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Ethical Leadership in Higher Education: Who Wants This Job Anymore?

Ethical Leadership in Higher Education: Who Wants This Job Anymore?


(bright piano notes) – Of all the events on this happy weekend, I can’t think of a happier one than the chance for us
to welcome back to campus the unstoppable Donna Shalala. (applause) It’s really wonderful
to see her here again. I’m Grant Reeher, Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute. Which organizes the Tanner Lecture Series on Ethics, Citizenship,
and Public Responsibility. And I’d like to start
by telling you, briefly, about the Tanner Lecture
Series and its sponsor. Like Donna Shalala, Lynn
Tanner is a Maxwell PhD. He is the founder and
Executive Chair of TEC Canada, an enterprise which generates ideas and social capital among
top corporate executives. Lynn’s life and career have been concerned with the joining of theory and practice, and posing challenges to
commonly held distinctions between the public and
the private sectors. And the intention of the lecture series is to ask urgent questions
about ethical citizenship, public responsibility,
and mutual obligations. And I wanna thank Lynn for
his vision and his generosity in making the lectures
possible, thank you. (applause) Donna Shalala is the seventh
speaker in this series, which began in 2011 with an address by former senator, Bill Bradley. And now our chancellor, Kent Syverud, would like to say a few words of welcome. Chancellor? (applause) – Thank you Grant, I’m gonna be brief. I wanna thank everybody
who organized this program. But first, I wanna thank
our dean, Dean Jim Steinberg for his leadership of the Maxwell School. (applause) And also, to Grant, to Bethany Walawender, to Kelley Coleman, to Lisa
Birnbaum, Norma Shannon, and everybody on the
staff who helped today, I am deeply grateful. And of course, I join in
thanking Dr. Lynn Tanner for making this series possible. I especially wanted to be
here to formally welcome Donna Shalala back to her school. (light laughter) I think we’re all going to try and mortify, and embarrass, and celebrate Donna tonight, at the
Arents Award as well. But, I just want you to
know that in the two years since I’ve come here, no
higher education leader has been more helpful to
this university and to me, than Donna Shalala has been. And I’m just so grateful for that. She is expert in so many things. She is expert in health, in athletics, in public policy, in
athletics, in athletics. (laughter) And that’s been particularly
appreciated recently. She’s got incredible
skills in so many areas that I think she learned partly
in the trenches at Maxwell. Obviously, currently serves as President and CEO of The Clinton Foundation. Has had major leadership
posts, both in government, in public service, and
in higher education. On her service as Secretary
of Health and Human Services under President Clinton,
the Washington Post– that publication that
loves cabinet secretaries. (light laughter) The Washington Post described
her as one of the most successful government
managers of modern times. As President of the University of Miami, she guided the school into the top tier of national research universities. If you visit the University of Miami, she is revered by everyone on the campus, and everyone I have met there. She served presidents on
both sides of the aisle. Won many honors, a
breathtaking set of honors. President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Donna Shalala is somebody, most of all, who gets the right things done. She’s about getting things done. But, getting the right things
done in an ethical way. And I know that’s kind of what
she’s gonna talk about today. The title of this conversation
is Ethical Leadership in Higher Education: Who
Wants This Job Anymore? (laughter) I thought about that. (laughter) But, at least one answer
from me, Donna, is I do. Because I’m at Syracuse, and because we have alumni like you. Thank you so much. (applause) – I just wanna echo
the Chancellor’s thanks to the folks at the Campbell Institute and the Maxwell School. I think the Chancellor has
touched on the important points in Donna Shalala’s illustrious career. I just wanna return to the
unstoppable theme one more time, to note that she was the longest serving Health and Human Services secretary. Serving throughout the entire
Clinton Administration. And if you can remember the politics of healthcare reform back then… I imagine that that was
not a pleasure cruise for anyone in that position. And she has come to head
the Clinton Foundation after 14 years leading
the University of Miami. During a time when
tenures in these positions are getting shorter and shorter. Also, tapping very directly
into the Tanner Lecture theme of citizenship and responsibility, we should also note that Donna was an early volunteer in the Peace Corps, serving in Iran in the 1960s. For our format this afternoon, we’re gonna do something
a little different and something that we have done before. Which is, to use conversation
to elicit our speakers views. And our Dean, Jim
Steinberg, will engage Donna in conversation about ethical leadership in higher education, and the
topics that spin off of that. In addition to being educational leaders, Jim and Donna share a
connection to the Clintons, in that Jim served as
Deputy Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton. After they talk for a
bit, we’ll open it up, as we always do, for your questions. And following that, we’ll have a reception in the Strasser Commons, on the
second floor of Eggers Hall, where we can continue our conversation. Now finally, I also need to
say that when you go online, one of the quotes that’s
attributed to Donna is, “But, I have a driver so I can return phone calls in the car.” (light laughter) Well, none of use here, right
now, has a drive with us. So, I’m asking you at this
time to turn off your phones, if you haven’t already done so. And with that, I’ll turn it over to Jim and just say once again, Donna Shalala, welcome back to Maxwell
and to Syracuse University. (applause) – Well thanks, Brad, and the
Chancellor, and Dr. Chen, and Dr. Tanner for his generous support and enthusiasm behind this initiative. There are a lot of distinguished friends of the school and the university here, but I just have to mention one. Because, in our audience we
have our very distinguished emeritus professor, Walter
Broadnax and his wife. And I know it’s especially
important to Donna that Walter be here. Walter served as Donna’s
deputy and has been an important force in Maxwell, and we’re delighted that he
continues to be associated. So, thanks for being here with us. (applause) So, everybody has their Donna Shalala force of nature stories. I’ve had a variety of personal connections with the department over the years. My first job in the federal
government was working for one of Donna’s
predecessors, Joe Califano. Who was Secretary of, then, HEW in the Carter Administration. And I thought, when I worked for Joe, I had worked for the most indefatigable, most determined, most insistent individual you could possibly imagine in the world. But, that was before I met Donna. (laughter) And one illustration of the fact is that at the beginning of the second term, I moved from the State Department over to the National Security Council to become Deputy National
Security Advisor. And we were beginning to
think in the second term, about how to give a new look
and a new shape to the NSC and to the Clinton’s approach
to national security. And Donna grabbed me in the
hall of the West Wing one day and she said, “You know something, how come HHS isn’t on the
National Security Council? We’re involved in international affairs, we should be on the
National Security Council!” And sure enough, within
weeks we had appointed the first NSC staffer, who came
from the department, right? – Bernard. – Right, exactly. To be part of the NSC staff. And this was just the kind of influence and impact that she had. And it was transformational
in so many ways. So welcome, welcome back.
– Thank you. – We’re thrilled to have you here. – Thanks very much. – I have to, sort of– – [Donna] Can I tell a
story about this room? This room has a special memory for me. The first class I ever taught,
Lynn, was in this room. And Scotty Campbell
taught his famous course on Metropolitan Studies here. And he went off to see
some politician one day and said, “You do my class for me.” So, it was a 50 minute
class and I had his notes. And I got up at the podium, and I finished the notes in 20 minutes. (laughter) I was totally mortified. (laughter) Until a student said, “Do,
we have time for questions?” And that took care of it. (laughter) That took care of it. So, this room has many
great memories for me. I wanna thank my good
friend, your chancellor. I wanna thank Jim for
extraordinary leadership over the last five years. And I’m happy to be here and
happy to talk about anything. Policy, politics, athletics, it’s all the same thing, isn’t it? (laughter) – I’ll leave it to the questions and stay away from the athletics part. But, your anecdote actually is
the place I wanted to begin. Because, it’s always nice to
get a little context to this. And I’d be curious just to hear a little bit more about how you got into higher education administration
in the first place? You started out as a teacher,
as a professor, right? And over the years, you’ve had a variety of important leadership positions at Hunter, University of
Wisconsin, and then Miami. But, was this something
you always had envisioned? What drew you to the idea of playing a leadership role in education? – You know, it was just the opposite. I came to Syracuse ’cause I
was following my boyfriend. (laughter) And young people come to me all the time and they wanna know, did
you go on the straight path? Did you always wanna be a cabinet officer? No, no, no. I came here because I was
following my boyfriend. He hated it and I loved it. (laughter) And so, I stuck around and got a PhD, and he went off to do other things. Never to be heard from again. (laughter) So, I left Maxwell determined
to be a journalist. I had been a journalist in Cleveland. Actually, I’d worked during the summers at The Cleveland Press. And so, I wrote to the New York Times and to the Washington Post. And said, “You know, I really
wanna be a journalist.” And they weren’t hiring at the time. Years later they offered me
jobs on the editorial board, but they weren’t hiring. And so, Scotty Campbell said, “You’re gonna have to be an academic.” And I was offered a job
here in political science, which was highly unusual. I’m sure Scotty engineered it. But, that day I was digging
my car out of the snow, and I had another offer. Wally Cera wanted me to come to Columbia for a joint appointment
with Teachers College, and I thought that sounded interesting. And Steve Bailey encouraged
me to take that job. So I went to New York and I
became an academic, basically. But, I didn’t start out thinking that way. In fact, when I was at
Maxwell, I think there were like 400 returned
Peace Corps volunteers here. It was like, people
coming back after the war. It was a really interesting
place at that time. In fact, I did my language in Farsi, my language requirement in Farsi. And they had to find some
engineering professor to test me. He just took me to dinner at his house and we got it over with. (laughter) But, it was New York that
really changed my career. Because, I was an academic trotting along. And I’ll do this very briefly, Hugh Carey got elected governor. And I had done my doctoral dissertation on the New York State constitution. But basically, on fiscal home rule. On the financial relationship
between states and cities. And Hugh Carey got elected governor, and we hadn’t had a
democratic governor in years. So, they had to jump over a whole generation of people, including Scotty, to find someone that knew something about the New York State budget. And Carey picked me as part
of his transition team. And at the end of that, he wanted me to be the budget director. Red Miller who was teaching here at Miami, was also the budget director of the state and a very distinguished Maxwell graduate. And Red and I had worked
out the budget for Hugh, and Carey wanted me to
be a budget director. But, I didn’t have tenure yet at Columbia so I wasn’t about to do that. And he said, “I’ll find
something for you to do.” So in 1975 in the spring,
he called me and said, “New York City, it looks like
it may go into bankruptcy, and I’ve gotta appoint all these guys from Wall Street to help put
the city back on firm footing. But, you’re the only one that
knows the subject matter.” That is, the financial
relationship between New York State and the City of New York. “So, I’m gonna put you on the board. They think I’m putting you
on because you’re a woman, but I’m really putting you on because you’re the only
one that knows the subject. Those guys from Wall Street don’t know anything about government.” (light laughter) And so, with Felix Roan,
I was treasurer big mack. The reason I was the treasurer
instead of the secretary was, only the treasurer had
to disclose their income under New York state law. (laughter) They made me the treasurer which meant, I signed these billion
dollar bond offerings. And that actually launched
a public career for me. I went back to Columbia and got tenure, and got a Guggenheim, and
did all of those things. In ’77, Jimmy Carter
was looking for women. And a friend of mine was
offered a job with Pat Harris. I was offered a job with
Stu Eizenstat as his deputy, and I thought, eh, go into government. I got tenure, I can take leave. I’ll go to government
for a couple of years. So, I went to HUD, actually
took the job at HUD as Assistant Secretary for Policy. And the rest is, sort of, history. After that, Pat Harris gave me a chance to manage a lot of things. The great story about going
to HUD is I walked into the department, into the
Assistant Secretary’s office, there was no furniture, there was nothing. (light laughter) I had recruited my old
friend, Astrid Merget, into coming down with me
to help me get settled. She didn’t wanna give up
her teaching position, I think she was still at
Columbia at the time, at Barnard. But, she came down, she got
the Maxwell alumni list. (Jim laughing) This is a really good story. She got the Maxwell alumni list and called all of the alumns at HUD,
and they all raced down– there must have been about 30 of them. They raced down to my office at HUD, made a list of all the things I wanted, gave me all their phone numbers, and I was set up while all the
other Assistant Secretaries were looking for the
bathrooms at that time. (laughter) I had a great job at HUD because I got wide ranging responsibilities. And one of the people I
met was Mike Blumenthal, who was the Secretary of
the Treasury at the time. And he kept saying to me, “You know, you have
real managerial skills. You oughta think about
going into management at some point in your career.” I didn’t think I was very interested. But, as I was leaving HUD,
I knew I had to get back to the academic world in September. So, I wasn’t gonna stay
for the whole campaign. I got a call from a Doc
Howe at the Ford Foundation. And he said, “Hey, the
presidency of Hunter is open.” And I said, “Doc, I’ve never done more than chair a department! I wouldn’t have a clue how to run a big public university.” And he said, “Well, it blew up and I think you’d have
a chance to get it.” So, I interviewed for it, had
not a clue what I was doing. And I got my first college
presidency in my thirties. Now, I also, in the seventies,
had met the Clintons. And so, when young people ask me, “How do you get to be a cabinet officer?” Look around the room, figure
out which one of your friends is gonna run for president and
keep in touch for 30 years. (laughter) – Look around, folks! (laughter) So, when you got the job at Hunter, what was the biggest surprise? The biggest challenge for you as a first time university president? – I knew that I had to develop a strategy and I had to figure out what the priorities would be of the place. So, like a good social
scientist, I did a survey. Of the faculty, the
staff, and the students. And they all came up with the
same things, which shocked me. ‘Cause the faculty’s always asking for more money or better space. In fact, what they said was
they wanted the buildings to be clean and safe. Well, I knew how to do that. I’ve been in government, you can get buildings cleaned and safe. I figured out how to do that, it gave me tremendous
credibility with the faculty. And there were two holes in the ground on Lexington Avenue and 67th Street. Which were the new buildings that had been stopped during the fiscal crisis. I went to Wall Street, ’cause I had all these
buddies down on Wall Street, and got them to finance the buildings. And we transformed the institution from a place where everybody
taught from 10 to two, because they didn’t live
in the neighborhoods. To an institution that really
serviced adult students. And the kinds of students that we had. We had brilliant undergraduates, and lots of them were adults. And you could get your
degree, when I left Hunter, you’d get your degree in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. We transformed the curriculum,
raised the standards. But I did it, I learned how to
work with the faculty there. What surprised me about it? Everything surprised me about it. I didn’t have a clue how to run a place. But, I figured it out and some of it was very good Maxwell training. And some of it was the training
that I got in government. – [Jim] I wanna come back to this issue of non-traditional students in a minute. But, you now fast-forward,
you’ve been through several senior positions in
universities, you get to Miami. Other than the fact that, presumably, Hunter did not have a football team, how had things changed by the time you came to your higher position? – Well, remember I had run Wisconsin before I went into government. So, Wisconsin did have a football team. Very serious. They were serious about football. In fact, if you go to Wisconsin and go to any bar and mention my name, they’ll buy you a drink. (laughter) Because I did turn that program around. Miami was a whole
different kettle of fish. It was under appreciated, really needed a tough strategy of excellence. The place needed to get better. It needed better faculty,
it needed better students, it needed better facilities. And I told the trustees, “We’re gonna raise a billion dollars.” They thought I was nuts, but
we raised it pretty quickly. And then we had a very
disciplined plan on how to improve the student body, the
faculty, and the facilities. And we stuck to that plan. We worked out a strategic plan,
the faculty bought into it, and we were just very
disciplined about it. And moved pretty quickly
into the top ranks. We had to rebuild the medical school. And a lot of it was leadership. A lot of it was hiring people who knew what world class universities felt like. I didn’t have that problem at Wisconsin. Wisconsin was born to be
a world class university. So we hired people only from
world class universities as our deans, and our leadership. And that made a big difference. There was, sure, the
usual faculty resistance, but at the end of the day– Because we actually got the place better, and every year they could see we were moving up in the rankings,
we had better students, the facilities looked better,
the place looked better, it was more student-centered,
we got it to feel more like a residential school. People wanna invest in success. They invest in winners. So, that was a pretty easy job after the other two I had had, and after being in government. Though I must say,
government is much easier than running a university. – I was gonna come back to that one too. (laughter) Let me just ask you, as you look back on the trajectory, how have you seen the expectations for universities change in terms of what the mission
is, what the role is? Is it similar, do you feel
there’s a lot of continuity? Or are there different
and new expectations about what the university should be doing vis-a-vis their students,
vis-a-vis their wider community, how does that look to you? – I think it’s changed dramatically. Parents wanna know if
their kids can get a job. Kids are less interested in
that when they’re freshmen. And so, there’s tremendous
pressure on them. In the way it was, when
I was at undergraduate, where our fathers all
wanted us to be teachers so we’d have something to fall back. So there’s tremendous pressure on both young women and young men to do that. I think universities themselves, because of what I would
describe as over regulation… It’s such a regulated industry now, a lot of people think
our costs have gone up because our faculty costs have gone up. Eh, they’ve gone up somewhat. But, nowhere near like the
cost of regulation has gone up. If you really look at the budgets of most major universities,
it’s the cost of regulation. Whether it’s the recent, new rules on sexual harassment and sexual assault where we definitely have
a commitment doing things. All of those, or the NCAA that makes it very expensive for us to run programs. We’re putting so much more
money into compliance, into administration, and into
layering that kind of thing. So, that’s different than it was before. And then the tragedy of not
being able to make the case, and we have political leaders
that don’t help us much. That a liberal arts background, still, is the most important
background you can have before you move on to graduate school and to your own professions. I regularly ask CEOs of major companies what they did their undergraduate work in. And invariably 90% of them did their undergraduate work in
the arts and sciences. Very rarely do you run into
someone like Jeff Immelt at GE, who was an engineering major at Dartmouth. But, he’ll tell you he took
a lot of arts and sciences in the process of getting his degree. All the other stuff you can
fill in, in graduate school. – You having started
at Hunter, you started with a student population
that was fairly diverse and presumably from
significantly under served, economically disadvantaged,
otherwise less well included. This, obviously, has now become
a bigger part of the debate about higher education
generally in the country. What were the secrets that you found from your initial experience? And how do they translate
now as universities are trying to reach populations
which, traditionally, have not been able to benefit
as much from higher education? – You know, I think all of our experience is pretty much the same. That, if you think it’s just
an affordability question, you’re dead wrong and you won’t get either the recruitment or the
retention rates that you need. If you think it’s only recruitment and giving kids a full ride, and identifying general support
groups, that’s not enough. The faculty have to change its own attitudes in the classroom and have to learn how to do what those of us that are leaders in American higher education
have learned to do. And that is, work with
multi-ethnic populations, and people with different backgrounds. And people that hear differently. You can’t give the old
lecture that’s so ethnocentric and assume that everybody
in the classroom, even if they were born
in the United States, is hearing it the same way. And that’s a huge challenge for us. And to get the kind of
retention that we want, not just in the community colleges, but in the four year colleges, it requires understanding those cultures. Understanding what happens
in a multi-cultural setting, but also what the individual
culture is required. I remember we made a
tremendous effort at Wisconsin to recruit Native Americans. It’s a state with Native Americans, we had tremendous, talented
Native American kids who weren’t doing well
in higher education. We brought them in, we gave
them all the support system that we had for under served kids, and we still had kids that
just weren’t making it. Even though they had the
intellectual power to make it. It turned out that Native
Americans don’t ask for help. So when we hired a Native
American counselor, it made a huge difference in terms of retention for Native Americans. We actually hired a
Native American dean too, at the same time. But, we had to deepen the kind of support system that we had. One that was reflective of the cultures. That was a very important
lesson, I think for all of us. It’s just more complicated. I love Sanders saying, “Denmark.” Someone’s always saying to me, “Why can’t we have a
healthcare system like Sweden?” Well, if we had a homogenous population, it’d be pretty easy to put
all of these services– To put foreign policy together! Because everybody would be
on the same cultural bent. Even those places are
getting more diverse. So, being able to manage diversity and not just thinking
of it in terms of race, but thinking of it in terms of ethnicity, turns out to be the great
challenge of higher education. It’s also an ethical challenge
because we’re so used to thinking of diversity in racial terms. When, even in racial terms,
one of the things I learned at Hunter was when someone said to me, “Well, how many African
American students do you have or how many Black students do you have?” Well, there are the
Jamaicans, and the Africans, and there’s the West Africans,
and the East Africans. I mean it’s just not as easy as it was. And higher education is just
not all white male anymore. Thank God. (laughter) (applause) But, it makes it an
extraordinary challenge, an extraordinary challenge. – So you talked about the role of faculty, and I think all of us
who are in this business are very focused on the challenge, especially of getting that diversity into the faculty as well. I mean, even when we get diversity among our undergraduate populations, that getting a diverse
population to go into higher education and
therefore be the faculty, has been a challenge. Did you have a chance to address that? Have you thought about how
we can do a better job? – I actually wrote a book on it. That is, I chaired a book for the National Academy of Sciences. It turns out that there too, you’ve gotta do things differently. It’s not just a matter of
recruiting minority faculty, and then making sure they
have the kind of supports. You may have to recruit
them in a different way. Some of the most talented
minority faculty I know didn’t go to the top tier universities, they went to the second or third tier. At Wisconsin, we actually did postdocs in the humanities and
in the social sciences. Two year postdocs for minority faculty. And we would put them on
postdocs, with mentors, before we would allow them
to start on tenure-track. So we made a long term
investment in their careers. We offered them the opportunity to sit in faculty advanced seminars, we helped them start with their writing so that when they got to tenure-track they were way far ahead. And so, we selectively made investments in individuals to be able to– In fact, one of the most
distinguished professors, an African American woman, said to me that we had recruited so
many African Americans she didn’t have to like them all anymore. (laughter) But, that’s just one example. You just can’t, we’ve gotta
move out of our comfort zone. And it’s not a matter of just
extending the tenure-track, as we have in the
traditional ways of doing it. It’s a different kind of investment. And it’s locating talented people, and being able to
identify talented people, that may not have graduated
from the top tier universities that you think you need to graduate from. And after all, a lot of recruiting
is people on the faculty just calling their friends and finding out who the best student is
that came out that year, and trying to focus on
recruiting that person. And that person more likely than not, is not going to be Hispanic
or African American. And so, we just have to
do things differently. And that’s not easy to do, when faculties aren’t used to doing that. And when they think
there’s an ethical issue about doing that. – [Jim] Right, and talk about that. I mean, here’s the question. You have that strong, overwhelming
value in some respects. And the academy is academic excellence, research excellence, and the like. How do you balance those things off? And are their trade offs? In the best of all worlds, obviously, you wouldn’t have to think about this, and you would have enough
of a pool of diversity that allowed you to just
focus on one dimension. – You know, you have to find a way of convincing faculties in particular, that diversity improves excellence. That you can’t have a
world class university without having diversity. Because those different
points of view enhance the quality of the institution
and that’s not easy to do. That’s not easy to do. Some faculty see the big
picture and understand it, some will just tolerate it. (stammers) My diversity committees were always headed by white male scientists
who got it, figured it out. ‘Cause they could sell
it to everybody else. They needed to sell it. But, you’ve just gotta
do it in different ways. And frankly, you’ve
gotta pots of money out. You can’t let everybody just fill every vacancy they think they have. So, every trick you can think of, including the fact that people
can’t automatically fill vacancies just because
they have a vacancy. And they can’t narrow down their
searches to a certain area, so narrow, that it makes it
very difficult to recruit when you’re trying to get
broader diversity in recruiting. – That’s interesting, as
you said there is a lot of focus now on the career
success of our students. And it does seem to me that one of the more compelling arguments that you just made to connect it to, is the idea that our students are gonna go out and work in a very diverse world. So, the earlier they get the experience and the perspectives that
come from that diversity, the more likely they
are gonna be successful in a very practical way,
about their careers. – I think that’s exactly right. Because managing diversity, working in an environment of
diversity, turns out to be– We used to talk about women and men. Because women sometimes perceived slights and other kinds of things differently than the males did. And there’s a lot of research on this. But, it’s much more complex. We’re a nation of immigrants, that’s reflected in our
higher education system more than it is, in many
ways, in our total society. But it takes a mixture
of money, and toughness, and finding the people that
will buy into it on the faculty. And sometimes, you just will feel it. I remember one year at Wisconsin, they’ve had a lot of years of this, we had a one percent increase, that’s all the state
legislature was gonna give us. The Chairman of Sociology
called me and he said, “Hey Donna, we just took
a vote of our faculty. Is it okay if we take
our entire one percent and just give it to the
assistant professors? We’ve just recruited a great
group of assistant professors, we wanna keep them and so the one percent doesn’t mean anything to those of us that are associates or fulls.” That is, that’s a cultural message. That’s a group of people that understand what it means to invest in excellence and what their legacy
is really going to be. ‘Cause as soon as faculties realize that their legacy are the most junior people in their department, not them, but the most junior
people in their department, it’s a whole different world. – So another issue involving this sense of where the responsibility lies, is the whole question
about the relationship between the university
and its communities. And again, having started at Hunter, you knew and you had a school
that had a long tradition of being involved with the community. It’s been a great debate here at Syracuse, as to just what kind of engagement we need to have with our
local community and beyond. As a university leader,
how do you see that? What are the responsibilities
of the university beyond the inside community of taking care of the students and the faculty? – You know the first responsibility is the most important one. And that is, to educate the
students that you’re given and to make sure the community feels– One of the wonderful things about Miami, and Wisconsin, and Hunter, is the community felt like their kids had the opportunity to go there. And that really made a difference. You meet anyone in Miami and you say, “The University of Miami.” They know kids from
Miami, even though only a third of the kids come from Florida. But, they know kids that are from there. So they have to feel that
they’re a part of that community. I think universities
have often overreached. That is, there really is a limit to our expertise in helping communities. Communities need expertise,
there’s no question about it. And when we can be helpful,
we ought to be helpful. But, how much money we should invest– There have been huge
investments here in Syracuse, at the University of Pennsylvania. Judith Rodin basically
turned around the community. But, she had a self-interest in that. She wanted the community
to be safe and dynamic. And making those investments in schools and in buildings made a difference. And lots of universities
have worked on that. But, the first responsibility, the best thing we can do
for all of our communities, is to produce world class institutions. To make them the best they possibly can. You want a dynamic economy? You put a world class
university in your community. And that will make the biggest difference. So, it’s a very delicate balancing act. Certainly, we have to be seen
as part of the community. And I did everything I could at Wisconsin, at Hunter, at Miami, to do everything I could to
be helpful to the community. And all of our schools and colleges were involved in something
in the community. Often, very innovative kinds of things. But, our first responsibility was to give those communities
extraordinary institutions. – So, you’ve talked
about regulation before. We’ve just seen the incumbent Secretary of Education just step down. I wonder if you could reflect a little bit on what you see as the proper role of the federal government in
dealing with higher education. We’ve got the Higher Education
Act up for reauthorization. You’ve seen it from the Washington side, although not at the
Department of Education. Where’s the value added,
where are the opportunities, where are the challenges
of the role of the feds? – Well, the challenges is in
not letting them overreach. The federal government has
played a very important financial role in higher education, in providing higher education. It has a responsibility, I think, to hold institutions to high standards. It has reneged on that
responsibility in terms of the proprietary
institutions, the for-profits. Most of this Pell money that most of us would desperately want for our students, has been sucked up by those institutions with very low graduation rates. Only recently, after
scandal, after scandal, and thanks to people like Tom Harkin, and to some Republicans
who have recognized this, have they started to crack
down on these institutions. But, we’ve sucked up hundreds
of millions of dollars. My own view about for-profit institutions is that the federal government and the state governments
oughta ask the question, “Is this business something
we should invest in?” They oughta see it as a business. Forget about, it provides education, or provides access to
certain kinds of groups, it’s a business! And ask the question, whether we should be subsidizing this business. Ask the hard conservative question, on whether we should be
subsidizing this business. As opposed to schools that
are heavily accredited, that have outcomes you can measure, and that aren’t ripping off
the poorest of the poor. And some of them got very successful because we weren’t flexible enough. Because we didn’t provide opportunities for them to get their degrees
on weekends or at night. Because we didn’t move into
technology fast enough. As higher education moves
faster into technology, reaches more deeply into the population, and as the federal
government is very rigorous about who it gives its money to, I think that will help. So, I do think that higher education is over regulated by the feds. But, so is healthcare. My experience in government is every time we see a problem, we
throw on a new regulation. As opposed to re-conceptualizing the program itself, and
thinking it through. We tend to be incrementalists. And that makes the programs
too complex to administer. I once worked for a cabinet
secretary, Moon Landrieu. He succeeded Pat Harris. He had been mayor of New
Orleans, very different. Pat Harris was a civil rights lawyer, and she saw the role of the
government as very strong. And boy, she wanted us to
regulate the hell out of the housing industry and
out of civil rights as well. Moon Landrieu was a mayor. They were both liberal
Democrats, by the way. But, they saw the world differently. And he would ask the question, “Should the federal
government be doing this?” I mean, that’s the question he would ask. But, he also said to me one day, “Stop hiring those people
from the Ivy Leagues to write your regulations. You’re writing your regulations for people that didn’t go
to Ivy League institutions and aren’t that good at math. Who are good-hearted
people with high ethics, that wanna do the right things. So don’t make them so
complex that everybody that we hire in government
can’t administer them.” And I think that was a
very important lesson. And we, we would try that. I’ve always had this policy that you bring lots of people into the room. One of the things I liked about Bob Dole when I worked with him
on the veteran stuff, is when we were finishing our report on the wounded veterans Dole said, “Well, we gotta have one more
reading of the final report.” And he invited in all the
non-commissioned officers that had been driving the
cars, and were secretaries, had been answering the phones for us. Everybody got to sit in the room, including the policy people that had written the policy papers. We went through that thing line by line, and we made 20% of the changes. Because it either wasn’t
clear or it didn’t make sense. That was a good lesson. That was a very good lesson (light applause) I adored working with Bob Dole. He’s one of the best people– I’ve never co-chaired since then ’cause I never thought I could get a relationship like I had with Bob Dole. Or learn as much about
how you treat people, and how you take advantage of talent. – I wanna come back in the
closing of my questions, but just one more on higher education in the federal government. You’ve heard Senator Sanders
argue that higher education, obviously, the equivalent
of high school education– You know, 50 years ago we have a free high school education for every American. Are we now at the stage where we should be ready to make sure that there’s a free high school education, a college education for everybody? – You know, I’ve always felt
that a free college education is a subsidy for the middle class. If you look at the states
that have very low tuition, including my own state of Florida, the University of Florida has
a higher mean family income than the University of Miami. I mean, parents say to their kids, “Hey, you can go to the
University of Florida free.” If you have a B average,
you can go there free. “And then we’ll pay for
a graduate education.” But the subsidy, if you
look at the economic mix, and I’m always interested
in the economic mix. I’m less interested in racial
than I am in economic mix. ‘Cause I think it’s a better proxy for race, among other things. That free higher education– And I think Hillary sort of said, “Well, maybe they should
have some skin in the game.” Free higher education may turn out to be the greatest boondoggle for the rich and the upper middle class
that we ever produced. We have to make sure that… middle class people can
afford higher education, that lower middle class
people can afford education, and the poor can afford education. And that requires more than free tuition. And so, I’ve never walked
into that free tuition. Because I think when you actually look at what people need, that
you oughta be careful. It sounds good, but it won’t necessarily help the people you’re trying to help. – So, let me turn, in the last
part of my questions to you, away from education into
the broader context, and your experiences as Cabinet secretary, and involved in national
politics and the like. There’s obviously a lot of concern about the state of civility. You mentioned Bob Dole,
who I had the chance to work with as well when I worked with Senator Kennedy in the Senate. You were Cabinet secretary,
you testified a lot… How bad is it now? Is it different from when
you were in the cabinet? And what do we need to do? And what can universities, if any, contribute to dealing with
this question of civility and the opportunity for having
civilized discourse in– – You know, it’s much
worse now than it was then. And we worked very hard at our relationships with the Republicans. I mean, when I made announcements I would call whoever
the senior person was, whether the senior senator was, whether they were a
Republican or a Democrat. I never campaigned
against people that were on my committees, that were
Republicans on my committees. I was very careful to be responsive. George Bush… George W. Bush and Jeb… When they were asked by the
Miami people, The Miami board, all of whom were Republicans at the time, what they thought about
me, they both said, “She’s the best Democrat
we ever worked with.” (laughter) I mean, they gave me very
sterling recommendations because I had worked with both of them. And while I couldn’t say yes to them all the time when they were governors, we had a very good working relationship. But, we worked hard at it. Wow, did we work hard at it. Hard at keeping a bipartisan coalition, that’s how we doubled the NIH budget. It is different now. It’s become much more ideological. The Republicans I worked
with weren’t so ideological, they were conservative, but
they weren’t so ideological. I remember getting a call for the two senators from Mississippi once. And Cochran and Trent Lott were about as conservative as you could get. They had actually voted for me. Kent, oh, he’s gone. You’ll enjoy this, they
voted for my confirmation because the president of Ole Miss was a great friend of mine. He called them, he had
been classmates of them, and said, “You gotta vote for her.” So, they called me up and they said, “Donna, we have a desperate
problem in Mississippi. The catfish are dying.” And I said, “Senators,
we don’t do catfish. That’s the Department of
Agriculture that does catfish.” They said, “Yeah, we’ve been trying to work with Agriculture but they can’t figure it out and we’re desperate. So we thought that maybe
you could call in the CDC.” I said, “I don’t think the
CDC does catfish, but… Let me see what I can do.” So I called the CDC and
the person at the CDC, who had a great sense of humor, he said, “We don’t do catfish.” I said, “I already had that line.” (laughter) I said, “Could you send a couple people out to Mississippi and see what you can find out about the catfish?” He said, “Sure, we’ll
send a couple people out.” They actually found the problem, some company was dumping something in at the head of the river and
it was killing the catfish. We actually solved the problem. Boy, were those two loyal. (laughter) They wouldn’t always vote
for something that I wanted, but boy, they were nice at hearings. – As Tip O’Neill used to
say, “All politics is local.” – And we could work those relationships, and we worked hard at those relationships. And the President worked
hard at those relationships. And we developed a set of– I have life long friends
who are members of Congress and all of them say it’s horrible now. So, I assume it’s cyclical. There are historians in the room that’ll reassure me it’s cyclical. (laughter) So the next time Jim, we go back to government and we’ll be there. – So I always, ’cause I get
asked this question a lot, and since I’m now a history
teacher here as much as I am. It is cyclical, and if
you actually go back and look at what happened on the floor of the Congress during the Civil War, when members of the Congress
were caned for their positions. Or the cries of treason and the violence in the first decade of
the American Republic. It’s not always so pretty
in the past either, but how do we get out of it? Are there things that we can do? We’re here at the Maxwell
School of Citizenship. We’re spending a lot of time thinking about how we can get people more engaged, trying to foster civil debate, the whole Campbell
Institute is all about that. – The public has to
demand that people behave. The public has to demand
that their leaders don’t just protect Social Security, but that they behave. That they work at these relationships and their leaders have
to do the same thing. Because we can’t govern this way. I mean, you can’t get very much done. I mean, the President has a lot of power, but it’s not a lot of fun. And just trying to get people
confirmed is a disaster. And good people that
get hung up for years, in some cases, is a disaster. But, we’ve gotta work our way out of it. It’s gonna take the public demanding. It’s gonna take people
that care about civility, demanding that their local officials… They don’t put up with
it at the local level, rarely at the state level. So, we can’t put up with it
with our members of Congress. And we can’t let our
individual members of Congress or our senators, get away with it. – So you’ve held a variety of jobs that are always in the spotlight, that you’re often the
subject of harsh critique and lots of not necessarily
fair accusations. The question that was
the title of this was, “Who Wants This Job Anyway?” You could’ve said that about
being a Cabinet secretary, as much as being a
president of a university. Got a lot of students here. Should they want either of these jobs? – Oh, absolutely. But, because you want an adventure. Life is an adventure. And to really have an
adventure, you want the most complex jobs in the future
you could possibly have. You just don’t want easy jobs. What you want is complex jobs. And you want to develop
the kind of friendships you can get in those
kinds of opportunities. Lifetime friendships of
putting, of being able– And those are the only jobs, of course, in which you can make a real difference. The more complex, the
more difficult they are, the more likely you are to make a difference for millions of people. And that’s why you want to do it. I would be bored to death as a caretaker. I just was not put on this
earth to be a caretaker. I like to jump right into the middle of something complex and interesting. And you’ve gotta have
the right team with you. But, at the end of the day,
that’s what’s worth your while. And that’s what Maxwell’s training did. I’ll tell you what Maxwell’s
training did for me. I didn’t just study political
science or economics, I got to wander around this place. I took urban anthropology, and urban geography, and urban sociology. I studied with some extraordinary people. And the degree that I got… gave me such a broad,
interesting education, that whether I was jumping into solving the New York City fiscal crisis, or sitting over in HHS
trying to figure out how we were going to straighten out a very complex Medicare system, all of that came out
of very good training. Because all training can
do and education can do, is give you context so you can go on to what the next issue is. It’s not the details. Though I must say, learning
about TVA under Roscoe Martin was one of the great
experiences of my life. (laughter) – Well Donna, thank you for that. I hope that we continue, to this day, to follow in that spirit. Because I think that’s how most of us feel about what we’re trying to impart, and what makes Maxwell
such a special place, and Syracuse such a special place. – It does, indeed. – Let me open it to the audience. I believe we have microphones, yes? Yes, I see microphones so
please take advantage of– – Let me see if Lynn would
like to ask a question. – [Lynn] Well, I remember when– – Lynn, if you wait just one
second, just ’cause we have some people outside the
room and the mic’s coming. There we go. – We overlapped a couple years, didn’t we? – [Lynn] We did, in fact. Walter and you and I were here together. I really do reflect back on Roscoe Martin, and Aaron Wildavsky, and The Politics of the Budgetary Process. The intrigue to me is
how many people do not… see that as the core of what goes on in most organizations, public and private. And would you comment
about the way in which you’ve dealt with the battles where people really are there working
their self-interest and The Politics of the Budgetary Process? – Well, the budget process, of course, is how you really make policy. At the end of the day
it’s the budget process. In fact, when young people
come to me and they say, “You know, I’m getting
my degree in policy, and I wanna go make policy.” I look at them like, I
wouldn’t hire someone that’s just out of school to make policy. (laughter) I usually tell them to go
work at a budget office, or go work at lien office so that they actually know what the substance is. And budget offices are actually places where you really make policy. And I instituted something
that I had actually thought up while I was here at Maxwell, that I always wanted to try. I invited all of the heads
of all of the agencies to sit in each other’s
budget presentations. And they all had to come, to
all the budget presentations. Now, HHS is a huge place. So you had the NIH guy, and
the CDC guy, and the FDA guy. And at the end, we gave them a worksheet and they had to do the
departmental budget. The difference between the
budget their first year, and the budget their fifth
year, was remarkable. Because they learned
where there were overlaps, they looked out for
each other’s interests. So, it was a very interesting exercise in trying to bring people together. Now, in terms of the budget process of the federal government, we
were always fighting with OMB. There was an annual fight. But, I also knew I developed
a great relationship with whoever the OMB office chief was. Not just the middling people
that were assigned to me. I would go the last day when
they were closing the budget, to see if he had any money left. (laughter) And I would always appeal
my budget to the President. So first, I would appeal
it to the President, the President would turn to him and say, “What do you mean we’re not giving more money to Head Start?” And the OMB director
would always say to you, here’s exactly what he would say, “You have to appeal your whole budget, you can’t just appeal that.” I’d say, “Okay, I’ll
appeal my whole budget.” Then I’d go in and just ask the President for more Head Start money,
or something and I’d get it. And then the last day I’d
go with cookies or something and get some more money
out of the OMB Director. (laughter) But, the next thing I did
was far more important. I was the doubles partner
of Senator Stevens. The Republican Chairman of the… – Appropriations Committee. – Of the Appropriations Committee. And he liked to win. (light laughter) And we were always playing
against other senators, usually. And he would always say to
me, very close to the end of the appropriations process, “Give me your list, Donna.” And I’d hand him my list. The White House would be furious with me. Because I just played
it all the way though. But, I played it in a bipartisan manner and I worked the system. (laughter) (applause) Just the way I worked you on that– Tim Bernard was a lot of help. – Absolutely, he was fantastic,
it was transformational. Right here. (light chatter) – [Audience Member]
Thank you for being here. You’ve spent, practically, your entire professional life around
elected officials. I’m curious if you’ve ever thought of running for office and if so, if you could share your
thought process with us? – No, I’ve actually never
thought about running for office. Even though people have
said things to me like, “Oh, you’d be a great president.” (light laughter) I’ve never thought about it. I never wanted to work weekends. (laughter) And by the way, I don’t mind
asking people for money. But, I don’t wanna ask
people for money for myself. So, I actually made a decision very early in my career that that was not for me. I like politics, I respect politicians. I really like politics
and I respect politicians. A lot of political scientists don’t. I mean they just, they’re
cynical about the whole thing. I’m not cynical, even in this world after watching my friend, Hillary Clinton, go through 11 hours of being
asked the same question. (light laughter) It’s just not something I wanted to do. – [Jim] Can you just
wait for the mic, sorry. Just so others can– – [Audience Member] You were a president of two institutions that have major intercollegiate athletic programs. – I knew somebody was gonna ask this. – [Audience Member] And we’re in a world where there’s an enormous amount of money pouring in from cable networks, where there are coaches
salaries in the multi-millions, where they’re proliferating
regulations from the NCAA. How hard is it as a chief
executive to make sure that academics and athletics
can live comfortably together? – It’s hard, but it’s no harder than everything else we have to do. Because you know exactly
who the stakeholders are. It’s much less complex in that sense. And it can be done. And you’re gonna get
scandals every one in a while because some idiot’s
gonna do something stupid, whether they’re a coach or someone else. And that’s my attitude
about administration. That at this moment,
someone in my organization is doing something stupid that I’m gonna have to straighten out next week. (laughter) So, you can assume that there’s no way of absolutely protecting yourself. You can change the culture,
you can change the oversight, you can make sure you have the most ethical people leading your programs. You can interview coaches up the kazoo. I’m not as bothered as others are about the market for coaches. I mean, I don’t like the
fact that the coaches make more than the Chairman of Surgery. But, they also have short-term jobs when you really look at their shelf life, with very few exceptions. Most programs in this
country are not making money. They’re being heavily
subsidized one way or another. But, it also is the only
time in the university in which you bring together the faculty, the staff, the students, and
the community, and your alumns. The Catholics have something on us. I mean, they actually understand ceremony. And other than Commencement,
it’s the only time we actually bring people together. I went from Hunter, Division 3. I had been at Syracuse. The only reason I went to
Syracuse football games is we were all sucking
up to Scotty Campbell ’cause he loved football. So, the graduate students would go. We were in the card section, I think. We would go freezing our butts off. In those days we had to sit outside. But, I wasn’t very interested in football. I actually read the
college football magazine, the Sports Illustrated
one going on to Wisconsin. But, I went around Wisconsin
when I first arrived, and farmers in the fields would tell me they’d stop and listen
to the Badgers’ games. It was important to them, it was important to the people in the state. If it was important to them,
it had to be important to us. Wisconsin actually had a rule,
and the reason they hadn’t had very good teams, one of the reasons… That they couldn’t pay the football coach more than a full professor of English. (laughter) Well, we took care of that and naturally– (laughter) When I fired the football coach, I had to do it at a press conference, they actually interrupted the
soap operas and ran it live. (laughter) Then I knew something was going on there. But, it’s not easy, it’s part
of American college life. I don’t know whether it’s the reason why people go to certain colleges. Maybe, there’s some of that. But, we’ve gotta keep
it honest and ethical. And to do that, we have to work at it. And our boards have to
keep us accountable, to make sure we do that. And we can’t hire coaches we can’t fire. I have written into every contract. The ACC requires that boards of trustees give the power over
the coaches, basically, to the presidents and chancellors. That they have to have the authority to hire and fire coaches. Even though lots of people consult with their boards, and do all of that, we just can’t have those kinds of coaches. And I’m so happy Syracuse is in the ACC. I held out for a long time to
make sure that that happened. (laughter) It’s a much better
conference, in terms of its quality and integrity and other things. And the kinds of schools
you get to associate with. But, I’m committed to college athletics. I’m committed to making
it as clean as possible. And if you can do it right, and graduate your student athletes, and insist on graduation rates, and insist on coaches
that understand that, then it can make a difference
in the institution. – On the steps right there, please. Right there, yeah. – [Audience Member] Hi, so
I actually just graduated from Miami in May and
I’m currently getting my masters here at Syracuse now. So my question is, because
all of the students at Miami appreciated you and the
culture that you built there, so how do you keep a culture somewhere? Whether it’s at a university, or within the government, or wherever, after a person in leadership has left? How do you make sure
that that culture stays? – The culture can be lead from the top, but it really is a bottom-up. Everybody’s gotta buy-in. If you wanna be student-centered,
everybody has to buy-in. And you can’t be student-centered unless the faculty buys in too. And universities are a
shared governance model that makes it very difficult to lead. And so to change cultures,
everybody has to buy-in. They have to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to do. At Miami in particular, they needed more focus on the students. So, it was a much more
student-centered institution. There’s a debate within higher education about who the customers are. If you ask the faculty, the
faculty are the customers. But, it’s really the students
at the end of the day. And you have to build around that culture. At the same time, you have to maintain a faculty of the first
rank, that’s also happy. The care and feeding of
faculty is my specialty. (laughter) And I worked hard on it over the years. Because I have to keep that constituency, at the same time moving
the institution along. Good question, very good question. – [Jim] So, in the middle here. – [Audience Member] Thank you again, for coming and speaking with us. You spoke about the variety of experiences and issues you faced at
Wisconsin, Miami, and Hunter, and how every school was different. With Syracuse being in the
middle of our own strategic plan, I’m just curious to
know if you see anything that’s unique to Syracuse. Either strengths or challenges. Anything we should stop doing,
start doing, keep doing? – No, you know, I don’t know enough about Syracuse at this point in time. I do know this, that… That you’ve got to, at the end of the day, focus on excellence, and on quality, and everything that you
can do to support that. And so, you’ve gotta see where you are at this point in time. And sometimes you just have to go out and listen to people
and see what they say. But, you also have to
know how others view you. Wisconsin was a very interesting case because they thought that we
were just a liberal bastion. I did a survey at Wisconsin, but I did it of the whole state. And what they told us
was, they thought we were a bunch of liberals who
didn’t reflect the values. That we didn’t pay any
attention to their kids, their undergraduates, and
the best undergraduates from Wisconsin came to Madison. That all we cared about
was our graduate students and our international rankings. So, we embarked on a
strategy to do something about undergraduate education, and get the faculty more engaged. And when we went to pick the panel, the provost gave me a
list of faculty members and I said, “Let’s look at
faculty members that have kids at Wisconsin who are undergraduates.” And so, it turned out
that there were a couple of Nobel Laureates that had
kids that were undergraduates. And I went to see them and they
complained to me, bitterly, about how their kids were being treated. And I said, “You’re perfect
for this committee.” (laughter) So, we actually took advantage of that. We sort of knew in our heads. Now, I’ve always been very conservative on administering universities. I say that to parents. I say, “I may be a liberal Democrat, but I administer this
place like a Conservative.” I’m very prudish. (stammers) And there are some things,
I just will not do. I will not do co-ed dorms– And I tell boards that ahead of time, and I tell parents that ahead of time. There are some things in which, if you want me to lead your institution, I’m not gonna be on the cutting edge. It’s just, I grew up in a lower middle income Catholic
family in Cleveland, and that’s just who I am. So, that worked fine for Wisconsin, it worked very well for Wisconsin. We paid attention to undergraduates. We actually kept kids from
going to the Ivy Leagues, because they had opportunities they would not have at other institutions. We got retired faculty to come
back and teach 12 freshmen. We did all sorts of things to really focus on undergraduate education. We made sure they can finish
their degrees in four years. Now, that’s a big public institution. So, every institution has
to understand its culture, understand how people perceive it, how the students, how the
faculty, how the alumni, how the people in the broader
community perceive it. And then you can build
your strategy around that. But, at the end of the day it
has to be about excellence. Higher education is about being the best. I was once interviewed for
a job in higher education and they said to me, they were afraid to ask me about athletics. And so, they danced around it. I think they thought
there was a federal law against asking a woman about athletics. I said, “Well, what do you
want from your athletic team?” This was at Wisconsin, obviously. And they said, “We wanna be competitive.” And I said, “I’m not your person.” I said, “I come from New
York, I only know how to put together strategies
to be number one.” (laughter) They actually hired me, they had no intention of hiring a woman, because the other two
guys were total nerds! And couldn’t even talk about athletics. But, I think the important thing is that if you don’t
keep your eye on the ball of being the best academic institution, then all the other stuff
doesn’t mean anything. It’s marginal. You’ve gotta play with the big boys. – Let’s go over here. – [Audience Member] One
thing I can say about Donna, she’s a heck of a good doubles partner. I know that from personal experience. But, what I would like to hear you talk a bit more about, Donna, is financing of higher education. You spoke, and I completely agree with you on the bias towards the middle class of free public education. But, what else would you like to tell us on your views about
financing higher education? – Well, I think institutions themselves… We all have discount rates in terms of financing higher education. I think the federal
government has to play a role, some kind of a balanced role. We also have to be very
honest with students when we run private universities about the affordability gap. Because allowing a
large number of students to leave with huge debts is
not ethical in my judgment. We have to be careful, look, the kids at Miami have figured it out. They go to community
colleges for two years and then transfer to Miami
to get a Miami degree. And no one knows the difference. They can’t tell whether you’re a transfer student or anything else. So, students are starting to figure out that even the Ivy Leagues
will take transfer students, as a way of balancing out
the cost of higher education. But, we’ve gotta be careful about our costs at the same time. And as we add on things,
we’ve gotta be careful about what we’re doing with tuition, who we’re focusing our financial aid on, and I do believe in some merit aid. I’m not one of these people that thinks everything oughta be need-based. I do believe in some merit
aid, because I don’t think that you can run first-rate institutions unless you have a core
of really first-rate students from different
backgrounds at the top. So, we’ve gotta watch our
costs, we’ve gotta demand– And I think Senator Alexander
is off on the right track. We’ve gotta demand that they take a look at what costs they’re imposing
on us, at the same time. And we’ve gotta think that through. Because if you look at
where the growth has been, the growth has really been
on the regulatory side. Very much on the regulatory side. So that’s another way we can do it. The other thing we have
to do, is we really have to have a mix of
large and small classes. We have to allow our deans
to put that mix together. Everybody can’t teach small classes. Some people can only teach small classes, because they have no idea
how to teach a large class. But, we really do have to get a better mix of small and large classes
as part of the economies of scale that we have to put together. And we really do have to integrate technology into our teaching. – [Jim] Say a little more on that, I was gonna ask you about that. – We have to have more blended courses. I taught a class of 350 students at the University of Miami, the largest class we taught, myself. On the politics and
economics of healthcare. And it was a blended class
because I did a couple of things. Number one, it was a policy class, so I could bring policy makers through Skype to talk to the class. Second, whatever they read, I’d bring the authors of the article though Skype to talk to them for a few minutes. Not to repeat what they had read, but to answer questions from the students. Third, I used chat rooms
instead of using TAs. I actually used chat rooms
and blogs in combination, to get the students to do that. I used a lot of film in the class to repeat what was
essentially in the lectures. But, to tell it in different ways. And so, the class was much more… I would use a visiting lecturer that didn’t come down to Miami, but may be sitting at Brookings, Alice Rivlin, talking to my class. And so, it was a much
more interesting class. Do I think that we have to go online too? Yes, for certain kinds of students. Whether we should use a combination of online and classes as
well as blended classes, and more traditional lectures, probably. But, online classes are very
expensive to do them right. Because they’re very labor intensive. But, we certainly don’t have to be in the classroom all the time. And there are other things that we can do, we’ve gotta free up faculty to learn how to put these classes together. But, they don’t need us necessarily. Well, they need some of to lecture because Jim and I can tell them stories, they wanna know the stories. They really don’t want
the lecture material, but to hear our stories,
more than anything else. But, there are lots of things we can do. Some of that will help us
manage higher education. We’ve gotta get away
from maybe three credits and move to four credits in
some cases, and five credits. I mean, we’ve gotta do a bunch of things that get students to
probably read more material. But, we basically gotta
re-do a combination of the curriculum as well as how we teach. And that requires smart classrooms, lots of different kinds of things. – [Jim] Excellent. Let’s go, I’m gonna do two more. So we’ll do here, and there, and then we’ll be about out of time. Let’s do the two questions and then, Donna, maybe you could answer– Go ahead. – [Audience Member] Thank
you so much for being here. My name is Keely Hanson and I’m a current student in the Maxwell MPA program. I’m a former resident of Miami, and to say your reputation
precedes you in that city… It goes without saying. So my question is, as
a person who has worked in a higher education capacity, you’ve said that higher education should really be about excellence
and being the best. And so, in respect to the
current ranking system, is there within that ranking system– Do you believe that it incentivizes institutions that value access and equity? And is there anything you would modify about how we award university rankings? – [Donna] Oh, yeah. Most of us would change
university rankings dramatically to include diversity. They change dramatically if US News would include diversity
as one of their measures, and give it some real points. I don’t see anything wrong with believing in diversity and access. But, if you ignore
excellence you’re not being fair to the students you’re recruiting. My only point is, you can’t
run away from the excellence. At the core of it, has to be excellence. And all of the other things that you wanna do to build your student body, and create a new generation of leaders, need to be part of it as well. – [Jim] Last question, up here. – [Audience Member] There we go. I love having the honor
of the last question. So, my name is Gerard McTigue, I actually did my undergrad in International Relations
here at Syracuse University. I actually loved what you said, because I was a budget manager at the university for four years, and now I’m getting my
masters at Newhouse. The title of the talk today
really interested me because after my years at the university, I do want to go into higher
education leadership. And I’ve actually thought
about, maybe, one day being the Chancellor
at Syracuse University. (laughter) With that aspiration, I
wondered, in your experience, with what I’ve done so far
and the goal that I have would you have any recommendations
for the in between? What should I aim for, are their roles or? (laughter) – You know, if you wanna be
the head of a major university, at the end of the day you have to have some kind of academic credentials. You can’t move away from
academic credentials if you wanna head a major university. Very few major universities
have hired people as president or chancellor,
without academic credentials. It doesn’t have to be a
PhD, it can be a law degree. Kent, obviously has a law degree. It has to be some kind of terminal degree. I don’t see a way around that. Unless they take faculty
off search committees. (laughter) Or stop the tenure rule, and that is that you president or
chancellor has to be tenurable. So, you can move up in higher education, you can have a smaller
institution without fancy– You could start up the
administrative route, and have a smaller
institution without having traditional academic credentials. And there are lots of people
at smaller institutions that have, basically, come
from the administrative side. And those places can be
a lot of fun to lead. But, if you want to head a major
university in this country, you better have pretty
traditional academic credentials. – So, as we come to
conclusion I just wanna say this has been a special
day for us here at Maxwell. ‘Cause in addition to having Donna here, and her receiving the Arents Award, another one of our members,
Molly Broad is here as well, and winning the Eggers Award today. And so, another thing
that you could think about if you wanna have a distinguished career in higher education is, come to Maxwell! (laughter) Donna, thank you. – Thank you. (applause)

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