Archive for February 19, 2010

Quotes on Education and University Branding

It takes courage and an unselfish love for the future welfare of the people of this country of Kazakhstan to start a new university.  Two hundred years ago the U.S. had to start somewhere with their institutions of higher learning when they severed ties (Revolutionary War) with the England.  Fortunately, our American founding fathers had proud traditions and blueprints to follow as good examples from the Old Country.  We are ALL starting on a new adventure with this new university in Kazakhstan.

I can’t take credit for any of the following, but they relate to my thoughts on forming a new institution of higher learning.  I like the quotes and thoughts which are from Penn Graduate School of Education:

Education should foster in students an “Inclination join’d with an Ability to serve mankind, one’s country, Friends and Family.” Ben Franklin “Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensylvania [sic] 1749

“The president is a bit like the driver of a skidding automobile. The marginal judgments he makes, his skill, and his luck may possibly make some difference to the survival prospects for his riders.  As a result, his skill, and his luck may possibly make some difference to the survival prospects for his riders.  As a result, his responsibilities are heavy.  But whether he is convicted of manslaughter or receives a medal of heroism is largely out of his control.” Michael D. Cohen and James G. March from “Leadership and Ambiguity” Harvard Business School Press 1974

A brand of a university communicates to multiple audiences.  What is the way to communicate that brand?

1)   What you are à research university or a professional school OR regional or global university?

2)   WHO you are à premier university in nation OR highly selective and elite OR depending on who you serve?

3)    WHAT you stand for à excellence vs. access

Which type of brand will our new university have?

1)   Corporate – single institutional identity with uniform delivery

2)   Product brand – school, program or degree specific

3)   Niche markets

There needs to be considerations of governances and academic culture, what is the academic diversity and governance structure that the new university will have?  Many questions and issues to resolve, bottomline, we want to produce good results with graduates who have a good education.

Right now there is MUCH curiosity about this new university, great enthusiasm and it will take a lot of hard work by many people cooperating together to get this institution of higher learning off the ground.  Much progress has been made, I’m excited to be a part of this energetic movement to educate the youth of Kazakhstan to prepare them to be young professionals striving towards the goal of 2030.  This goal is on everyone’s minds.  I remember back in China when I taught in the mid 1980s in Harbin, China that the Chinese students were working and studying hard to help their “Motherland” to progress.  Their earnestness has paid off, look where China is now.  However, watch Kazakhstan, it is an amazing country with incredible potential!!!

Leave a comment »