Guidelines and Clarifications.
If you work at a university as an administrator, professor, researcher or any other capacity, please submit an essay about either:
- Your personal character.
- Your institution.
Write simply. Winston Churchill said, “Short words are bgest and the old words when short are best of all.” Please write the way you would speak to a friend and avoid jargon.
You don’t need to be original – just sincere. Even if someone has already said what you believe, we still want to know what that is.
Don’t restrict yourself. Our essay topics are just suggestions. Write anything you wish as long as it will either reveal your character or teach a lesson.
This is about you, not them. Talk about who you are, what you do, and who you want to become. Don’t talk about what others should do.
Suggested questions regarding personal character:
- What is your personal mission? People with a purpose are usually happier and more effective than those who feel their life has no purpose.
- How did you come by your values? Telling how you came to value something is much more persuasive than just telling what it is. You don’t need to express all your values, just one or two that are either fundamental or unusual.
- Discuss an ethical issue that you have faced. We all need to know how to do the right thing and recognize when we don’t. Help others learn by telling them what you’ve done and learned. Remember, admitting a failure usually carries more weight than recounting a victory.
- Tell a story that changed how you think or feel. Please describe an instance where you’ve changed your mind so others can learn by example how it is done.
Suggested questions colleges should ask themselves.
- Is our college here for the students or are the students here for us?
- Should our college game the U. S. News rankings?
- If we do not game the U. S. News rankings, should we “out” those that do?
- How is our reputation different from reality?
- Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when we market to students, or should we hold ourselves to a higher standard than, say, a car manufacturer?
- Do we have a fiduciary responsibility to put our student’s best financial interests ahead of our own?
- Should we disclose if our admissions process is “need blind?”
- Should applicants be allowed to opt-in to a need blind process so that they can know that if they are admitted it was solely on the basis of merit?
- What kinds of students discover after they get here that this is not the place for them?
- What, if anything, should a diploma from our college mean other than having passed a minimum number of courses? Should it imply certain ethics, principles, attitudes, thinking skills, etc.?
- Are students the customers, the product, or something else?