In response to Karen Kirk’s Aug. 5, 2020 identically titled op-ed.

At first we thought we were free, sort of. Then we quickly learned we weren’t. Now, after centuries of being treated less than human, not counted, having our votes suppressed and lives snatched for the cause of equality, we find ourselves being called the same names we’ve always been called: Monkeys. Niggers. Animals. Thugs.

“[Pick any from above]” has long been a label for any Black or Brown human of any ilk or background: a veteran, a doctor, a protestor, anyone fighting for their right to be free…

Image from Vasily Koloda, Unsplash

Working at an agency primarily serving the needs of the higher education industry, I hear the word “reputation” quite a bit. In this business, reputation is everything (even more so than in many other industries) — and without a good one, your institution will have to fight harder than others to reach its goals. In higher ed: a great reputation could mean more funding, more attention, more applications, more everything.

But what is ‘reputation’? In the context of higher education, reputation is typically limited to the academic: graduation rates, test scores of incoming freshmen, rankings, etc. …

Photo by Dan Dimmock, Unsplash

In the old days (two or three months ago), the admissions funnel included a diverse mix of tactics to woo and attract the next class of students: printed materials, in-person campus visits, meetings with local alumni and a whole host of other kinds of marketing tactics

Now, since COVID arrived, what may have never been considered marketing before, suddenly is. So much so that everything your institution has done, is doing, and will do during this uncertain time is all marketing. It just looks different.

The way you’ve communicated about campus closures? Marketing. How you’ve handled online classes and support…

A New Day in Higher Ed Admissions

Photo by Matt Ragland, Unsplash

At its 2019 national conference in Louisville, the members of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) voted to remove three provisions from the association’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices. Two of these provisions dealt directly with incoming freshman populations (specifically, they were about offering incentives for early decision, and recruiting students who have already committed to other institutions). The third provision removed was one that prohibited colleges and universities from recruiting students who are currently enrolled at other institutions. …

From left to right: Michael Cole, Columbus School Board; Me; Scott Light, Host; Lauren Huddleston, Government Affairs professional, Jon Naughton, Enrollment, Ohio Dominican. Face the State, WBNS-10TV

Today, my very first television appearance aired. I was a member of a panel on a show called Face the State, which airs in Columbus, Ohio. Face the State is a show that covers local and state policy and social issues. It’s on after Face the Nation, so it’s like the local version of that.

The show I joined was one that discussed the topics of EdChoice (a K-12 voucher program), the cost of higher education, and student loan debt. So, these are all things I read about every single day, all day long. It’s what I get paid to…


There is no shortage of cringe-worthy headlines from campus incidents across the country that have to do with race. Take these three examples, chosen from among many that appeared in January alone:

  • “Michigan State Apologizes for Hanging Historical Black Figures from Tree in Black History Month Display” (Essence Magazine)
  • “In a Homecoming Video Meant to Unite Campus, Almost Everyone Was White” (New York Times)
  • “Racist Incidents, Budget Cuts, and Faculty Warnings: Inside the Run-Up to a Campus Book-Burning” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Higher education administrators across the country are continually thinking about a host of issues — and diversity, equity…

Photo Credit: Omar Roque (Unsplash)

In the five (or so) years since I joined a branding and marketing agency that works with hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, I’ve visited an obscene number of campus bookstores. And when it comes to campus bookstores, there is one thing that is consistent, and that is: nothing is consistent.

Listen, I get it. The campus bookstore is ground zero for all things spirit. Coffee cups, apparel, watches, keychains, shot glasses, ball caps, water bottles and everything in between. But here’s the thing: these items are typically available in a wide variety of colors, typefaces, and treatments…

Recruitment offices will have to work extra hard to fill the class of 2024.

Recruitment efforts for the 2020–2021 school year are already well under way, but the path to success looks quite different than it used to.

Declining high school graduation rates in the Northeast and other areas. An increasing lack of trust in the higher ed industry. Rising tuition and greater competition. All of this means that, more than ever, admissions professionals are searching for effective ways to fill the seats in the class of 2024.

Colleges and universities are employing a number of new and established tactics to recruit these students. Some are looking to increase in-state enrollment, via college promise…

Ala-DAMN-A: State legislation vs. higher ed recruitment

Yesterday, the Alabama legislature passed a bill that effectively bans abortion in the state (it includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest), becoming the most restrictive legislation to be sent to the governor’s desk since Ohio’s “Heartbeat bill.

Not only does the bill ban the act of abortion, it also criminalizes the procedure for doctors who perform it, who would be charged with a felony and face sentences of up to 99 years.

There are a multitude of reasons why this bill is problematic, but I…

Three things I learned at Social Media Marketing World 2019

I know this is late. Social Media Marketing World 2019 was a full three weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to writing about some of the things I learned. Well, three of the many things I learned.

This was my first time attending this conference and I had no idea what to expect. Would I be the oldest one there? Do I have any knowledge worth sharing with another attendee? (No and yes are the answers to those questions, respectively.) This is a conference about learning how to…

Kevin Tyler

I like to make observations and then write about them.

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