HERA Connect Fall 2023

The pace of change is accelerating. That makes collaboration through HERA more important than ever.

Dear HERA colleagues,

Upon reaching the end of my term as HERA Chair, I find myself reflecting on how turbulent the higher

education landscape has become, both across the country and here in Southeastern Wisconsin. I’m also inspired by how our region’s higher education community has responded together.

Change, of course, has always been an essential part of working in higher education. But I think we can all agree that change has never happened so quickly, and simultaneously on so many fronts, as it is happening today.

Examples abound: After years of talking about the feasibility of remote learning, a global pandemic forced us to figure it out virtually overnight. The murder of George Floyd and subsequent national conversation about racial inequities forced us to take an even more urgent look at how these issues play out in higher education, renewing energy around something that already was central to our efforts at HERA and our individual institutions. And today, we face more questions than ever about higher education’s economic model and its overall value proposition to students and their families.

But amid these rapid changes and complex challenges, I still find myself filled with optimism about the future. Perhaps I’m riding the wave that comes with starting a new academic year, a time of inspiring energy on our campuses. But my optimism mainly is derived from the confidence I have in our leadership.