7 higher ed thought leaders to follow

Who to watch, and why and how

Who: Renu Khator, president, University of Houston, and chancellor, UH System

Why: Born in India, Khator has led the university since 2008 and is known for having more Twitter followers than other college presidents who use the platform. In addition to posting about sports and other campus happenings, she offers updates and thoughts on legislation.

How: @UHpres on Twitter, with 90,286 followers

Who: Mitch Daniels, president, Purdue University (Ind.) and former governor of Indiana

Why: From calling the modern State of the Union address a “tasteless, classless spectacle” (in a newspaper column) to lambasting the student concierge services trend on campus (in an open letter to the “People of Purdue”), Daniels speaks his mind.

How: @purduemitch on Twitter, with 35,437 followers; Washington Post regular contributing columnist.

Who: Michael Crow, president, Arizona State University

Why: Crow believes in higher ed’s ability to serve first-generation students and evolve through five waves of change to be scalable, adaptive and innovative.

How: @michaelcrow on Twitter, with 22,533 followers; Michael M. Crow on LinkedIn

Read: Higher education Outlook 2019: Special section

Who: Angel Cabrera, president, George Mason University

Why: A believer in public universities, Cabrera is expanding Mason’s instructional and research capacity. He’s also a proponent of diversity, and his letter to the Mason community after the 2016 presidential election—as a reminder to students that they all belong at Mason, regardless of background and identity—is still at the top of one of his office’s webpages.

How: @CabreraAngel on Twitter, with 15,400 followers; blog on Mason’s site; Angel Cabrera on Pinterest

Who: Santa J. Ono, president, University of British Columbia

Why: Ono aims to demystify the role of the college president and to ensure that everyone feels comfortable talking with him. He uses social media to show he’s accessible. He has spread awareness on mental health by opening up on social media about his own struggles as a student battling depression.

How: @ubcprez on Twitter, with 19,000 followers; Santa J. Ono on LinkedIn

Who: Rhonda L. Lenton, president, York University (Toronto)

Why: At York since becoming a dean there in 2002, Lenton has been president since 2017. She’s a champion of community engagement and innovative partnerships.

How: @YorkUPresident on Twitter, with 8,914 followers; yorkupresident on Instagram

Who: Gregory L. Fenves, president, The University of Texas at Austin

Why: An expert engineer, Fenves has spurred innovation in higher ed by advancing interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as the evolution of student learning through the integration of teaching and research. Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of his vision. In 2015, his administration successfully defended UT Austin’s admissions practices before the U.S. Supreme Court.

How: @gregfenves on Twitter, with 23,513 followers; gregfenves on Instagram


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