges and universities with African American and Latino retention rates in the forty, fifty, or sixty percent range survive?  The answer is that colleges and universities are businesses.  African Americans and Latinos are not a market that challenges the success of that business.  In other words, there is no appreciable loss of income to accrue because of the low retention rates.  There are also no external regulatory bodies that hold these schools accountable.  Higher education is a business.  The rules of business must apply.       

Before any new product is brought to market, a need is determined and target population is identified.  The product is then thoroughly researched and piloted within that target population.  Products are only sold within viable markets.  If there is no target population, or if the target population is too small to sustain a viable business, the product will not be sold within that market.  For example; there are certain television channels and programs within the New York market that do not exist in Wisconsin.   In a recent study of 88 Dish channels in Madison Wisconsin, (Felice, 2009) only 10 (11.4%) had any identifiable African Americans either in program or advertisement. 

If the market exists and there is market demand, the product will come.   The evidence of a market and the potential for financial gain (given investment) will bring the product to market.   There is no need to create a product or sustain a market if there is no potential for financial reward. 

Forbes magazine has identified Madison, Wisconsin as “second in the nation in overall education.”  Madison, Wisconsin is well known as a college town.   It would be wise, therefore, to consider bringing the business of education to Madison, Wisconsin.  A brief review of colleges or universities either situated of holding a branch in Madison reveals – The University of Wisconsin, Edgewood College, Madison College formerly MATC, Madison Media Institute, Herzing University, Cardinal Stritch, Concordia University-Madison,  Globe University, Lakeland University, Upper Iowa University, and the  University of Phoenix.  (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison,_Wisconsin#Education).  Despite having one of the ten largest public universities in the country, these other businesses survive.   If there is a viable market, the product will be brought. 

However, there must also be the potential for financial loss if the product is sub-standard.  Without that leverage (potential for financial loss) there will be no motivation for change…regardless of title.     

If there is to be any fundamental change in the marketing of education to any particular population, you must first demonstrate to the university how that shift is in its best financial interest, or lack of shift will cost.  These are ultimately financial decisions that balance on costs-benefits analyses.  

A Shift in Rhetoric:

We have seen a shift, over time, from the rhetoric of Multiculturalism to one of Diversity, to our most recent alliteration – Inclusive Excellence.  We must recognize that the success of this movement hinges on our ability to demonstrate to our university how this investment makes financial sense to them.   

Williams & Wade-Golden (2008) offer a brilliant chronicle of the development of what they describe as the “three related diversity systems” through the Affirmative Action and Equity model, the Multiculturalism and Inclusion model, to the Learning and Diversity model.  (Please see Williams & Wade-Golden – 2008 for greater explication of the models.)  What strikes me is that despite the shift in rhetoric and the increased attention given to different populations, African American and Latino students continue to be so terribly outpaced relative to their ability to successfully matriculate through a higher education program.  These students continue to be woefully behind in graduation rates at most major institutions of higher learning.  Despite the terms we use, therefore, the interventions must be targeted to the unique challenges faced by each population.  Consider the training regimen of a professional football athlete.  You won’t train a tight-end the same way you prepare a running back, or a wide receiver.  Similarly, as much as we recognize that there are similarities in the discrepancies that each population faces relative to access and/or success, each must be identified individually and the targeted intervention must be particular to that population or sub-set of that population. 

We now have a new rhetoric of Inclusive Excellence (IE).  What does that mean?  How is this new or newly minted effort not pre-destined to the same poor fate of all the other wonderfully titled models?  And what does this have to do with a university being a business? 

Affirmative Action:

Over the past twenty years, the concept of Affirmative Action has been successfully marketed and sold (to all of us) on the pretext that one particular group (African Americans) was getting a leg-up…an unfair advantage on the competition.  It has been suggested that these students were not competent and were given the space of some more readied White student.  This is far from the truth.  But the rhetoric of Affirmative Action overcame the reality of it.  Eventually, the rhetoric became the reality.  Over the past two decades we have witnessed the dismantling to Affirmative Action to the point that the term is now rarely used. 

This has had a very negative, yet lasting effect on the psyche of African American students at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI).  The term Affirmative Action Baby has been coined and used in the pejorative to identify all African American students on certain predominantly white campuses.   The effort to vilify and marginalize has been amazingly successful.  Relatively recent court decisions (Gratz v. Bollinger, 2003; Grutter v. Bollinger, 2003; University of California v. Bakke, 1978) and propositions (Proposition 209, CA – 1996; Proposition 2, MI – 2006) have dramatically affected the number of African American applications to and students being accepted at a variety of institutions.  Affirmative Action is a contentious issue that has affected the way many faculty, staff and students view African Americans on campus – and the way African Americans have come to view themselves and others like themselves.

In a recent study of forty-two (42) AA students on a PWI (Felice, 2010), students were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “Many times I notice that Blacks do not acknowledge each other on campus.  They walk past each other.”  Thirty (30) of the 42 students agreed with the statement.  Although no follow-up was asked, a number of students delayed long enough, seemingly with a need to expand.

 One male student offered;

“It’s just two of us in the class…and he lives in my dorm.  It’s as if he’s scared to acknowledge that he’s Black.  Like they will take his grades or something. It happens all the time on this campus.”

Other students nodded, many of them sharing their own experiences.

It would seem that AA students have both internalized and projected the poison of Affirmative Action onto others like themselves.   There seems to have been a strong inter- and intra-ethnic separation around the issue of Affirmative Action being played out on our predominantly white campuses.  More research on the effect of Affirmative Action of the psyche of African American students on Predominantly White campuses is needed.

One would recall that the messages of many of our leaders who benefitted from Affirmative Action, and declared so, were either not advanced or summarily dismissed.  Recall some of the rhetoric around the advancement of our newest Chief Justice, our current President and our current First Lady.   (If you wish to read further on this issue please follow http://www.nationalcenter.org/AA.html.) 

Given these challenges (University of Michigan, Berkeley, et cetera) we no longer speak loudly and aggressively of Affirmative Action, and have shifted our rhetoric to more inclusive language of Multiculturalism and Diversity.   


The term Multiculturalism has held much better than Diversity.  There is very little negative press on it, but it clearly has not advanced the academic progress of African Americans much more than would be expected with natural regression to the mean.  It is clearly a popular term.  There are currently Directors of Multicultural Centers, multicultural offices, multicultural dinners, multicultural classes, et cetera.  The problem with Multiculturalism seems to be that it has been easily marginalized.   You send students to that center in that office over in that building, or you have that one class that focuses on that one thing, or you have this one dedicated space on campus where all the multicultural student offices are housed.  There seems to have been no attempt at integration or “inclusivity.”  This, therefore, does not challenge the rest of the campus to participate other than to come to a dinner during Black History month, or to take a class in Women’s Studies or African American History or Counseling.  These centers and dinners, classes and dances, provide an important outlet and opportunities for students and staff to recognize “other.”  It has brought African American students in touch with African students, Hmong students, Latino students.  It has offered greater opportunities to dialogue and share ideas and histories.  It has played its safe role.


Diversity, on the other hand, has become that “catch-all” term that seems to identify any and all differences.  A brief Google search for Diversity yields plant diversity, business diversity, bio diversity, jurisdiction diversity, planet diversity, animal diversity, insect diversity, seed diversity, fauna diversity, and dance diversity among many many others.  Whereas diversity was meant to capture the process of becoming more inclusive, it has become a “catch all” term for any- and everything. 

Inclusive Excellence:

The term “Inclusive” attempts to bring everyone into the conversation.  It is similar to “multiculturalism” but more expansive…more inviting of ethnic, social, and cultural difference.  It expands to recognize gender, sexual identity and learning differences.  It is a brilliant “catch-all” phrase which, conversely, can be used to select and de-select.

I will use an analogy to explain the challenge we have with the concept of “inclusivity.”   Think that you visited your favorite farmers’ market and purchased a variety of beans to make a beautiful soup later that day.  What you have brought into your kitchens are different beans that cook at different temperatures.   Putting them all into the same pot at the same time is a wonderful idea, except that some of your beans will not be ready while others will probably have melted into the soup.  Creating a wonderfully inclusive soup or frappe with all these wondrous beans would be tremendous – but we would have to pre-prepare some of them first.   This is the same with the concept of “inclusivity” when attached to dealing with students.   We have enough evidence to tell us that certain populations are, on average, more readied than others to engage fully in the process of higher education.  If all are put at the starting line and left to fend for themselves, many will remain uncooked.  We have the data.  It is compelling. 

The concept of “excellence” suggests that we are not compromising the academic integrity of our institution for anybody: And we must not.   As with the analogy of the beans in the pot, this suggests that we must pre-prepare our students to engage fully in the experience of “inclusive excellence.”   We have four (4) choices available to us.

  1. Make different types of soup in separate pots.  Just buy one type of bean and make that soup.
  2. Put all the beans in one pot.  Who cooks will cook.  Who does not, will not.
  3. Pre-select your beans.  There may be some of these beans that have the potential to cook closer to each other.  This way we get the flavors of each bean.
  4. Pre-prepare your beans.  Have some readying while the others are in your slow-cooker.
  5. Make better selections – where and from whom you purchase your beans.   
  6. Get into the business of planting your own beans.  Create your own farm.

Let me quickly move these from beans and pots and make your choices relevant to our students’ success. 

  1.  Define your college or university clearly and be very particularly about the type of student you want in your school.
  2. Bring students in on any pretext and make as much money as you can.  They succeed, you take credit.  They fail you blame them, their upbringing, the government, the school district…anyone who would sit long enough for you to tag them with the responsibility.
  3. Be more selective with your students.   If you want inclusivity and you want excellence then (a) establish the profile of a student who will be successful in your environment, (b) know that you want difference…that you are seeking difference, and (c) go search for that student.   You know that success is not simply academic.  Go search for that student. 
  4. This is like the PEOPLE program and the Posse program and TRIO and all those other programs that aim to ready first-generation students for higher education.  These students need particular support.  Put the supports in place, clearly identify the students, place them in the programs, and ensure that they use them.   Appropriate use must be one of the conditions toward retention. 
  5. Search the country for schools that do a great in preparing first-generation science students, or ethnic minority math students.  These school and school districts exist.  Find them.  Partner with them.  Use your leverage.  Use your name…if you have one. 
  6. Start a private school for ethnic and social minority and first-generation kids.   Create your own farm! 

Closing Comments:

I opened with the comment that “universities are businesses.”  I would strongly advise that you take that to heart.  There are monies to be made, financial supporters to keep calm, and wallets to pry open.  If you want a university to purchase the concept of Inclusive Excellence, not simply as another initiative or a fancy looking letter opener, demonstrate to the university how the business of inclusive excellence will benefit them financially. 

The question is, “How do we marry a socio-cultural perspective with a business-marketing model?”

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Inclusive Excellence: Setting it up

In this presentation we look at how to set Inclusive Excellence (IE) up, what to look out for, and how to get it going.  The very first thing that tells you if your effort has any chance of success is the leadership of the Chancellor.  The very first thing you gauge is whether your Chancellor is a leader or a manager.  If your Chancellor is a leader – you have a shot at making this IE effort work.  If your Chancellor is a manager – stay two or three years, build your resume, and get out! It will not ever work there. 

Now remember, I am writing this on the assumption that you want this IE effort to be successful.  Your ambition could just as easily be about you…and then none of this really matters.  So do understand the perspective that I am writing this from.

Okay.  You need someone who is willing to go toe-to-toe with your Board of Regents (BOR).  This takes a lot of internal confidence.  If this job is to be done well, you must have your Chancellor in your corner.  The Chancellor must be committed to the vision of IE, and strong enough to articulate that vision to the BOR, in the language of the BOR. 

Many seem to think that it is nice flowing language that impresses the BOR.  It is not.  The BOR has a responsibility to maintain and/or elevate and/or defend the message that the University wants to send out to the world.  They say, “This is what we stand for, this is how we do it, and this is how we will maintain financial solvency while doing it.” So you have to help your Chancellor aggressively present why IE is important to this University.  Here are some questions that you must help your Chancellor respond to. 

  • How is this IE going to advance the University’s interests?
  • What do I, as a member of the Board, say to my constituents and donors?
  • How much disruption of the smooth flow of the University will this shift toward IE cause?
  • Why can’t we just dust the furniture again?  It seems fine enough to me and everybody else seems fine with dusting their furniture?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • How would we know when we get there?
  • What are the benchmarks to tell us we’re on the right course?

You give these answers to your Chancellor or work with him/her on responding to those challenges, and you will be fine…granted your Chancellor is a leader.  

What then, are the characteristics of a leader in that role?   You hear people identify characteristics like truth, ability to communicate effectively to different audiences, a clear sense of centeredness, knowledge of both the material and the politics, vision, purpose, ability to listen silently and effectively, supportive, fair, and having clearly articulated expectations.  For your purpose, it really does not matter how well your Chancellor matches that list.  What matters is that you see him/her as a leader who will have your back in a scrum. 

A Chancellor who is a manager will not work.


It offers an inversion at the top.  Those of you who have worked in school districts know what that looks like.  What this means is that your Chancellor goes to your BOR and asks, pleads, cajoles, begs, and demonstrates a general lack of commitment to, knowledge of, and backbone for.  Many times it is fear for his/her own job.  Many times it is just his/her weak nature.   Many times it is a dual relationship situation where they are golf buddies of dinner buddies.  Many times they really don’t believe what they’re selling.  Whatever the reason is, it is not leadership.  Their language is one of weakness.  It is impossible to negotiate from a position of “Please, may I…” 

Now, in there, I alluded to the Chancellor who is the co-conspirator.   This one is really hard to catch.  This is the Chancellor who calls you in, says all the right things, shakes your hand, finishes your sentences, interjects at all the right times with a well-placed “Hmm!” or “Yes, yes!”   You release yourself to him/her, he/she goes play golf with his/her buddies or have dinner, and they are all laughing at you.  That happens when there are heavy social relationships between the Chancellor and the BOR.   That is another really tough one to work with – particularly if you are looking for change.  This is not going to work too well. 

There is nothing wrong with any one of these.  It is just not going to work very well if you intend making changes.  You can hang out.  Build your resume.  Move on.

The true leader tends to be very insightful, a bit of an outsider, with a very fluid marriage between the left and right brain hemispheres.  For example; you might observe a sense of fluidity in artistry yet a strict lover of classical music. 

I did not mean to stay so long on this but understanding who your Chancellor is, is central to the success of your intervention.   Yes, IE is an intervention.  You want to frame it in developmental terms, but honestly, it is an intervention.   Let’s be honest: You won’t be there is there was a feeling that things were all honky-dory – right?  The fact that, in many cases, it is an external force driving the perception of a need for change, does not help things at all.  If the University thought there was a need for change, we won’t be having this conversation at all.  There would be readiness, coming from the top, for the conversation about IE.  All we’d be talking about is “How do we institute this change?”  Right now, many of you still have a whole lot of convincing to do.  Yeah, you have the job…so?

Back to the Chancellor and your relationship with him/her. 

The Chancellor has to buy it, internalize it, interpret it, and turn around and sell it to the BOR in packages that a hesitant and suspicious BOR might buy. 

We social activists tend to be all about, “This is the right thing to do,” and “Now is the time to do it.”  Many of us dress smooth, talk smooth, walk smooth.  The BOR does not buy that.  That is the wrong audience for “the smooth.”  The people who make up your BOR know that the world is not going to fall apart anytime soon.   Your well-articulated verse does not influence them in the least. 

So your Chancellor has to translate all that heavy passion into the language of listening for your BOR.  That is a social-business model.  Place the emphasis on the “business” part of the model.

  • You have to have confidence in your Chancellor’s translation.
  • You have to have confidence in your Chancellor’s leadership.
  •   You have to have confidence that your Chancellor will block for you.

Despite your best ego-play, you are not leading here.  Sorry!  Leave the big ego home and work through your Chancellor.

I am telling you, if your Chancellor is a true leader, he/she has blocked so many shots for you already, and you don’t even know about it.  I promise you.  They want you to do the work.  He or she will do the politics. 

This is why you do not make a move without letting the Chancellor know.  If you want the Chancellor to have your back, you must have his or her back.

Next time, we’ll talk steps.  We’ll start to set the frame for this thing called “IE.”

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Inclusive Excellence: Part II – Marketing

You guys remember the story about the priest and the dog?  Well there was this lady whose dog had died.  She took it to the local priest for burial.  The priest declared: “My lady, we don’t bury dogs!  We bury people. That’s what we do here.”  The lady pleaded and pleaded to no avail.  Finally, she turned to leave, disgruntled and dejected.  Under her breath she was heard to mutter; “I guess I’ll have to take this $5,000 gift to the adjoining parish.”  The priest leapt to his feet declaring in full throat: “My lady, you never told me it was a Catholic dog!”

Well, in the same way, if you want to move your inclusive excellence (IE) agenda, you have to look at it in business terms.  Moving toward IE must be seen as an economic imperative.

Many of you see IE as a social imperative.  That will not get you anywhere.  I am not saying that it is not a social imperative.  I’m not saying that it is not the “right thing to do.”  What I am saying is that you cannot initiate a conversation with me if I run a business, and higher education is a business, employing a social activism model and expect to get anywhere.  It simply will not work.  You have to know business.  You have to talk business.  The movement must be initiated through a business model.  Talk to me about how it is going to benefit me to engage in this model called IE.    

Your initial question to yourself must be; “What are the potential short-term and long-term costs and benefits to the University in adopting this model?”   This is what you’re selling. 

Now, we do need the social activists. We need the placards.  We need the marchers.  We need the people with unwavering fortitude yelling, screaming, writing, marching.  “It is the right thing to do,” they say.  “It is the right thing to do!”  They are your energy.  They are your workers.

They are very correct.  It is the right thing to do!  It is simply that social activism is not what initiates change.  It is never the key.  It has never been the key – despite what anyone tells you to the contrary.  It has never driven the bus.  Business drives the bus.   Business opens the door.  Social activism keeps the door open.  Social activism keeps the people’s attention focused on the issue.  Social activism does the work that needs to be done.  Business opens the door. 

Think I’m kidding?

Take the current situation in Haiti.  It takes the social activists to do the work.  It takes huge money to finance the operation.  South Africa was one of the most repressive regimes in recent history.  We had to place “economic” sanctions (economic) for it to “see the wrong of its ways” (social).  The civil rights movement:  We had to strangle the bus system (economic) for them to “see the wrong of their ways” (social).  Our current President would never have been there is he did not have access to three times the amount of money (economic) that any of his competitors.  Economics leads and opens.  Social follows and cleans-up.  

Okay, back to business.

We present IE to the Board of Regents in the language of costs and benefits.  We present IE to your Chancellor in a manner that he/she can sell it in the language of business to your Board of Regents.  IE must be framed as an economic imperative.  “If we do not do X, Y, or Z we will lose standing.  If we lose standing, we will lose economic viability, access to markets, a presence in the marketplace, and the potential to frame the economic discourse…”  What will it cost in years, person-power, short-term discontent, building space, et cetera?  What is the least that can be done to accrue the largest short-term and long-term return on investment?

Why do you ask that last question?  Because your alumni can quickly become a cost…a deficit to you.   You have a number of things that are currently on the positive side of the ledger that, without planning and foresight, can easily slide onto the negative side.  You do not want your alumni to be one.  You want to keep their support.  You want to keep that money coming in. 

For example:  Your alumni are the ones who send you money for your buildings, who support your school financially, who carry the colors of your University so proudly, and who fly back each and every homecoming.  You don’t want them pulling their financial support, do you?  And they, pretty much, look like your Board of Regents – right?  And they expect/demand that the Board of Regents takes care of their interests in the solvency and the retention of the spirit of the school – right?

So while you’re doing all this IE stuff, you better take that into consideration.  That is the engine that runs the train.  You’re in the back planning all these wonderful rallies and the train stops. Oops!

Frankly, this is why the vast majority of Universities will pretend to be doing something on diversity and all that “good touchy-feely stuff.”  There is much less potential for loss of relationship.  And where relationship is equal to finance, there is much less potential for loss of finance.  So we choose to shift the furniture rather than purchase new stuff.  Why buy new stuff?

How do you assure me (the Board of Regents, the paying alumni) of the retention of purity of this school when you make these drastic changes?

How do you answer that question?   I’ll tell you how.

You talk costs and benefits and potential loss of influence without the shift.   (Notice I use the word “shift” rather than “change” and I totally ignored the word “purity.”

The fundamental question you are answering is “If your Board of Regents signs on to this change toward IE, how does it retain the essence of the University while advancing its economic potential and mission.”  You answer that question; you have IE on its way.

My next piece speaks to: “Okay, say we have support to move our University toward IE, how do we do it?  What are the steps?  What are the behaviors?  What are the strategies?   

Stay tuned.

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