The 2030 keynote: Leading through crisis
What will the state of higher education be in 2030? CUMU invited transformational leaders to imagine higher education ten years from now and share perspectives on how to push the conversation forward.
L. Jay Lemons, president and senior consultant at Academic Search, moderated a conversation filled with hope and optimism to conclude the 2020 CUMU Annual Conference. Although we are facing what may seem like insurmountable challenges, all three panelists, Terri Givens, CEO and founder of The Center for Higher Education Leadership, now known as Brighter Higher Ed; Michael Fitts, president of Tulane University; and Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, discussed the importance of strong leadership, partnerships, and value of higher education.
Each panelist described how COVID-19 and all of the challenges associated have forced them to innovate, pivot, and strengthen partnerships to ensure that students, faculty, and the broader community has access to essential tools for success right now and in the future. For example, in Dallas, collaborative relationships have been formed between Dallas ISD, University of North Texas Dallas, Dallas College, and many other industries to improve student outcomes. Tulane is hyper-focused on its biomedical research to develop COVID-19 remedies and is applying lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina to remake New Orleans into a city stronger than ever before.
The session concluded with panelists each sharing their worries and hopes 10 years from now. Hinojosa shared, “the only way to control the future is to create it,” and Lemons stated, “don’t be daunted by the long-term; get after it every day.” These statements are helpful reminders as we are all experiencing significant hardships that the future is bright and as leaders, we have the privilege of helping construct one that more inclusive, equitable and successful for all of the communities we serve.