Alma Mater

Alma Mater

Liberal arts college presidents consider the changing landscape of academe.

March 19, 2013 - 9:18am
I have been fortunate to serve at several well-respected institutions of higher education that have aspired to “educate the whole person,” one who will go on to lead a successful career and live a meaningful life. Yet, throughout my career, I have been surprised by the barriers often created by our institutional structures that seemingly work against this noble endeavor.
March 8, 2013 - 10:01am
When people ask me what keeps me awake at night, they probably expect me to respond with issues related to college affordability or access. And those problems do prey on my mind every day. However, what really keeps me awake (quite literally) is the feeling that Americans no longer realize the value of education in general and higher education more specifically.
February 25, 2013 - 7:50am
As the debate about climate change continues to boil, a new call is in the offing to persuade colleges and universities to divest endowment holdings in fossil fuel related companies. There is little doubt we must create a more coherent energy policy and reduce the burning of fossil fuels to mitigate climate change. How best to achieve that end is at present perplexing and void of sound strategy or agreement. 
February 11, 2013 - 9:45am
In the aftermath of the December 2012 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I joined with a group of more than 350 university presidents and chief executive officers to sign a letter urging our elected representatives in Washington to take action against what is becoming an increasingly disturbing incidence of gun violence at educational institutions.
January 25, 2013 - 12:06pm
So I enrolled in my first MOOC last week. Having exactly no experience with courses that are a) massive b) open or c) online, this is my novitiate. I did so not out of an entrepreneurial zeal; simple curiosity won me over. There hasn't been such a fuss over higher ed technological innovation since they invented chalk. So I’m enrolled in a history course with hundreds of thousands of other seekers worldwide. 
January 4, 2013 - 8:45am
Following the vote of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to which Augustana College is related, to permit public rites performed by its pastors that celebrate and support committed same-gender relationships, I knew it was only a matter of time before a request would come for use of the college’s chapel by a same-gender couple. I was surprised that it took more than two years, but this fall two such requests arrived.  
December 17, 2012 - 8:40am
Liberal arts colleges that subscribe to the Division III philosophy enable students to integrate—and balance—their athletic experience with academic interests and other co-curricular activities. Student-athletes compete not because they expect a financial reward or because booster clubs and alumni have a vested interest in their performance, but because they are driven to excel. 
December 3, 2012 - 1:26pm
As a newly appointed president, I awaken each day privileged to serve an engaged, talented, and caring community of learners. I also face each day responsible for helping my campus effectively address the convergence of external forces dramatically shaping higher education today. 
November 14, 2012 - 3:00am
While attending college, a traditionally aged student makes the remarkable transformation from an adolescent to a young adult, and such rapid growth requires courage. Therefore, in addition to encouraging a student to write, speak and think like an adult, colleges must attend to a student’s need for courage. 
November 5, 2012 - 9:18am
  Colleges and universities agree that student success is their central focus. But what important factors contribute to student success? An under-emphasized contributor is student campus work.    

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