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Recently in Presidents Who Blog Category

West Texas A&M university president Pat O'Brien deserves special credit for putting the issue of a tuition increase front and center with a new blog he just started on 20 January.

So far there's only one category for "Tuition" and only one entry. But that single entry has already generated 38 comments as I'm typing this, including several from the president responding to the remarks of others.

Many of these are quite long. Number 29, a lengthy poem, is the most creative. The others run from senseless rants to quite thoughtful opinion. Needless to say, not many people think a tuition increase is a good idea. Actually, I didn't see any that did but I didn't quite read all of them.

One part of the PR approach here mirrors what colleges often say to explain tuition increase levels in relation to things like cost of living in general or the long-term value of the college degree earned. In this case, the West Texas A&M stance is that tuition at the university is already "below both the average and median of the designated tuition rates of the 35 public universities in Texas." Faced with a tuition increase, almost no students pay attention to arguments like that. And judging from the newspaper editorials cited by NAICU, neither does the media.

Of special interest... the related discussion underway in the comments about the role of athletics and athletes at the university and a recent increase in athletic fees.

Follow President O'Brien's blog as the discussion/debate continues.

And thanks to David Pittman, a reporter at the Amarillo Globe News, for calling for an interview about presidents who blog and alerting me to this one.

See my list of 36 college and university presidents who blog.

 

College and university presidents who blog often come from the ranks of new presidents. The featured entry as the new year starts is Thomas Rochon, who started as president at Ithaca College last July 1.

The presidential blog first appeared in September and has continued each month since then for a total of 9 postings, with entries ranging from the relatively trivial (remembering phone numbers and campus directions) to the entertaining (the annual football rivalry with SUNY Cortland and the campus Christmas party) to the very serious (reactions to the economic plague). That's a good mix and a good pace and bodes well for meeting one of the primary blog challenges in a busy schedule... reasonably frequent new additions.

Ithaca College Financial Plans

The last post of 2008 focusd on the president's 6 resolutions for 2009... and not surprisingly, all of them in some way address upcoming fiscal challenges, especially the first three:

  1. Ithaca College will increase the cost of tuition in the coming year by a smaller percentage than at any time in the last five years.

  1. We will increase our financial aid budget by the largest amount in College history.

  1. We will expand our emergency financial aid fund for those students whose personal or family financial circumstances change in unexpected ways while they are enrolled.

  1. We will move ahead with our strategic priorities to advance educational excellence, even where those require new funding.

  1. We will pay for the reduced rate of tuition increase, the increased financial aid, and the excellence initiatives in part by scrutinizing expenditures within the College. We will question whether each category of expenditure directly contributes to the quality of the student educational experience. Where it does not, we will evaluate the continued need for that expenditure.

  1. We will ask our friends and alumni to help us assemble the resources necessary to keep Ithaca College as accessible as possible to all students of talent.

President Rochon's blog is at http://www.ithaca.edu/president/blog/

 

35 Presidents Who Blog

 

See the list of 35 college and university presidents who blog at http://www.bobjohnsonblog.com/presidents-who-blog/

 

Expect more new entries soon. 

In reposting this popular list of college and university presidents who blog on their school's website, I checked each of the 39 that existed when I last visited this early in the summer. And so you see that links to 5 of the blogs no longer exist. Two others are still online but without new postings.

Overall, however, the news is good. Most of the blogs are active, with new postings at least in October and November. An early December task on the calendar: a new search for people who have started doing this in the last few months. If your president blogs and isn't listed here, let me know at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com

You'll see this list continue to expand from the 36 as new people are added.

And I'm wondering... how many college and university presidents have started on Twitter? And are we ready for that?





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