My communicast interview with Ed Ithier last week focused on SNHU leadership [watch the YouTube interview above].
When it comes to community and leadership, it should be no surprise that Southern New Hampshire University is right there among the best during this COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s announcement by CEO & President Paul Le Blanc showed that “reimagining campus-based learning” had long been in the works and the crisis at hand presented the opportunity to speed up the planned transition. The University has long been a leader in online education with more than 130,000 learners worldwide participating in over 300 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.
“We knew that a traditional college education was increasingly out of reach for a majority of Americans before the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” LeBlanc. “Now, with the nation facing massive unemployment, there are even more students who find themselves unable to afford an on-campus experience, and more than ever, students need access to high-quality, affordable degree pathways that are workforce relevant and won’t saddle them with years of debt upon graduation.”
“We know that we will need innovative ideas to overcome the challenges ahead,” said LeBlanc. “The status quo in higher education is not going to help get our economy going again, it will not help our fellow citizens get back to work, and it won’t help the next generation of entrepreneurs, writers, community leaders, and engineers create the society we all know is possible.”
I know firsthand the excitement and quality of their offering, having watched a former co-worker complete a program. Not that long ago, I attended her graduation just up the street for me in Manchester – but for her – it was a long-distance trek down from Augusta, Maine, for the ceremony.
Community leadership also means stepping up and leading the effort to keep school kids fed in Manchester as previously reported in the Manchester Ink Link. So to me, it was no coincidence that in our #Communicast interview last week with SNHU Director of Development Ed Ithier (who is both a friend and former colleague) he would emphasize the strong Community Service & Giving Back to Community ethic of the school’s leadership that permeates every level.
When I asked Eddie what has been the most interesting learned experience in this crisis, he answered “things changed quickly and people stepped up to help each other.” We are indeed all in this together.” This was a statement backed up by Paul LeBlanc’s leadership role in partnering and providing weekend meals to students in the Manchester School District. By engaging their food services provider and working out of their excess capacity during this quarantine, SNHU has once again showed local and immediate positive impact to the community.
Meals for Manchester. You can help with donations – or to volunteer in the provisioning of meals for school families in need. Find more information on the SNHU website here.