Author: Ronald Mason


The Big Question

We recently discussed the attached Power Point presentation in a Town Hall meeting at the Community College. In a nutshell, if the District Council approves the Mayor’s recommendation, we will have an additional $5m of non-recurring funds in FY 17 as compared to FY 16. Based on recent campus wide Town Hall meetings held by Mr. Stovall and the budget committee, we have a good idea of what your priorities are, and are building the FY 16-17 budget accordingly. Continue Reading The Big Question

By Ronald Mason |

Common Ground?

Last week I participated in an Aspen Institute study headed by one of our Board members, Josh Wyner. I was part of a group of regional presidents who discussed the skills that university presidents of the future will need to be successful. It was an enjoyable conversation, but by the end of the day the list of required skills was long and varied. It ranged from political savvy and budgetary acumen, to having a comfort with communications and a basic knowledge of social media.

Later at home, I reflected on the experience, and connected the day’s process to our work at UDC. It occurred to me that even though the other university leaders and I had spent four hours contemplating what a modern president needs to be able to do, I found myself considering one particularly important skill: the ability to find common ground.

In a world of shrinking available resources and global competitiveness, where various constituencies see success as a zero sum game, perhaps building consensus and finding common ground is the most important skill a president must possess. Continue Reading Common Ground?

By Ronald Mason |

“Unfinished Business: Thoughts on the Nation’s Future”

Last October, one of my students – a young Black man – held open a door for an overburdened woman with a baby carriage so that she might more easily enter the ATM lobby of a bank. This thoughtful gesture was met with someone calling 9-1-1, saying that my student and his friend “looked suspicious.” Responding to the call and without asking questions, police wrangled an innocent young man to the ground and detained him.

Similarly, storeowners in trendy Georgetown guard against their “dis-ease “of what they deem as suspicious- looking shoppers with a downloaded app to track and share information about potential threats. It’s somehow more than just coincidence that seventy percent of the people they thought might steal something are Black. Continue Reading “Unfinished Business: Thoughts on the Nation’s Future”

By Ronald Mason |