My free advice to colleges that hope to survive over the long term: bring in the X’ers, and bring them in now. Reform while it’s still a matter of choice. By the time it’s not optional, it will be too late. Disruptive changes are remarkably unforgiving; you can bend now, or break later. This group offers your last, best chance to bend.- Dean Dad, Inside Higher Ed
As a member of GenX, of course this appealed to me. The other quote piece I thought was relevant here is the following:
[X'ers are] notoriously pragmatic, and far less likely to get caught up in the futile chase for Next Big Things. In the best case, the X’ers could change colleges to fit the realities of people’s lives as they’re lived now. That would be a real contribution, worthy of celebration.
And isn't that part of the change our industry needs? Changing our operating models to meet the realities of people's lives (i.e., the students and faculty we serve) as they are lived now?
I take a bit of heat or jibes on occasion for being something of the messenger of "doom and gloom" -- despite my own perceived sense of optimism for what we could do. It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw with a small man walking next to a sand castle carrying a sign "Repent, the tide is coming in." The first step in solving a problem or taking advantage of an opportunity is recognizing it is there.