Saturday, September 17, 2016

Who Won the Week

What a great news week for Dillard!

When I got an email this week saying our men's basketball team was ranked #1, I expected it. We won the conference last year so I knew we were favored. But I was wrong. We are ranked #1 in the nation for all of NAIA! I don't even know how big this really is yet until we check the records. But this is big for us.

It is part of the larger athletics dominance as our program ranked #1 in conference for use of Twitter and Facebook, and in the top 30 nationally for both social media tools.

US News rankings don't move me much- I've been a strong critic. But I know some like the bragging rights, especially on the HBCU list. Dillard moved up 2 spots to #12 based on strong alumni giving and improved graduation & retention rates.

Finally, I did a lot of media this week based on a Washington Post editorial published last Sunday on HBCU enrollment. From NPR to CNN to the NY Times to HBCU Lifestyle to The Chronicle of Higher Education, I had a chance to offer a different narrative- HBCU enrollments growing. And as more data is released there appears to be fairly robust growth throughout the HBCU sector. Sure, there are many factors involved, but unrest on majority campuses is a factor too- maybe bigger than we want to realize.

It was a good week for Dillard.

The Prez

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Helping Students Become Sprinters

Monthly our university leaders (vice presidents, deans and directors) spend a couple of hours sharing information, looking at big picture issues, and strategizing. One of the conversations over the past few months revolve around the Jeff Selingo book, "There Is Life After College." Jeff spoke here a few years ago.

One of Jeff's ideas is that only a third of students graduate as sprinters, meaning they are ready to go right into a career or have a path to career through graduate school. In any case it is deliberate. So we gathered and added student leaders to figure out what kinds of unique experiences can we enhance or develop to create more sprinters, and what do we need to do to ensure students don't miss out of experiences and opportunities that will help them become sprinters.

Our students were very engaged, and provided good ideas to continue this conversation.

The Prez