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Season 3

Ep. 34: Majoring in a Mission (June 13, 2023)

A desire to lift up others so they may go on to fulfill their personal life missions has driven a decades long career for Devorah Lieberman, president of the University of La Verne. Join us as she takes a moment to reflect on her work in higher education, contemplate what’s next in retirement, and share insight into what college presidents need to consider for the future.

Ep. 33: Preparing Civic-Minded Professionals (April 25, 2023)

Robert Alexander, political science professor and founding director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy (ICAPP) at Ohio Northern University, talks about ICAPP’s work and the importance of civics education, both for students and throughout the community. 

Ep. 32: Serving the Public through a Student Internship (March 30, 2023)

Work experience is integral to a student’s college experience. Student Jessica Taddeo talks about her time working as an intern with the National Organization for Women in Washington, DC, and how that has shaped her view for the future.

Ep. 31: Supporting Marginalized People: Lessons from a Community College Professor (Feb. 28, 2023)

Inspired by his TEDx Talk on how higher education is failing Black educators, Faheem Curtis-Khidr, a history professor at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, discusses how higher education can support both Black faculty and students from underrepresented backgrounds. He also talks about connecting his research in Dayton to the classroom and his philosophy on teaching skillsets rather than just content. 

Ep. 30: Increasing Resources Through Better Relationship Building (Jan. 30, 2023)

Andrea Chapdelaine, president of Hood College, discusses how mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, and collaborations can positively affect student support and campus-wide goals.

Ep. 29: Fostering Innovation to Solve Complex Problems (Dec. 6, 2022)

Greg Jones, president of Belmont University and co-author of Navigating the Future: Traditioned Innovation for Wilder Seas (with Andrew P. Hogue), talks about his enjoyment of behind-the-scenes work that allows others to flourish, how he’s working to foster innovation in an established institution, and why cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education is necessary to find creative solutions to complex problems.

Ep. 28: Advancing DEI in the IT Profession (Oct. 31, 2022)

University of Richmond Chief Information Officer, Keith “Mac” McIntosh, has more than 30 years of experience in information technology. In this episode, he talks passionately about advancing DEI in the IT profession and shares his perspective on remote work, cybersecurity, and data analytics in higher education’s operations and academics.

Ep. 27: A Long-Serving President’s Keys to Success (Sept. 26, 2022)

Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott Miller has served as a college president for 32 years at four different institutions. The veteran president, who started his career as a sports writer, talks about differentiating one’s campus in a congested marketplace, expanding into new markets, and how today’s presidents can be successful master generalists.

Season 2 Episodes

Ep. 26. What Do the Colleges of the Future Look Like? (May 17, 2022)

Author and associate professor David Staley leverages his strategic foresight to discuss alternative universities such microcolleges and an institute for advanced play, as outlined in his 2019 book. He talks about the approach he thinks leaders need to incorporate into strategic planning and how the pandemic caused higher ed to realize that ‘going online’ was not the innovation everyone predicted it to be, but what could be the future of higher ed given the proliferation of remote work.

Ep. 25. Why College is About More Than Getting a Job (April 26, 2022)

How do we balance personal freedom with responsibility to others? What is the shape of a meaningful life? Andrew Delbanco, president of The Teagle Foundation, talks about the importance of humanities in giving students the opportunity and skills to explore these questions and why that is essential for a democratic society.

Ep. 24. Supporting Civil Discourse and Purpose (March 29, 2022)

Michael Murray, president of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF), talks about how the organization balances its commitment to its historical areas of focus while addressing new issues affecting society. Dr. Murray specifically talks about AVDF’s work to promote civil discourse on campuses, including what approaches are successful, and the cultivation of purpose as it pertains to education.

Ep. 23. Addressing Pivotal Issues in Higher Ed Today (Feb. 8, 2022)

NACU teams up again with David Finegold, president of Chatham University and creator of The Future of Higher Education podcast. In this episode, David speaks with legendary educational entrepreneur John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, 2U, and, most recently, Noodle. Katzman shares his perspective on three key issues in higher education: 1) strategies that small private and regional public institutions can use to thrive in the coming “birth dearth;” 2) ways to address college affordability and rethink pricing; and 3) a new non-profit start-up he is forming to disrupt the college admissions process.

Ep. 22. Honoring the Past While Educating for the Future (Dec. 7, 2021)

In the second of a two part series, Sean Creighton interviews David Finegold, president of Chatham University and creator of The Future of Higher Education podcast. David talks about how Chatham honors its past as a women’s college by maintaining structures and programs to advance women today. He also talks about Chatham’s new 400-acre campus that provides hands-on learning and modeling of sustainable approaches to energy, water and soil, food and agriculture, and air quality and climate.

Ep. 21. The Interviewer Becomes the Subject (Dec. 7, 2021)

In the first of a two part series, the tables are turned. Chatham University President David Finegold interviews NACU President Sean Creighton. What was Sean doing before he came to NACU? What is his connection to the late Ernest Boyer? And why are they called the New American Colleges & Universities anyway?

Ep. 20. Saving Green in the Green Mountain State (Nov. 15, 2021)

Three colleges in Vermont founded the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium to collaborate on economic and educational initiatives. Corinna Noelke, the consortium’s executive director, talks with us about how this has led to more than $20 million in savings by consolidating services and contracts in finance, human resources, and information technology.

Ep. 19. Radical Cooperation in Higher Education (Oct. 4, 2021)

Guest Michael Horowitz founded The Community Solution (TCS) Education System so that colleges could collaborate on non-student facing functions and, therefore, have more resources to focus on teaching and advising students. He talks about this ‘radical cooperation’ and the barriers and longstanding beliefs that make it so rare in higher education.

Ep. 18. Why Liberal Arts Matter for STEM Majors (Sept. 20, 2021)

Melinda Zook, history professor and director of Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts at Purdue University, initially set out to make sure that STEM majors were exposed to liberal arts courses. It resulted in a grant-funded program with a national reach. In this episode, she discusses the evolution of the program and its impact on undergraduate education.

Ep. 17. Succeeding at Digital Transformation (Aug. 17, 2021)

Mac McIntosh, VP for Information Services and CIO at the University of Richmond, talks about technology’s role in supporting new ways of teaching, learning, and working. He also covers threats in higher education, such as ransomware, and why collaborative conversations are so important.

Season 1 Episodes

Ep. 16. Navigating Mergers & Acquisitions in Higher Ed (June 28, 2021)

We handed the microphone over to our friends at Dutcher LLC. Guest host David Staley of The Ohio State University interviews Kevin Quigley, former president of Marlboro College, on mergers and acquisitions among colleges and universities. Both are strategic consultants at Dutcher LLC. Quigley talks candidly about the merger process between Marlboro and Emerson College and gives advice on how to lead a campus through this process.

Ep. 15. Now is the Time for Collaboration (May 24, 2021)

The pandemic taught institutions that they can be flexible, and in fact, students and employees are better off when that happens. How can institutions continue providing a flexible, robust environment while maintaining financial strength? Dr. Jim Hundrieser, vice president for Consulting Services at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), talks about the present state and future of collaboration and what often holds institutions back from fully embracing it.

Ep. 14. Oppression, Political Agency, and a Presidential Video Game (May 10, 2021)

Join us for a conversation with Maeve Adams, associate professor of English and director of digital arts and humanities, at Manhattan College. Dr. Adams, a scholar of 19th century literature, talks about how students apply literature to today’s current events, especially as it relates to protesting oppression and understanding our roles as political agents.

Ep. 13. Did the Pandemic Distract us from the Demographic Cliff? (April 26, 2021)

In a continuation of episode 12, we ask Nathan Grawe if the COVID-19 pandemic has distracted campuses or given them a push to examine new ways of operating and educating that will ultimately help them to overcome the demographic shift? 

Ep. 12. Strategies to Address the Looming Demographic Cliff  (April 12, 2021)

In the first of a two-part episode we talk with Nathan Grawe, economics professor at Carleton College and author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education (John Hopkins University Press, 2018) and The Agile College (John Hopkins University Press, 2021). We focus primarily on his new book which looks at institutional strategies and tactics to thrive in an environment of shifting demographics.

Ep. 11. Reflections on Leadership and the Future with Mary Marcy (March 8, 2021)

For two decades, Mary Marcy, has been thinking, writing, and speaking about the future of higher education. Her latest book, The Small College Imperative, is a must read for campuses. In this episode, we talk about improvements and ongoing challenges in higher ed, her decade of success as a college president, and what comes next in her journey.

Ep. 10. Universities on Fire (February 8, 2021)

Bryan Alexander speaks widely and publishes frequently, with articles appearing in the Atlantic Monthly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post to name a few. In our second episode with Bryan, we continue our conversation about the future of higher education and the book he is currently writing, Universities on Fire: Higher Education in the Age of Climate Crisis, due out in 2022.

Ep. 9. A Futurist’s View of Higher Education (January 11, 2021)

Bryan Alexander is an internationally known futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of higher education’s future. He runs a weekly Future Trends Forum for higher ed enthusiasts. In this first episode, we discuss how he became a higher ed futurist and his critically acclaimed book, Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education, a must-read that hit the shelves in 2020.

Ep. 8. Citizen Professionalism (November 9, 2020)

What is a citizen professional? How must higher education prepare professionals differently? Why do professionals need to see themselves as citizens working with citizens and not on citizens? These questions and more are addressed in this interview with Harry Boyte, the leading scholar on the subject of citizen professionalism. His writings can be found at

Ep. 7. COVID’s Impact on Global Education (October 25, 2020)

How has the pandemic as well as policy in the United States impacted global education for colleges and universities? What are new trends in delivering American education abroad? Karin Fischer, correspondent for The Chronicle of Higher Education and author of the weekly newsletter Latitudes, shares her perspective on global education in both a pre- and post-COVID era as well other topics of interest.

Ep. 6. Generation Z Entering the Higher Education Workforce (October 12, 2020)

Out of the seven generations alive today, four are in the workforce. Generation Z, the latest to enter the higher ed workforce, may bring about lasting changes. We asked Corey Seemiller, leading expert and author of numerous books on Generation Z, for her insight.

Ep. 5. The New Leadership Imperative: Tech Literacy (September 13, 2020)

While technologies are enabling disruption, do students understand how businesses are being transformed? We talked to Scott Allen, Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University, about teaching students about the future of work and the importance of tech literacy. Here is Scott’s article referenced in the interview.

Ep. 4. COVID will Change Everything (August 30, 2020)

We talked to Paul Friga about efficiencies, growth, and collaboration. As we hoped, Paul is provocative and offers strong guidance for higher education leaders about the future. Information and resources mentioned in the interview can be found at ABC Insights.

Ep. 3. My 15th and Final Year as a College President (August 10, 2020)

After a very successful 15-year run as the president of Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, Daan Braveman has retired. We asked him to reflect on his tenure as a revered leader, including what he loves about Naz.

Ep. 2. My First Year as a First-Time College President (August 9, 2020)

The 2019-20 academic year turned into one of the most unique in the history of higher education. We connected with Dan Lugo, new president at Queens University of Charlotte, about his first-year experience leading through a crisis and his advice to the next cohort of new presidents.

Ep. 1. Risk Management in Returning to Work (July 12, 2020)

As higher education prepares to re-open for the fall, we spoke with Bob Bowman, director of Risk Management at The Wendy’s Company, about the mindset and approach needed for mitigating risk for returning to campus.