hat tip to JeffZ for the idea (see previous post here)

It’s time, ephbloggers, for Williams to undergo a rare reformation by hiring a new President. Professor Macgregor Burns describes two types of leadership, transformational and transactional. What type of leader do we want for Williams? Why? And, more importantly, what questions would we pose to a Presidential candidate for Williams?

Also, to make the exercise more interesting, why not try to answer your own question were you a presidential candidate? I take a shot at it below

What is the next big hurdle that you foresee at Williams in regards to diversity and multiculturalism?

my answer: I expect that our senses of equality are now quickly accelerating well past the reality in society and more specifically, within the academy. Multigenerational Black Americans are horribly underrepresented in selective college, especially Black males. The pipeline for scholars of color is growing, but is still segregated greatly by area of interest.

The big challenge, in short, is to continue to care about these inequalities in the face of great optimism. Symbolically, we are doing much better and it is important for us to celebrate the great changes of the last decades and especially the last few years. Yes we have. But yes we can is still the more apt statement. It is also time to make sure that our efforts to diversify are also more than bandaids for the structural inequalities, and also time to make sure that no one on our campus can avoid uncomfortable moments discussing culture, race, and inequality. It’s time for us all to be honest, respectfully, and bold on these issues, from the janitorial staff to the assistant professor, from the white student from Appalachia to the wealthy Black legacy student to the student from China who never experienced American diversity before.

To do that? I’m honestly not sure. I know it will involve me (rory’s note: heh! me as president. LMAO) as an example of that discomfort, that boldness, and occasionally, making those mistakes–hopefully only occasionally. It will be in a thorough review of how we identify potential scholars to join our faculty–are we finding the best possible candidates, or are we resting on our laurels? it will be in a thorough review of how we identify potential scholars to join our student body–are classroom academics overprivileged in our creation of the  ideal applicant?

But that’s vague, and i’ve written too much, so suffice to say: I’m glad I’m not a candidate for President!

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