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Professional Opinion

Weldon H. Latham is founder and chair of the Corporate Diversity Counseling Group and a member of the Higher Education Group of Jackson Lewis PC. He can be contacted at

Universities welcome media coverage of college sports, groundbreaking research and alumni achievement—all of which generate recognition and revenues supporting their educational mission. Too often, however, racially charged events at universities have dominated those headlines.

The day after her attacker was sentenced to six months in county jail, the woman who was violently sexually assaulted by former Stanford University student Brock Turner provided her victim impact statement to the online site Buzzfeed for publication ( That statement, which immediately went viral, should be required reading for every college and university administrator. 

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.

Roxanne Shiels is alumni strategist for Penn State Outreach and Online Education. She can be reached at

As growing numbers of students pursue degrees online, a new constituency in higher education is being created: alumni who have completed their studies without setting foot on campus. That presents a challenge for those of us in alumni relations.

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.

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.

Jeffrey R. Docking is the president of Adrian College in Michigan and the author of "Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan To Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America."

Sometimes, well-known propositions lead to predictable conclusions. But not always. Occasionally, they lead to surprises—and even busted myths. Here’s one: Wealthy, private institutions willing to invest large endowments in financial aid for poorer students do the best job of expanding access to higher education.

Leigh Greden is advisor to the president, and Russ Olwell is interim director of government and community relations at Eastern Michigan University.

Programs to help employees purchase housing near campus have gained favor in the past decade. A housing program that improves neglected areas only increases the profile and potential of the entire campus community.

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.

Lex O. McMillan III is president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

If the heart of a liberal (hence, liberating) education is learning to see through the eyes of others—both living and dead—I now see clearly how the bumpy roads of Haiti led us to new learning about others and about ourselves.