Palo Alto University (PAU) has faced several crises over the past few years that ended up serving the institution well in dealing the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Risa Dickson, the university’s interim vice president for academic affairs, said the institution is committed to putting the students first, followed by the faculty in order to move through this crisis. The institution is located in Santa Clara County, which was one of the first places in the nation where the virus emerged.
Dr. Lori Varlotta is president of Hiram College, a small liberal arts college with approximately 1,000 students in the traditional college and 200 in the adult program. She is the campus’ 22nd president, the first female to serve in that role.
In the summer of 2011, conversations began with the Governor’s office about potential mergers. Toward the end of the year an announcement was made that four mergers would occur. This resulted in eight institutions being merged into four. The most complex merger involved Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University, which created one larger and more comprehensive institution than either had been separately.
Organizational evolution is a normal progression where both the organization and its people attain a higher level of consciousness. It’s a form of evolution (absent religion) that involves developing the ability to think systematically, to be trustworthy and transparent. It’s about decentralized and participative decision making and the realization that all people – regardless of position – have an important, valuable role to play. Strong leadership and change management success go hand in hand.