Why are Good Leaders avoiding American Colleges?

By | December 9, 2018

[December 9, 2018]  There will always be unintended consequences in what we do; even in the most righteous and just behaviors.  American colleges and universities have taken great strides over the past few decades to be welcoming and committed to justice for all.  Yet, in their zeal to correct wrongs, they themselves have deviated from their traditional mission of educating students on how to think and be better citizens.

For reasons that I list below, accomplished leaders with successful track records are avoiding working with colleges and universities.  For example, two retired U.S. Navy Captains recently started a small veteran-owned business.  They told me they will not work with colleges because the risks are simply too high.  They said that college leaders are bereft of intellectual honesty, overly race and gender focused, and severely lack the moral courage to stand up to what is right.

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley, American management consultant

I had a neighbor that was well-known in our neighborhood for sticking his foot in his mouth; funny thing was that he knew it and joked with us about his long-suffering with “foot-in-mouth disease.”  Sadly, many at the senior leadership level of colleges and universities lack the same candor and honesty of my neighbor.

Some of the reasons successful leaders avoid doing business with colleges or universities:

  1. It is nearly impossible not to offend someone, usually a student. If you deviate at all from their progressive-humanitarian thinking, you will be vilified on social media, boycotted, probably sued, and left on your own when the college administration abandons you.
  2. If you take the common route to explain the best way to be successful as a leader, which is through hard work, merit-based outcomes, and strong family values, you will be publically labeled as insensitive, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. Furthermore, your workplace and home will be targeted by anonymous persons intent on making your life miserable.
  3. You will be quickly abandoned by the college leadership and staff if you cause offense to any “protected” group. It doesn’t matter how unintentional a mistake or even how complete a business contract you have with colleges, the leadership and staff would rather dishonestly break a contract with you than to experience the wrath of students on the warpath.

What the American college-university modus operandi foreshadows is to drive away those who could be most helpful.  This is unfortunate for the colleges and universities and will ultimately assist their slide into a dumbing-down of educating students.

Students will be taught more about “what” to think (a very narrow ideology) rather than “how” to think (about philosophy and science).  More and more, these institutions of higher learning are getting the thumbs-down sign from accomplished leaders.

Please follow and like us:
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

15 thoughts on “Why are Good Leaders avoiding American Colleges?

  1. Tracey Brockman

    I don’t disagree with the premise of your article today, Gen. Satterfield, but I’m not so pessimistic. Surely there will be companies that avoid American colleges because of the stupidity of their administration but those will be few. My opinion, anyway.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      I agree but the trend is headed in the wrong direction. Plus the costs! This makes colleges a poor return on investment.

  2. Roger Yellowmule

    We need better alternatives to traditional college. They have become just a money-making machine anyway, especially at the 2 year college level.

    1. Wilson Cox

      Right. You might get a better deal at some gambling casino rather than blowing your money on an institution more interested in indoctrinating young minds.

  3. Gil Johnson

    Well-placed observation and question.
    My son attended a large university in Minnesota. They were nuts there and so I asked him to transfer. He’s now much happier.

  4. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Good article on an important question. Thanks, General Satterfield.

  5. Albert Ayer

    For the most part, colleges are okay. Occasionally you will find one that has gone off the rails but I think the majority are just fine. The STEM fields are still a good deal. The problem is the gender and racial studies programs that have cropped up over the past decade or so.

  6. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    The bottom line is that senior college leaders lack the moral courage to stand up and be adults to the “children” who attend their institutions. If more had the backbone to tell students to study hard and pay attention to the endgame, then all would be well. But … nope, that is not going to happen.

    1. The Kid 1945

      Hillsdale College stands for civil and religious liberty against the forces of intolerance. Sums it up pretty well.

  7. Janna Faulkner

    If there is one lesson we can glean from the recent problems at the level of higher education it is that they discriminate based on race, are intolerant of the views of others, and are expensive as heck. Why put a young person in this position. Time to set up other universities that get things right.

  8. Mr. T.J. Asper

    You have asked the question of the ages. Why are American colleges acting so stupidly. The idea of college was once to make us into better citizens but that is no longer the case. I’m not surprised so many are avoiding them. I’ll be advising my High School students to chose carefully where they go.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      I’ll be trying to find an alternative to traditional college. They simply can no longer be trusted.

Comments are closed.