Can the Force of Connection Save this College?

Buck Smith, a 74-year-old, grandfatherly man, is leading a remarkable turnaround at Davis & Elkins College, a small liberal arts school in West Virginia, one of America’s poorest states.  Key to Smith’s strategy is strengthening the connection among everyone who is part of the college community.  Check out Buck Smith’s story in an inspiring and enlightening article that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Eduction entitled “Turnaround President Makes the Most of His College’s Small Size.”  As you read the article, look for the three elements of a connection culture: Vision (Inspiring Identity), Value (Human Value) and Voice (Knowledge Flow).  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Connection Cultures, read the free, downloadable Connection Culture Manifesto published by and available at this link.

Thanks to Dr. Al Bowman, president of Illinois State University, for sharing this article with me.  Dr. Bowman is another college president who is leading a turnaround.   I’ll be writing about it soon.  Stay tuned.

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