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Articles: Leadership

President Diana Natalicio’s “access and excellence” formula powers the University of Texas at El Paso's mission. Access means working with local schools to develop talented students of limited resources. On the excellence side, a robust research environment provides the financial and academic fuel.

Thomas J. Botzman is president of Misericordia University.

My institution, Misericordia University in Pennsylvania, received a solid, but uninspiring B- on Forbes "America’s Top Colleges 2016." After reviewing the criteria, though, it appears our letter grade represents who we aspire to be as it fits our long-held mission of serving first-generation students and others in need.

As colleges and universities look for ways to deliver more online services to students and faculty, they also want the best performance from their IT investments. For many, that means moving to the cloud. Whether your goal is lower operating costs or better application performance, it’s still a good business decision.

At least 35 private colleges and universities have seen their adjunct faculty unionize between the 2013-2014 and the 2015-2016 academic years. Over that same period, unions prevailed in 39 of 44 National Labor Relations Board elections, according to NLRB Election Reports for closed cases with elections held between September 19, 2013, and April 22, 2016. In other words, unions won a stunning 88 percent of elections to represent adjunct faculty members (while the union win rate for all elections is approximately 20 percent lower).

Elizabeth L. Paul is president of Capital University in Ohio.

A new president faces higher ed challenges by focusing on what’s working: Capital University in Ohio is in transition—in a good way—and that likely is the new normal given the dynamic challenges facing many higher ed institutions now.

Barbara Ross-Lee is VP for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs at New York Institute of Technology and  founding dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

The U.S. may be short nearly 95,000 doctors within the next 10 years. That shortage is projected to be most acute in Southern states. In response, private medical schools—even institutions hundreds of miles away—are looking to open satellite locations on the campuses of public universities.

Amid the stress and scandal besetting many universities, regional campuses and two-year colleges have quietly and steadfastly gone about the business of promulgating education as a public good and in so doing supporting the American Dream.

Forbes magazine loves lists. The publication features an inventory of the world’s billionaires and measures the wealth of the richest families. It ranks the top 100 wealth managers and offers tips on wealth building, among other interesting topics.

It is also in the business of ranking our nation’s colleges and universities. In its ninth annual supplement, “America’s Top Colleges 2016,’’ Forbes graded private institutions of higher education based on their financial well-being. It handed out letter grades to these institutions based upon 10 metrics.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

The Use of Life, John Lubbock, 1894

As highly visible institutions with perceived “deep pockets,” colleges and universities are targets for lawsuits arising from injuries and property damage only tenuously tied to the schools’ actions. The negligence of contractors, vendors, and professional service providers can and do land universities in court where they pay millions of dollars to defend and settle claims — from simple slip-and-falls to sexual assaults to privacy claims arising from massive data breaches.

Susan West Engelkemeyer is the president of Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts.

With increasing urgency, today’s colleges are being asked—by business, government and the nonprofit field—to impart so-called “21st century skills” of communication, collaboration, problem-solving and creativity to their students. What’s often missing from the list is leadership.

Claire Sterk's long-range plan includes increasing diversity of staff and students, improving access and making the Emory University more affordable.

Claire Sterk's long-range plan includes increasing diversity of staff and students, improving access and making the Emory University more affordable. Also in People News: Ingrid Thompson-Sellers becomes interim president at South Georgia State College

Nick Kalm is president and Courtney Harper is senior vice president at Reputation Partners, a communications consultancy that specializes in labor communications for universities and other organizations.

Unionization movements will continue to gain traction at colleges and universities, so it’s important for administrators to prepare. While pay, benefits and shared governance will be pressing issues, many institutions fail to develop a strategy to communicate with employees.

The Venture Development Center has all the hallmarks of a typical startup: Computers running equations, whiteboards covered with revenue projections and caffeine-fueled meetings about venture capital in glass-walled rooms. But it's more than that: the center is also a University of Massachusetts, Boston incubator that houses dozens of fledgling bioscience and computer science firms.

Fraternity brothers on spring break—what image immediately comes to mind? Picture this instead: golf-ball sized blisters, swollen feet, strained muscles and determination to help others. Thirty-one members of Troy University’s Alpha Tau Omega Chapter dedicated their spring break to walking 128 miles to raise money to aid wounded military veterans. I met with them on day three of their six-day march from Troy, Ala., to Panama City Beach, Fla. I contrasted this group of unselfish undergraduates with the prevailing image of the spoiled frat boy, which dominates media nationwide.  

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