Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sharing a blog

Worth looking at...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Private Prisons Trample on American Values: An Educator’s Researched Based Perspective

What is a for profit company? “A business or other organization whose primary goal is making money (a profit), as opposed to a non profit organization which focuses a goal such as helping the community and is concerned with money only as much as necessary to keep the organization operating”

So, if this company is not selling its services or product, it goes out of business. But what if it product is prisoners? That means in order to make money it would need its jails to be full; all the time. Remember, the number one goal of a company is to maximize profits for its owners.

“The Corrections Corporation of America launched the era of private prisons in 1983, when it opened an immigration detention center in an former motel in Houston, Texas. Today the Nashville-based company houses more than 66,000 inmates, making it the country’s second-largest private prison company. In 2015, it reported $1.9 billion in revenue and made more than $221 million in net income—more than $3,300 for each prisoner in its care”.

“CCA and other prison companies have written “occupancy guarantees” into their contracts, requiring states to pay a fee if they cannot provide a certain number of inmates. Winn Correctional Center was guaranteed to be 96 percent full”.

“The two largest for-profit prison companies in the United States – GEO and Corrections Corporation of America – and their associates have funneled more than $10 million to candidates since 1989 and have spent nearly $25 million on lobbying efforts. Meanwhile, these private companies have seen their revenue and market share soar”.

These systems do not only get you while you are inside prison, they get you if you have court fines, hallway house, on probation. Once they have you in their system, they make it very difficult for you to get out, and the average working person will end up paying dearly to get out of the system. Over inflated prices for goods, garnishing your paycheck for the privilege of being forced to stay at halfway house instead of being allowed to go home, fines and more fines.

“The Fines and Fees That Keep Former Prisoners Poor” “States and counties have upped the amounts they charge defendants, saddling those getting out of jail with huge amounts of debt they have little hope of paying off”.
“Increasingly, jurisdictions across the country are assessing hefty court fines and fees, called legal financial obligations (LFOs), on defendants, requiring them to pay thousands of dollars or face more jail time, according to Alexes Harris, the author of A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions for the Poor. Harris talked to one woman who was a victim of domestic violence and spent eight years in the prison system for shooting the father of her son. She’d been assessed $33,000 in LFOs, but 13 years after her conviction, despite minimum monthly payments she made, interest had brought her debt to $72,000”.  

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”

“Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”

“Half of the world's prison population of about nine million is held in the US, China or Russia”. “Prison rates in the US are the world's highest, at 724 people per 100,000. In Russia, the rate is 581”.
Criminal justice reform in the United States would be one of the greatest things ever for human rights because, it is not enough to have laws of protection, what is needed is equal laws and true equal protection under the law no matter what your social status (or perceived status).

The state of incarceration in the United States, especially with the inclusion of the private prison system, is effrontery to American values, and all those who claim to love freedom, the constitution, and the United States of America, should be outraged.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Some references for your perusal

Monday, July 10, 2017

Are you truly patriotic? An educator’s thoughts…

The 4th of July has just passed. So, the lingering of fireworks, flags, and people shouting “freedom” is still in the air. The 4th of July is a day when people’s patriotism comes out full force, but like Mother’s Day, it soon fades back into the closet until the next year.

Why do you say that? I am glad you asked.

True patriotism does not take a day off, true patriotism is also not just loving “your” version of America but embracing everyone’s America. It means acknowledging the diversities of religion, culture, skin color, etc. It means accepting the fact that the country is far from perfect but you are going to try and make it better.

There are people who struggle on daily basis just trying to make it, so perhaps they might not feel like celebrating. Does this make them less American? Absolutely not! The beauty of the freedom the country is supposed to have means one size does not fit all, but we are all in the same big box.
So as you sing your patriotic songs, wave your flag, have your BBQ, etc., remember that true patriotism means recognizing the faults as well as the freedom. It means that you are embracing everyone’s America.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sharing an article 6/30/2017

'I don't know how to lead for equity, that was not part of my program'

Equity took center stage in the day two conversations at the Education Commission of the States National Forum on Education Policy Thursday. One resonant statement reflected how principal preparation programs didn't include equity components, meaning that now leaders are struggling to approach their work through an equity lens.
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education President Joe Garcia — who shared with the audience that his school counselors never once mentioned to him the idea of his going to college— said working harder to close achievement gaps from early education on through to higher ed is everyone’s work.
Read the rest here:
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The truth about “black on black crime’ by Dr Flavius Akerele III


·         Most crime happens between people familiar with each other. So, FYI, the so called “black on black crime’ is bullshit. If black people committed more crimes outside of their segregated zone they would be extinct. We know this because it is near impossible to convict LE or anyone for killing black folks.

·         “White on white crime’ is almost as high as any crime

·         Skin color is not a race or culture

·         Most crime happens in poor neighborhoods

·         Most black neighborhoods are poor

·         The United States is still a segregated society. There are black, white, Asian, Latino, and, etc. neighborhoods, true fact.

·         The crime rate in poor white areas such as Michigan and West Virginia where there are large concentrations of poor whites is just as high as the poor black neighborhoods around the U.S
·         Black people are only 13%of the nation, they could not possibly be responsible for all the crime, welfare abuse, and murder they are attributed to.

·         Black people are not inherently pre-dispositioned towards crime, no studies or stats show this

·         President Obama was not elected by black people, he was elected by white people (majority stat in U.S population). 13% of the population, even if they could all vote (which they cannot due to prison disfranchising) could not vote a president in. Simple math.

Stop talking shit and listening to false news

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The importance of letters of references/recommendations

Most jobs today are going to come from connections and networking; who you know really does matter. However, that does not mean you do not have a shot at an open position, and that is where recommendations come in handy. Specifically, timely and relevant recommendation.

I cannot count the number of times I have been asked to write a letter of reference, and my rules on this are simple:

1.      Please give me a template on what they are looking for so I can properly frame the recommendation

2.      Try and avoid asking me for a last-minute letter of references/recommendations

3.      If I say yes, I will do it almost immediately.

The last part is important because someone’s application could be getting held up because of that one letter of reference, especially when computers are tallying up everything nowadays. Having experienced that particular phenomenon, I can tell you it is not a pleasant feeling when someone flakes on their promise of a letter of reference. Worse still, you write someone a letter of reference or recommendation with the understanding they will do the same for you; and they never do.

Do what you say you are going to do, and do it in a timely manner because a person’s job could be on the line. It is simple professionalism.

Lessons from a communication and human resources class.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Certificate training program in leadership/leadership development


Strong leadership is the cornerstone for a successful institution, and strength comes from training as well as experience. It is often the case specific training does not occur before a leadership appointment nor does it occur after a leader is chosen; rather it is often based upon seniority or the “old boys network”, as can be clearly in many companies. The kind of leadership needed for this arena in the 21st century is different, and requires and upgrade in tools and training.

A certificate in leadership/leadership development would give the much needed specific knowledge of four key areas, to leaders. It will give them the training they do not have and will not get, it will provide stability, reduce turnover of positions because leaders are not feeling overwhelmed, and it can build a network between peers and make the atmosphere more collaborative.

While there are programs that exist in the industry, most are geared towards specific companies and do not incorporate graduate level MBA education.

Who can benefit from this? All C level leaders, Program managers, Directors, supervisors, those seeking advancement, and so much more.

The 4 Courses plus one project:


Human Resources Management 

Law and Ethics 

Strategic Leadership

Want to learn more? 

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Real Educational Leadership and Change is Needed

I would love to see this quote proved wrong but I will not hold my breath because nine years later this hasn't changed much...: ""The mistake of most traditional campus-based institutions was to see the potential if online learning in terms of access and serving more students instead of serving current students better" (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008)"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Omission in the day and age of instant communication is dangerous

Let us look at this sentence: “I don’t like because of color”. If inserted into the wrong conversation in the right way, all of sudden you have an argument about racism. The whole sentence was really: “I don’t like this couch because the of the color”, a significant difference.

When people alter, or omit words from sentences, it can have a profound effect on a conversation, when leaders do this, it can have a devastating effect in general. Leaders who consistently keep their employees in the dark are fostering a culture that thrives on rumors because we all know that information gap will be filled by something. It is even more sad when the information that was withheld was not even vital!

If you want “buy-in" from your employees than you need to give them something to buy; if you want to have civil conversations then you need to check your sources before you quote. The standards of using references that are peer reviewed and reliable is not just for academia.

A lesson from a communication course. #communication #leadership #education

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Professional’s Credentials Deserve a Proper Look

I have been seeing a lot of resume posts recently on whether a resume “passes the 6 second test”, and it disturbs me. Do you mean to stay that my vast professional experience and education is only worth six seconds of your time? You mean to tell me you are not interested in a potentially excellent candidate?

A professional’s experience cannot be nor should it be summed up in mere seconds. If you are serious about recruiting the best than you need to act like it; the best deserves more of your time.

We all understand that there are many more applications today for a single job, but you owe it to your company and to future employees to do your due diligence and treat them as more than a number.

This also extends to returning emails and phone calls by the way, especially if you asked the person to do just that. There are far too many rude employers out there who feel they can just ignore a legitimate communication from someone.

How you recruit is what you get, and how you try and retain is what stays.

Lessons from an MBA course.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
Th ETeam

PS, Employers, for Pete’s sake keep communication formal as well. Use proper titles, tense, and tone. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Are we even attempting to learn from our mistakes: An Educator’s plea?

Insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This a common occurrence in educational leadership and it does not look it is going to change anytime soon.

·         A school talks about the need for radical change, and their solution is to promote a long-time insider to head that department because they have not yet held that position.
·         A school is constantly in financial trouble, and instead of looking at the accounting structure, they hire a consultant (for a hefty price) to study the issue; even though you know someone is stealing
·         Your students complain that they are not learning anything new, and the school does not look at the fact most of the faculty and staff are graduates of the school they are working at
·         You advertise a job that you have already filled, and then months later you send generic form letters to the candidates letting them know how qualified they were but you are going with someone else: and you never even read their resume plus you spelled their names wrong on the form letter
·         Etc.

These are real situations, and there are real and easy solutions to them; but in education, sometimes we do not take the real solution. Why is that?

Why do leaders in education consistently make the same mistake over and over, why has there been no real significant, non-political change in education over the last few years. Technology is just a tool, not a solution.
You are a leader in education, but are you trained to lead? Do you know how to lead? What have you done make yourself ready to lead?

Leadership certifications makes sense!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele

The ETeam

You must serve with honor: an educator’s thoughts

Due to the nature of politics, education is once again thrown in the political mix. It is a pity that, every 2,4,6, or 8 years, the noble profession of education must be subjected to the political whims: but we must be prepared for it because we are public servants.

Innovation is great, change can be good, dedication is necessary but sometimes difficult when eggs are being thrown at you. As educators, we need to always be striving to serve with honor.

Serving our students honorably means we are giving them our best no matter what the circumstance, it means we are rising above chatter, it means we are trying to do what is right in the face of all that is wrong, it means being a professional.

Educators, keep serving with honor because in the end, honor is everything.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Do not be afraid of a career change

Sometimes, our careers become such a part of us that we lose sight of who we truly are and what are original dreams were.

It is alright to explore change, it is alright to dip your feet in the waters of a different career. Not risking anything could lead to questioning everything.

Life is full of surprises and it might show you your true path.
Lessons learned by a longtime educator….

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Excerpts from an MBA Leadership Lesson

      Communication is a matrix of oral, visual and emotion. Your spoken words, voice quality, and body language come together to communicate a message.

      Successful communication is measured in how well these components are applied and balanced.

      Is what I said, what you heard?

      Communication requires a transmitter and a receiver. Both must be tuned to the same frequency.

      As a manager, it is your job to ensure proper tuning.

      You communicate to your staff at the frequency they are on. Words, phrases, ideas, concepts, theories and directions must be tuned to their level of comprehension. You do not talk down, but find a commonality where both you and the staff can meet and communicate on a level plane. 

Seems simple eh? Then why do many managers in higher education not practice this?

Lessons from an MBA program

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, April 20, 2017

At some point, you have to acknowledge your company is really not that into you: when to walk away

There is a humorous video I show in the first part of one of my HR classes called “when Barry Met Sammy- A Funny View of HR and KM”,

While it is funny, it underscores a serious problem companies have, and industries have (including the higher education industry): leadership often does not show that they value their employees, in fact the reward for good work is often more work.

What is the difficulty with acknowledging the work your employees do on a regular basis and rewarding them for it?

I have said a million times before and I will say it again: YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSETS! This is a simple lesson to learn, and in theory it should be simple to practice; there is data that proves this. But the data is not being looked at, or at least not until it is too late.

We teach this stuff in our universities, but why oh why, can we not learn it ourselves?! Education and specifically higher education, will need to go through some major changes over the next few years, whether it likes it or not, and practicing what we are preaching/teaching needs to be lesson number one.
The creation and implementation of certifications for higher educational leaders should not just be a pipe dream, it needs to be a reality.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

Friday, April 14, 2017

If you do not attempt to communicate effectively you reap what you sow

Communication is a buzz word in business/leadership, and you will find many different variations of what it is, but the root of it is simple; get the message you want to send to the right people in an effective manner.

Communications says nothing of what modality one should use, it does not say how often, it simply needs to be clear.

A complete lack of communication is still communication, except, what you are communicating to your people is that you really do not care about them. This is a common complaint from employees, not knowing what their boss wants of them or not knowing important things that could affect their job.

As a leader, effective communication should be at or near the top the list of skills you have or are trying to develop. How can you give that employee a bad review when they had no clue what the goals were? How do you expect employees to show up to a meeting that they heard nothing about? Etc.

Simple lessons from an MBA program.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When did banks stop serving the community? The cost of being poor

Do you remember actually going into the bank on a regular basis? Do you remember going into the bank and the manager knew your name? Do you remember when you knew all the bank tellers by name?

There was a time when the bank was a part of the community, where they made you feel welcome, where they actually wanted to see you come in. Today’s modern banking costs more money to regularly go into the bank and deposit money, because that kind of account is often an extra fee; nowadays they want you to use the machine or online only.

Banking fees have also gone up exponentially for everything, and the banks have a clever system of offering you overdraft protection, with a cost of between $25 to $40. In fact, you must opt out of that costly protection program otherwise it is automatic. Sometimes, using your overdraft is necessary though, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck; but paying $30 for a $15 check, really?

God forbid your account goes into the negative and you physically go into the bank to pay it because it seems part of banks’ training today, is to make you feel guilty for not having enough money to live.

·         “So why did you let your account go negative?”

·         “You really should avoid the fees”

As if you did it on purpose!

For the record, credit unions are operating just like regular banks now, so they are not exempt from this criticism.
Community is key because a community helps each other, they teach each other, and they look out for each other. If you are poor, often your community has entities in it that do not care about you and do not know you. Banks, you need to be part of the community you are supposed to be serving.
These are just thoughts, things observed by an educator.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Race Relations in America and why we are not ready: an educator’s view

Sociology 101 tells us: “Race is defined as a category or group of people having hereditary traits that set them apart. While race revolves around the idea of biological traits, ethnicity is based on a shared cultural heritage. Sociologists and other social scientists accept that race is a socially constructed concept. It is an idea that was created in society to justify inequality. Race is a modern concept”.

Skin color does not now, nor has it every been a race; and because the United States has never confronted its history fully, the good, the bad, and the ugly, this conversation makes people squirm.
“The 1924 Racial Integrity Act defined race by the “one-drop rule,” defining as “colored” persons as anyone with any African or Native American ancestry. This law was in effect to purify the white population, while also expanding the scope of Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage (anti-miscegenation law) by criminalizing all marriages between white persons and non-white persons. In 1967 the law was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in its ruling on Loving v. Virginia”.

Discussions on race nowadays are met with sayings such as: “that is in the past”, “we are post racial”, “it had nothing to do with me”, “I am not a racist”, “discussing race is reverse racism”, “other races had it bad as well”, etc. It is a pity, because the fact that we still have race listed on official government documents, the fact that there are still hate groups that openly espouse and emulate racists beliefs of past evil regimes, and the fact the statistics we collect daily still show we have a problem, means we are nowhere near ready to truly confront this.

The other day I was watching a film clip from a 1980s Clint Eastwood movie that contained the famous line “go ahead, make my day”. The movie was pure Hollywood, , with the typical Hollywood bad guys (young black males). I take that movie for what it is and nothing more, pure entertainment. However, today we also have social media, something that did not exist when that movie came out; and social media makes people feel safe, it brings out the “trolls’, it brings out the things people say in private and often think about in their head, it brings out the ugly side of the country that we refuse to deal with. Go ahead read all the comments and see for yourself.

The comments on social media posts reveal many truths, they reveal the cesspool of hate that bubbles just below the surface and they reveal peoples’ true feelings. In some cases people do not understand what social media actually is (it is not private)  and they just post straight out what they feel not even waiting for the comment section, including members of law enforcement who really should behaving at a higher standard considering the responsibility they have:  

As I write this, I am well aware that I will be inviting trolls into my own world, but here is the reason why I write this: OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING! Kids do not grow up that way, they emulate the people around them, and with the access to technology that exists today, there are more “people” around them.

If you ignore a disease, it does not go away. Perhaps the disease will go into remission for a while, and we can certainly treat the symptoms with medication: but that is not a cure. Civil rights bills, updated laws, diversity training, sensitivity training, and all the other things are not the cure, they are merely Band-Aids on an open wound.

There is no quick fix because we are not ready. We are still in blame mode, pass the buck mode, we still do not really want to find solutions; and before you disagree with me ask yourselves this: how can we put a man on the moon but we cannot solve this? The answer is simple; because we wanted to put a man on the moon but we do not care to solve this.
These are just some of the observations from an educator.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Undocumented immigrants, an educator’s perspective

There is no doubt that the largest proportion of undocumented immigrants in the U.S come from or through Mexico. It makes sense considering the proximity of the country, our history with the country, for example: states like California, Texas, and Arizona (there are more states I know) used to be part of Mexico. Also, not everyone coming through Mexico, is Mexican. There are large groups coming from other places.

So where do the other groups come from? Let’s look at some numbers:

1.      6.72 from Mexico
2.      1.78 from South and Central America
3.      1.17 from Asia
Here are some specific 2012 numbers

2012 Country Populations
1. Mexico 6,720,000
2. El Salvador 690,000
3. Guatemala 560,000
4. Honduras 360,000
5. Philippines 310,000
6. India 260,000
7. Korea 230,000
8. China 210,000
9. Ecuador 170,000
10. Vietnam 160,000
All Countries 11,430,000

Why do people want t come into the U.S? Opportunity, and we should be flattered because that says a lot about the potential in the U.S, and there are enough stats out there proving that these undocumented people are not here stealing our jobs. Quite the contrary.

I am not going to get into politics, because I am not looking at this from a political point of view. I should also point out that there are whole continents missing from these numbers because somehow, they are not reported in the same way (save that for another post).

This is a nation of immigrants remember, and history is repeating itself; but is it for good or bad? Let us not fear each other, let’s just learn who are.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The non-interview interview: why do employers do this?

Are you aware that most jobs posted (especially in the education sector where I work) have already been filled? Are you aware that it is a common practice for employers to interview people that they have no intention of hiring?

I am not going to try and analyze the various reasons as to why because that is not my problem; I am going to discuss why this practice is unprofessional and does a disservice not just to the candidate, but also to the company.

The candidate’s job at an interview is to bring their “A” game. They need to be prepared, have researched the company, have poignant questions to ask, etc. In today’s market, it is common to have most candidates prepared like this.

The employer’s main job is to have looked at the candidates resume, done some basic research such as LinkedIn, be prepared with good interview questions, and to be objectively considering every candidate they interview. From a candidate’s perspective, there is nothing worse than walking into an interview where it is obvious the employer knows nothing about you, where they are late to start the interview, people enter the interview late, and at the end, it is also obvious that they are not really serious about hiring.

A professional interview deserves professional interviewers who are truly looking at you as possible fit for their company. This current practice of the non-interview also explains why employers are not getting back to candidates at all after interview: lack of forethought about their company reputation and taking advantage of people in this saturated job market.
Word does get around, and if the company is not careful, it could become known as the company of “do not waste your time applying because they are not serious”.

At some point, we must understand it is not the candidates fault. Lessons in leadership.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Do not despair and know your worth

The social contract between employers and employees is all but dead; employers are not promising longevity and employees can no longer count on retiring where they started. Add to that is, the market worships youth, or seems to value youth more than experience. We see this in the high numbers of skilled over 40s in the job hunt, we see this in the want ads stating “recent college graduate wanted” (or some variation of that).

It is important not to let the actions of others affect one’s outlook; it is important that you try and keep your head up and know your worth. I say try, because we are all human and everyone has bad days.

Do not give up! There is an employer out there who will thank their lucky stars once they have you. You are worth it.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, January 30, 2017

The punishment for being poor 2017

When you do not have money, you are often expected to do without certain things. For example: a nutritious diet, little treats such as an ice cream cone, gym membership, TV, vacations, etc. All these pleasures are well known to increase life and quality of life: why then are they often the first things expected to go?

We no longer have debtors prison, but we still have many people in this country locked in a cycle of debt, often “legal debt” such as parking tickets, child support, and lord forbid you have a probation debt!

If you have the money, you can pay these things off right away and move on, but if you do not have the money, these debts can quadruple in cost when you factor in payment plans, interest, penalties for losing your job and therefore a payment, etc.

These are issues the average American cares about, these are issues of which there is no solution proposed or even thought of because there are companies who make billions of dollars a year because of the status quo.

Misery should not be a for-profit industry.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Retaliation in higher education

Retaliation is a real thing, it is an unfortunate thing, and it happens more often then we like in higher education.

How does it happen? I am glad you asked. As an adjunct faculty, it is easy for a supervisor to do this, and sometimes they might not even realize they are doing it. Perhaps the supervisor med a scheduling error, and it caused a professor to lose a class. While we know there are no guarantees for adjuncts; it is still a loss. What happens is when the adjunct complains the supervisor leaves them off the list for the next term classes; and keeps them off.

People often leave an institution because of a boss or because the culture supports a toxic environment; and when a person mentions this in an exit interview, often times, they are blamed instead of the issue being investigated.

I have often written about how educators sometimes are the most indiscreet and inconsistent employers out there, and it is an unfortunate truth.

Why is it that as higher educators we often do not hold ourselves to a higher standard of management? Why do we let a culture fester to the point of jeopardizing an institution?
Make no mistake, higher education is in a crisis mode for so many reasons, and a lack of consistency is one of them.
Are we going acknowledge this or wait for the institutions to close one by one? The proof is out there, especially when we look at accrediting bodies, school closures, and position turnover.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam