Campus unrest can be a time to advance, not panic, VP writes

UO Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh

American universities may be missing out on the chance learn and evolve by reacting defensively when students take to the streets to demand change, writes Yvette Alex-Assensoh, the UO’s vice president for equity and inclusion, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

In an op-ed article in the publication’s Dec. 4 issue, Alex-Assensoh says campuses should embrace the controversies and use them to do what colleges and universities do best, act as laboratories and leaders in the advancement of social change. The challenge isn’t how to deflect criticism, she says, but how to listen to students and come up with better ways to address their issues and prepare them for life in an increasingly complex democracy.

“It’s not about giving students everything they want. It’s about intentionally moving away from crisis mode and toward different approaches and ways of thinking,” she writes. “Higher education must lead the way as it has done in the past, with even greater conviction.”

For the full article, see “In Tumultuous Times, Colleges Can Do What They Do Best” in The Chronicle of Higher Education.