Karen Gross Society Guru

Karen is #6 LinkedIn Global Top Voice 2018 - Education. She was also an Education Top Voice in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She is an educator and an author. Prior to becoming a college president, she was a tenured law professor for two plus decades. Her academic areas of expertise include trauma, toxic stress, consumer finance, overindebtedness and asset building in low income communities. She currently serves as Senior Counsel at Finn Partners Company. From 2011 to 2013, She served (part and full time) as Senior Policy Advisor to the US Department of Education in Washington, DC. She was the Department's representative on the interagency task force charged with redesigning the transition assistance program for returning service members and their families. From 2006 to 2014, she was President of Southern Vermont College, a small, private, affordable, four-year college located in Bennington, VT. In Spring 2016, she was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in VT. She also teaches part-time st Molly Stark Elementary School, also in Vt. She is also an Affiliate of the Penn Center for MSIs. She is the author of adult and children’s books, the most recent of which are titled Breakaway Learners (adult) and  Lucy’s Dragon Quest. Karen holds a bachelor degree in English and Spanish from Smith College and Juris Doctor degree (JD) in Law from Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law.


Trauma Surrounds Us: Time to Deal

It is clear to me, particularly in light of the most recent and tragic shooting on a campus -- UNC-Charlotte -- that we need to do more than provide improved security and early detection of threats, although we surely need to do that. We need to address trauma. This is suggested in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education today. The Chronicle piece notes trauma preparedness but also notes the effects of trauma post event and its wave-like nature, recurring with new triggers. Valuable observations and the link here.


Learning about College Admissions from Chris Russo

We can learn a lot actually by thinking deeply about the college admissions scandal. It shines a light on privilege, elite colleges and universities, the realities of what it takes (and who it takes) to get into an elite institution, the value of fame and connections, the role of money, the importance of pre-school, paid tutoring and the list goes on.


Admissions Side Door: Money Badly Spent

So, folks have always wanted to get the real scoop on how students get into (or do not get into) elite colleges. Part of that story has been revealed recently through the Harvard litigation surrounding how students (particularly minority students) are selected. And now we have the admissions fraud of all frauds: payoffs to folks inside institutions to get students into elite colleges/universities as well as designated test takers. And, one of the key pathways is the oddest of all: payoffs to coaches to bring in non-athletes --- that is not a typo. (Don't ask me about the NCAA in all this please.)


An A+ Punishment for Felicity and Others: Create Cy Pres Awards

Those pleading guilty in the college admissions scandal can donate large sums of money to a cy pres fund that benefits low income kids and the non-elite small colleges that serve them.


Education’s Many Stakeholders

In 2005, we published an article in University Business on the importance of educational institutions recognizing, listening to and considering the influence and voices of these stakeholders in the academic enterprise: students, parents, communities and employers.