Many of us listened live yesterday as jurors rendered their verdict on the charges against Derek Chauvin, who was on trial for the killing of George Floyd last May. As I process my own personal reactions to the news, I recognize that the trial and the events leading up to it have provoked a range of emotions and perspectives in our community.

Yesterday’s verdict was an affirmation that Black Lives Matter, yet it was only one step in a very long journey toward equity and social justice for all. This was one decision in one case with one victim, but…


I embrace the responsibility I have as a leader to help our community make sense of the world outside of Champlain College and to reflect on events that transpire. Yet it disturbs and saddens me when events rooted in hatred and division occur with disturbing frequency. Events that defy explanation. That are utterly discordant with the values we espouse as an institution and individuals. That raise again and again the question of how to make sense of the senseless.

The recent shootings in Atlanta, resulting in the deaths of eight people at three area spas, mark the latest in these…


As we honor the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., I know I am not alone in trying to reconcile the soaring optimism of Dr. King’s dream with the disturbing events and images of the last weeks and ongoing and escalating racial injustices in our country.

Even in his own brilliant and poetic articulation of his dream, Dr. King acknowledged the gap between his dream and reality. In his famous speech, Dr. King said, “1963 is not an end, but a beginning.” …


2020 is finally behind us (cue the cheers). By all accounts, it was a most unusual year — devastating for many, inconvenient for most. Yet now we have a chance for a fresh start, a new year filled with hope and possibilities. The pandemic is certainly not over, but the change of the calendar provides us with an opportunity to turn the page and, hopefully, begin to return to the way we were.

When I think about the future, I am drawn back to lessons learned from my role model — my late father. From him, I learned the meaning…


A college president reflects on seven lessons learned

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed us from a nation that shunned discussions of death to one that receives daily mortality reports. In the face of unimaginable loss — of friends, family, jobs, and freedom — many have adopted a “hospice mentality,” a state of mind where our best days are behind us and the future is bleak.

This is also the case in higher education, where even choosing a college has become a matter of life and death. We have moved from a time when colleges were a community’s lifeblood — providing jobs, culture, and diversity of thought and experience…

Benjamin Ola Akande

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is President of Champlain College. He is a respected economist, scholar educator and global consultant.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store