Author Archives: Lisa Rudgers

What a Year It’s Been

Higher ed insights on our company’s one-year anniversary

We’ve learned so much.

This year we fulfilled a long-held dream after decades in higher education: We launched our own company. Now we consult with presidents and senior leaders on strategy and communication, and our work has been a joy: fulfilling, exciting, creative and launched at a critical time in higher education. Though our client base is quite broad—public and private, large research universities and small liberal arts colleges, associations and boards—these institutions share many common challenges and opportunities that are affecting higher education in 2017. Here are some of the most prominent themes and trends we have observed over the past year:

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What Can Campuses Do in the Aftermath of Charlottesville?

Reflections for university leaders and their communities

Photo credit: University of Virginia Today

The violent neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches in Charlottesville and on the University of Virginia campus last weekend unleashed a torrent of hate-filled animosity beyond anything we have witnessed in several decades. Across the country, leaders are speaking out, social media is ablaze and citizens are challenging the abhorrent racism and bigotry on such sickening display.

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Guideposts for New Presidents

In our long-time roles as senior communications counsel to university presidents, we know first-hand that the presidency is among the most complex and challenging jobs in the country.

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The Power of Video Storytelling for Higher Ed

My film producer friend Josh Buoy and I talked recently about the power of video storytelling for universities: A well-told video story animates the discovery, learning and inspiration that happens every day in our institutions. Videography can help us connect with the subject matter in a more human and more personal way. Film shows us, not tells us about, a university’s transformational power and impact. Here are a few examples:

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Stumbling Blocks

4/2/17 Stumbling Block exhibits / Bicentennial

University of Michigan historian Martha Jones and her colleagues had a vision: As part of the university’s bicentennial celebration this year, Michigan would confront some of the institution’s most challenging issues and difficult moments.

The result is last week’s dramatic pop-up art exhibit called “Stumbling Blocks,” featuring seven installations marking less visible – and sometimes deeply troubling –U-M stories one might not expect to find during a 200-year anniversary party.
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