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Professional Opinion

Joseph Brennan is vice president of communications and marketing, and clinical professor of business at the University at Albany. Mark Weaver owns Communications Counsel, an Ohio-based firm that advises universities on crisis communications. He teaches at The Ohio State University College of Law, the University of Akron, and the School of Government at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Based on our decades of experience counseling campus CEOs, we’ve identified the key behaviors successful presidents use to lead their institutions through the tough times.

J. Nelson Wilkinson is a labor and education law attorney with Williams Mullen who represents small, medium and large businesses and higher ed academic institutions.

A January memorandum issued by Richard Griffin, the current general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, has further stoked long-running debate over whether university students should be deemed “employees” who can assert collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Anne M. Tompkins is a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. A. Joseph Jay III is a special counsel at CW&T. Colleen Kukowski is an associate at CW&T, focused on compliance issues. Alex Hokenson is a law clerk in CW&T’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group.

While it is laudable that schools have engaged in a national effort to combat sexual assault on campus, they may find their focus has led to ignoring important due process considerations for the accused in the adjudicatory process. 

Elizabeth Davis is higher ed president of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The rancorous 2016 election and this year’s transition to a new presidential administration makes one thing clear: We are suffering from a national shortage of empathy.

Steven DiSalvo is president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the New England Council and the Higher Education Commission of the State of New Hampshire.

In response to the White House’s Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States,” we as leaders at colleges and universities have had to take decisive action to protect our foreign students and faculty members.

Donna Fletcher is a higher ed professor of finance at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Legislators, parents and students are not the only ones asking questions about the cost and quality of higher education.

Gary A. Olson is president of Daemen College in New York.

Like all of the free tuition plans proposed to date, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan in its present form will have unintended consequences that could be devastating to the state’s economy.

Kevin Wayer is an international director and co-president of JLL’s Public Institutions group, providing real estate services to higher ed institutions.

To bridge the gap between dwindling public resources and the growing cost of infrastructure and facilities, a public-private partnership (P3) can be a solution that infuses capital into an overstretched budget and makes new development financially feasible.

COLLEGE SERVICES--Susan Brennan is associate vice president of University Career Services at Bentley University. Kara J. Della Croce is director of campus recruiting at Ernst & Young LLP.

Colleges and universities must face a harsh reality: Employer expectations of their graduates are changing. It’s not enough for candidates to have the professional or technical skills needed for a particular job. Hiring managers now want employees with the ability to apply both hard and soft skills to their role.

Sarah Bassler Millar and Richard Pearl, of Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, advise higher ed leaders that fiduciaries should be trained by outside counsel with expertise in ERISA retirement plans.

Recently, plaintiffs’ attorneys have brought dozens of lawsuits against universities alleging that their retirement plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). A failure to fulfill fiduciary duties under ERISA can lead to serious consequences, including personal liability under ERISA. There are steps fiduciaries can take to discharge their responsibilities and avoid these harsh results. 

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