Your first year as a president is hard. The meetings, events, endless conversations, watching your back 24/7, and learning your new environment is a doozy. Now add a global pandemic, systemic racism, and dwindling budgets to the mix and that is a recipe for cruel and unusual punishment. But you were made for this moment. You love your college, you love what you do, and you are ready to face each challenge one day at a time.
A few years ago I completed my Ancestry DNA as I was curious as to my genetic make-up. For years I was told that we had "Cherokee" in our blood, which was the reason why I was born with so-called "good hair." This claim, however appealing to hear was difficult to confirm. After asking several relatives who was whom and the year of their birth, the details of something other than African American ancestry running through my veins was almost impossible to substantiate. I wanted to see a glimpse...
As a graduate student working on my doctorate degree, I was required to read a book titled Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America. Authors Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden interviewed 400 African American women regarding their experiences as black women in corporate America. The book discusses the survival complex of black women as they navigate mostly white and male spaces from board rooms to the golf course and even within their own spaces among family and friends. It’s...
It's my 35th birthday and I am reflecting and celebrating this moment in time. I am also reflecting on my first 100 days as this period is critical to your future as a community college president. Whatever your goals, whether it is in higher ed administration or in a completely different industry, know that you are WORTHY and that to whom much is given, much is required.
It is time to stop questioning your intelligence. You earned a seat at the proverbial table, so pull up your chair and SIT DOWN with authority, command, and confidence. Be bold and stop questioning your abilities.
I found myself second guessing every decision I made and the ones I was planning to make, and I've only been doing this for 70 days. If you want to be an administrator or a leader from where you are, recognize and own your strength because you have what it takes to get the job done.
Working in community colleges can take lots of energy. We give so much of ourselves to students, faculty, and staff on a daily basis. It is not selfish to think about yourself in the midst of phone calls, emails, and meetings.
I have struggled with this for years, but it is even more important now that I am a president. De-stress, eat well, exercise, have fun, laugh a lot, breathe, meditate, and take care of you. Find what system works for you and stick to it. Your health is your wealth.
Finding the right fit at a college and its community is similar to getting the right pair of jeans. It may be too tight or too loose. You may prefer ripped jeans over a more conservative pair. Once you buy those jeans and try them on, there is no 30 day return policy. This applies to not only the college, but also to the city you live in. Before you submit your application for a presidency or the next opportunity, make sure it is the right fit.
Taking a leap of faith is difficult especially when you have grown accustomed to a place or particular region of the country. Moving up in college administration or any job will require most folks to move around from one state to the next. While this may not be the case for all, it is definitely becoming standard.
We are now living in our 5th state as a family, and this post discusses how we came to the conclusion that it was time to go, after years of rejection and hitting the Glass Ceiling.