Reflections on This New School Year

September 29, 2020

Thought Leadership

Dear University Partners:

When Fred Rogers was a young boy and he was concerned about alarming events in the world, his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Mister Rogers said he came to see that “the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”

As the new school year gets underway in the midst of a continuing worldwide pandemic, we at Academic Partnerships (AP) are inspired by the countless helpers we see across your 57 institutions – in your leadership teams, your faculty and your staff – and among your students and graduates on the frontlines of this crisis, including the many nurses and teachers from AP-supported programs that are answering the call day after day.

I would like to give special recognition to Northern Kentucky University for their innovation in meeting student and community needs, which NKU president Dr. Ashish Vaidya recently described in Inside Higher Ed. Dr. Vaidya highlights four strategic partnerships, including one with AP, that are helping the university achieve its goals. “Partnerships like these are paramount to the future of higher education” and “what success rising out of a pandemic requires,” he says.

That type of positive feedback is a source of energy for our AP team as we work to be better today than we were yesterday in support of you and your students.

As part of that support, AP has developed a new leadership white paper that outlines potential online strategies and instructional models to meet the new and emerging realities driven by the pandemic. I hope you find it helpful.

Finally, I was delighted to see Susan Hernandez, chief nurse executive at UT Southwestern Medical Center, write in the Dallas Morning News about her institution’s successful collaboration with UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation, a longtime AP partner. According to Ms. Hernandez, nurses have never been more appreciated or more needed and her medical center’s partnership with UT Arlington demonstrates how quality online programs can strengthen and expand the nursing workforce. I could not agree more.

We appreciate your continued trust in Academic Partnerships during this unprecedented time.

Best regards,

Daniel H. Branch
Chairman of the Board


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