Leadership, now: An interview with Freeman Hrabowski

The president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County draws on many decades of difficult conversations to talk to today's students. What does your leader draw on?

Last Friday at a Professional Speechwriters Association conference for folks who help higher-ed leaders communicate, University of Pennsylvania speechwriter Mike Field interviewed Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Hrabowski has worked in and written about race and power issues since Bull Connor literally spit in his face when he was a 12-year-old civil rights marcher in Birmingham in 1964.

In the interview, he tells us how he talked to student protesters who marched on his own office in last year—ironically enough, as he was finishing his book, The Empowered University.

I was struck by the decades of hard-garnered wisdom Hrabowski had to draw on—and needed to draw on—in communicating so responsively, responsibly and respectfully with these angry kids.

We’ve made the whole interview publicly available, for your inspiration and instruction.

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