CAS President Gayle Spencer shares her thoughts on the upcoming year.
As we start 2024, it appears we could have a very interesting year. Many state legislatures will be making decisions that could create change, and some may argue, harm to higher education and our students. In case you haven’t heard, there is a Presidential election coming in November. It appears we are headed for a rematch of the 2020 Presidential election, but one never knows. We will have to wait and see. What happens at the ballot box will affect our democracy for some time to come.
Today, it is a cold and rainy day in Champaign/Urbana, and yesterday we survived an ice storm. While I cannot wait for warmer and sunny days and being outside, days like this give me time to pause and reflect on what is to come. While I may not have a circle of influence as far and wide as some, I can think and reflect about my sphere of influence and how I can use it this year to make my community, and perhaps the country and world a little better.
I can be present for the staff and students I work and teach with. I can be kind and engaged with people I meet or encounter. I can work on being the best version of me. I can be a champion of the work we do in higher education and the positive impact it has on our students. I can reflect on what higher education has done for my family and me, and make sure we continue to change lives through our work.
How does this tie to CAS, you ask? Very well, actually. In our standards we work to create standards that set the bar for what higher education can be. No matter who is trying to change what we do in higher education, we must stand by what we know is right and not lower the standards.
As I finish this piece, I continue to wish for peace on earth. With so much suffering in the world, we need more grace and kindness.
Gayle Spencer, Ph.D.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.