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A phrase I have heard describing the role of a college president is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” The expression was actually coined by an American journalist, Chicago syndicated columnist Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936), to describe the crucial role that newspapers play in society (Observations by Mr. Dooley (1902, 240). For many years, the expression was used only in discussions of newspapers and the media. In the 1980s, it came to be used in a religious context. In all these uses, it is a call to action.
Our college leaders need to both support and challenge. It is our role to listen first, ask questions, respond with information or insights, appreciate initiative, and guide and direct when necessary. We also need to be challenged! I have always appreciated those who are willing to take the risk of offering a different perspective or even an outright disagreement to the accepted norm. Very few of us enjoy conflict, but if we can reframe differences as the opportunity to learn from each other, it puts our differing beliefs and opinions in a new light.
Debate can clarify issues and open up dialog. It can require us to explain opinions and offer additional information. It can surface old ideas that need to be updated or can situate our opinions within closely held values. All of that can help us to make better decisions and improve commitment to a plan or initiative. I think we work better together when we can air all points of view on a problem—if the goal is improvement.
We can be co-creators of a better world when we are open to new information. When we agree to work on our areas of agreement to our mutual benefit, we can create positive change. When we can allow ourselves to be legitimately challenged, we can learn together how to be more effective. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
BCTC Newtown Campus will be hosting the “RunJumpDev – Global Game Jam 2017, an even where participants design their own video games.
Remi Bellocq, executive director of equine programming at the North American Racing Academy (BCTC-NARA), has been named to the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Equine Education Project (K.E.E.P.).
K.E.E.P. creates awareness of the benefits of Kentucky’s horse economy and promotes jobs and economic opportunities for Kentuckians. This is accomplished by increasing state advocacy and promotion of the Kentucky horse industry, attracting new horse industry interests in the state, and expanding existing state horse economy programs for all breeds.
“This appointment will allow me to raise and keep awareness of the importance of NARA and BCTC as a critical source of workforce training for a key industry here in Kentucky,” said Bellocq.
About NARA Originally launched by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, NARA is now part of BCTC and remains the most successful accredited career and training program offering one-year certificates and two-year associates degrees in support of the horse racing and breeding industries.
For more information about BCTC-NARA, visit www.bluegrass.kctcs.edu/NARA.aspx
BCTC Workforce Solutions provides a comprehensive approach to continuing education, employee services and customized learning solutions for businesses and organizations, and was recently voted "Best Community College in Kentucky for Workforce Training" by Southern Business & Development Magazine.
BCTC has Kentucky’s lowest tuition rates with classes offered at six convenient campuses around the Bluegrass region and online. Whatever your path, BCTC can help you get where you want to go.
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