“This is an amazing opportunity that doesn’t come around often…or easily. A surreal moment of excitement. Can I do this?”
This was the reaction of Dr. David A. Thomas @PROFTHOMAS @MOREHOUSEPREZ when receiving the call advising he was the new 150-year-old institution’s 12th president. Which is pretty heady stuff for an educator that vows to move the HBCU further along into the 21st century. Recently he got a chance to share some of the changes and initiatives he plans on implementing in Morehouse over time with the help of alumni, students and the surrounding community.
Dr. President Thomas outlined the huge responsibility he took on to be the steward of 2300 young black-and-brown men as students. However, he is firm in his convictions to continue maintaining the quality of education as the educational tackles and includes some of the issues and culture of today’s students.
Accordingly, the plans include creating a culture of operational and service excellence, something Morehouse has been steeped in by tradition. Also, develop programs in new ways that will strengthen the transformational nature of the educational experience for the students. Finally, create a strategy for increasing the resources available to the college students.
No change comes easy or quickly, but to be effective it’s important to realize that it can be done. Dr. President Thomas continued to outline the importance of inclusion and intends to implement some initiatives that address the LGBT community, fund raising and enhancing our partnership with companies that students will want to go post-graduation, and even create a partnership with schools to create a pipeline of talent to students who particularly want to come to Morehouse and the community around Morehouse. He advised he was aware of some the customer service issues, long lines and technology. Being aware of the student issues about long lines and customer service that directly affect the students was something that is already being addressed. Plans to improve the technology infrastructure with the use of technology and the distribution of knowledge to the students are also being integrated.
What’s the most important part that is so integral in making Morehouse more relevant is the reliance of alumni involvement as part of the recruitment strategy. Not necessarily as a mentor or role model, but as a symbol of what future students of Morehouse can look forward to becoming.
The anticipation of the new changes that will bring the college into the 21st century is something the new president hopes will enable Morehouse to keep going another 150-years.
- Joseph Walker