Creating Hope in Uncertain Times - Growth through Job Creation

Provost Blog


Creating Hope in Uncertain Times - Growth through Job Creation

April 30, 2012

The clouds that hang over American higher education can appear dark and foreboding at times as we face uncertainty in our economy and nation.

With so many things in our lives seeming to be unstable and unpredictable, i.e., basic food and gas prices, housing values, retirement portfolios, social values, political campaigns and more; there is an uneasiness about life which is carrying over into the workplace.  This uncertainty is having an impact on the fabric and culture that exists on college and university campuses today.

Higher education leaders not only need to provide encouraging, motivating, and directional leadership but they need to reassure faculty and staff about job security and new job creation.

Today's higher education leader will have a new focus…job creator and economic development director.

Senior leaders need to address two areas:

  • future hope
  • job creation

First and foremost is creating a campus culture which has an ethos marked by optimism and hope.

Three ways leaders can instill future hope:

  1. Plan the future.
    • Dream big.
    • Cast vision.
    • Map out a strategy.
  2. Talk about the future.
    • Talking about the future builds hope and optimism.
    • Talking about the future gives direction and clarity to actions.
    • Talking about the future helps build momentum and unifies efforts.
  3. Share successes.
    • Good news lets everyone share in the victory.
    • Success breeds organizational excitement and commitment.
    • Success stimulates more success.

Second, leaders today must constantly be talking about job creation as a way to grow, as a way to contribute to our overall economy, and as a way to overcome employee uncertainty and job insecurity.

Three Ways Leaders Can Stimulate Job Creation

  1. Promote Research and Innovation
    • Develop a culture of innovation with incentives for new ideas.
    • Steer research toward job creation as an end goal.
  2. Promote Collaboration and Partnerships
    • Partner with outside organizations with similar or complementary goals to stimulate growth.
    • Stimulate internal collaboration and partnerships through new alliances.
  3. Promote Growth through the Three R's
    • R1 – create revenue growth through revitalizing current programs or introducing new niche programs.
    • R2 – create revenue growth through commercial enterprises which complement and strengthen academic programs.
    • R3 – create revenue growth through a university-wide management approach to fundraising.