Saturday, August 13, 2016


On Thursday we kicked off our faculty staff institute with Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Professor and Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at The Ohio State University. He is a very accomplished brother- 10 books, dozens of articles, and hundreds of presentations. He spoke to our faculty and staff as well as our student leaders.

He shared lots of good ideas and thoughts in a moving speech that made people laugh, think, reflect and cry (literally). There were several key themes and ideas that I want us to remember this year:

1. We must always remember that we are here on purpose, on assignment, and we should make sure we ask ourselves why are we here?

2. What student are we telling that they are great? (This was actually a nice preview for my speech later that day when I used a Muhammad Ali analogy)

3. There are 3 things we have to do to raise the confidence of our students:
     A. Verbal persuasion
     B. Vicarious experiences
     C. Mastery experiences

4. We have to make sure our students can tell their stories- people who can tell their story will always have a job!

5. It is impossible to be culturally aware without exposure- this is key for liberal arts colleges.

6. Place matters- we should be intentional to ensure students experience New Orleans as part of their education.

7. We have to understand that many students bring past educational traumas with them, so we have deal with and help address those traumas.

8. I love this one- we can be Academic Spotters. We are there attentively to help step in if they can't handle the situation.

As you can see, not only were the faculty and staff moved, so too were the student leaders. I think after Dr. Strayhorn finished, we were all ready to #DoGoodWork!

The Prez