Monday, August 27, 2012

Now you know why I did this on August 3rd...

We visited the Greater New Orleans Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. I don't really know much about hurricanes, so this is a learning process. But the university cancelled classes for the next 3 days and will monitor throughout the weather event.

We're definitely relying on the city and state for guidance as they have people with the proper training to make the best calls for our safety. So we hope people will keep following the news, our website, Twitter (@du1869) or my Twitter (@hiphopprez) for the latest updates.

For a checklist click the following link:

Be safe!

The Prez

Friday, August 24, 2012

Scenes from Opening Weekend

We had a great time moving in our new students- DU Class of 2016!

The Prez

Thursday, August 23, 2012

College majors’ value not measured in cash

Several United Methodist college and university presidents were asked to write a response to a recent Kiplinger's article about majors which discouraged those considered to be low paying. When I saw the note I had about 30 minutes to get it done but it came out nicely. You can read it below:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Faculty-Staff Institute

Wednesday was my first Faculty-Staff Institute. I gave my first state of the university address. I fooled everyone and made them think that I would simply read a boring speech. I gave them about 2 minutes of that and then did what I always do- solid facts, data, transparency framed in a creative presentation with lots of images and humor.

I spent time introducing myself andmy experience as a president at Philander Smith. Then I detailed my assessment of the state of the university, and the challenges we need to address. But I made sure I conveyed that we could do it, and this was the beginning of the process. So I got lots of great feedback, and I actually had a ball developing my presentation.

The Prez

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Understanding Hurricanes

I am not from the Gulf Coast region (but my wife is from Mobile). So being in New Orleans I have to catch up.

So we spent time with the Army Corps of Engineers a few weeks ago to tour the improvements made to prevent damage

These walls were built since March of 2009. You can see the reinforced walls here. So it was a good learning experience.

The Prez

Saturday, August 11, 2012

National Urban League

 A couple of weeks ago the National Urban League held its convention here. One of the panel discussions was on urban education. As you have to know, this is a VERY important topic as many students of color languish in failing schools.

I was invited to give some remarks at the beginning. And I did so, to maybe 100 people. We definitely are not serious about improving schools for all. Those with means simply buy educational freedom for their kids. Those without have kids who will be enslaved educationally.

When will we get serious?

The Prez

Monday, August 6, 2012

Higgins High School

Busy today. Gave remarks at a conference of human rights agencies, then made my way to Higgins High School in Marrero, LA. I spoke to the faculty there to get them fired up for the start of the school year. I was invited by the principal, David Lewis, a 1989 graduate of Dillard University.

It's that time of year! The Recovery School District started today, and other K-12 schools start soon. In about 2 weeks freshmen arrive at Dillard and we'll be on our way.

The Prez

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lupe Fiasco, Manny Fresh, Mia X, & Hip Hop Prez

Wednesday night I was at Xavier University to participate in a panel discussion with hip hop stars Lupe Fiasco, Mia X, and Mannie Fresh, along with two other community leaders. Several hundred people attended.

The focus was Lupe's new song "Bitch Bad." Essentially, the song makes us think about the use of the word bitch, and we discussed whether it can be used as a term of endearment or empowerment, or if it was simply a derogatory term that needs to be ended.

I was very impressed by Lupe Fiasco's thoughtfulness. He ended up quoting James Baldwin. I am trying to see how I can get him as a visiting professor soon. But I was excited to see so many young people at a discussion like this. Higher education has to find more ways to have these engaging discussions.

The Prez

Thursday, August 2, 2012

On Tuesday we had a great welcome reception for my family. I am here with Dr.Jim Lyons, interim DU president, and Dr. Ron Ambrosetti, new president of Our Lady of Holy Cross College.

For about 2 1/2 hours I talked and talked to lots of folks. There was great energy in the room.

Our board chair offered remarks. A number of members of the board were present, several of the out of town trustees flew in for the event.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

The Prez