Thursday, July 28, 2016

Change is needed: the case for the creation of higher educational leadership certificates

I have worked in education for more than 20 years now, the last 10 of them in higher education. One is not better than the other because we need strong K12 education in order to have successful higher education candidates. Something I will say K12 does do better than Higher Ed is certifications.

While I am not especially fond of the current K12 teacher certification process, I do like that for every type of educational position, whether it is academic, counselling, or leadership, you must acquire training.

Higher education has no such training requirement. If you are an instructor you must obviously show subject matter competency, usually through your degree and sometimes through work experience, and for an academic leader, there is no specific training. Why is that?

A PhD does not necessarily give you the skills needed to be a competent academic leader; plus, more and more, especially in the non-traditional market, a doctorate is not required for a leadership positions anyway. Traditionally, leaders in Higher Ed are chosen by seniority, sometimes they are even chosen by drawing the short straw (true story).

Is this in the best interest of students?

Unless the school that you are working for has a formal leadership training program (most do not), or you are lucky to have good mentors (no guarantee), you are almost on your own in learning how to become an academic leader. There are a few certifications in the process of being created, but it is my belief that there are not enough of them out there; especially in the non-traditional career focused schools (with high veteran populations).

Currently, the ETeam has proposed and is putting together a certification program that will help fill this existing gap. It takes existing tools and materials, makes them accessible, understandable, and applicable to the 21st century challenges faced by leaders in this specialized arena. Most importantly, we are striving to offer this at cost. It is uniquely designed for those working the front lines of this arena of leadership, so it is our belief that all should benefit from it.

Is there truly a need you ask? Ask yourself this instead: what is the turnover for academic leaders in this arena (answer it is high)? Are students being best served by maintaining the status quo? Are employees being best served by maintaining the status quo?

The faculty that are involved in shaping this program are top notch professionals, experienced in military and civilian populations, and have seen the result of the status quo in this arena and are passionate enough to put forth some solutions.
It is time to get off the sidelines and produce solutions where possible!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

There is nothing peaceful about the sound of crickets if you are an employee

The definition of “hearing crickets” is: It means it is so quiet you can hear the crickets. This phrase is often used after someone tells a joke or story to signify that that either no one got it or they just don't care”.

In today’s job market, it is not uncommon it seems, for professionals to hear crickets during the application process or even after an interview: I mean not hearing anything at all until it is obvious they did not get the job. Rude, but it seems more commonplace.

What should never happen though, is an employee of a company, asks a question or three, and all they hear are crickets. While those questions might not seem important to the person being asked, they might be very important to the "asker"; and not to mention that not answering shows a lack of caring and empathy, which leads to employee retention issues.

As a boss, you might not have the answer right away, especially if it is above your pay grade; but you should always take the time to acknowledge that you heard that employee and that you will get back to them as soon as possible. Make sure you do get back to them as well, because false promises add up in all kinds of negative currency.

Recognition of a question, especially a good one, recognition of a consistent job well done, and letting your employees know from time to time that they are appreciated, goes a long way for achieving employee buy in.

Simple tips from an MBA program or leadership certificate,

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

What defines you?

The United States of America loves its labels, it loves its categories, and it loves it so much that everything is determined based upon a category, and people will create a new category for themselves if they feel the existing ones do not fit them.

It is often interesting when you meet someone for the first time and you do not fit into the box they had assigned for you; and by the way that is what categories are, boxes.

What happens if you are not the shape of the box they want to put you in? Do you have to get chiseled into that shape? Why not just get rid of the box?

The danger of categories and labels are that people no longer are communicating with those people outside of their box (or perhaps they never did). We see it in politics with the “Liberal and Conservative” labels, as if that is all you can be. Are we that extreme now?

I refuse to be defined by any label, and I am not in a hurry to jump into any box. This does not mean I do not fit into some categories, or am anti-social; to me it means I strive to be open to so much more than what other peoples’ perceptions tell them.
Let go of your labels, leave your box, be open to being “this first, this second, and this third”; be open to being a human being because the possibilities are endless when you do.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Constitutional facts: this educator would like politicians to focus on important stuff

The President of the United States
There are only a few legal requirements for someone who wants to run for president. Those requirements include: he or she must be a natural born citizen of the U.S., must be at least 35 years old and must have been living in the U.S. for at least 14 years. The reason a candidate must live in the U.S. for 14 years is so that he or she has firsthand knowledge of the issues faced by Americans.
The Constitution makes it clear who is eligible to be a presidential candidate, stating that any person wishing to run must be a natural born citizen. Meaning, immigrants cannot run no matter how many years they have lived in the United States. A person is considered a natural born citizen if he or she is born abroad to American citizens. Only one of the candidate's parents has to be an American citizen for the candidate to also be considered an American citizen and be eligible to run.
Nowhere in the constitution does it define what religion a president should be, or how pious they should be as part of the job.

Separation of church and state

A phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Meaning you can practice whatever religion you want and laws should not be made or influenced based upon a religious belief.

The United States of America is a strong vibrant country, it is not perfect, but it does alright. Why is “fear” a huge part of the political dialogue on both sides of the isle? Why are we not hearing about hope, prosperity, and unification in this political season?

I am not worried about Islamic terrorists, I am not worried about Zika,; I am worried about economic stability and making sure my family is taken care of. I am worried about the perpetuation of the constructed divide between humans (we are all one race), I am worried that the system of inequality that exists for some portions of the population will not be solved because we do not talk with one another. It also bothers me that true epidemics that are costing the lives of thousands of citizens yearly are being ignored.

Politicians, citizens, and human beings: PLEASE STOP AND TAKE A BREATH! Use logic, think, and do not feed into this great machine of hate and vitriol that is our political season.

Believe in America, its laws, applied to all equally; do not believe in the parts that are convenient when it is convenient.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pandemic in the U.S.A?

Coalition Military Fatalities By Year In Afghanistan (

In the last decade alone the number of  people killed by police has reached 5,000

As of 7/14/2016 the number of reported civilians killed by the police is at 586

Number of U.S citizen (that could be tracked) killed in jail 2016  810

Remind me why we are worried about ISIS and not the police? Yes not all police are bad, but the country cried epidemic for Ebola (2), Bird Flu (0), Swine Flu (55), and now Zika (1) and how many actual deaths did we get? Total 57 (forgive me if I am off by a couple).

I am looking at this like researcher; where is the disconnect? Why are we not researching this?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Death of Due Process: the playbook

How to justify killing innocent people: a police playbook

1.      I feared for my life police justification: “The training says that, whenever you use deadly force, you have to be able to justify it. So to justify it, you have to say either I feared for the safety of myself or the safety of the public, and that this person was an extreme danger to either party,”
Also known as Obfuscation:  to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

2.    Character assassination:the act of saying false things about a person usually in order to make the public stop liking or trusting that person
This is what happens to the victims after they are killed.

3.      Due Process: “The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states. These words have as their central promise an assurance that all levels of American government must operate within the law ("legality") and provide fair procedures”.
Nowhere in the constitution does it say you are to be executed for failure to comply with a police order (especially unlawful ones).

4.      4th Ammendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.
This is routinely violated by officers of the law without consequence

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” is not written in the laws anywhere and humans are not animals!

At some point, this country needs to acknowledge there is a racial divide, and that racial divide is based upon poverty. This divide is kept alive and well by so many sheep who fall into line to maintain this divide. There is no gray area; you either believe in the same laws for all or you are a hypocrite, and social media brings to light racial divisions that so much of America has.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

PS, see you at the next murder of Civilians 569 and counting!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Another day another death and soon it will be more of the same

As an educator, I find this kind of situation puzzling, because it is difficult to teach a positive message from this tragedy.

I sit here contemplating the latest police killings of civilian; keep in mind this is just the killings that have been reported, not the extra ones that get swept under the rug. According to “The Counted” (, they are up to 566 killed by police this year of 2016. It will be more by the time I finish writing this.

I sound cynical don’t I? It is hard not to me with what is going on with this country’s law enforcement.

I took out any reference to race and the names of the victims out. Now I want you to imagine if this was your loved one:

“A second video showing the shooting death of, a man shot several times while being held on the ground by police outside a Louisiana convenience store was posted online”.

“As the man’s head slumps backward while he lies dying next to her, the fiancé looks into the camera and explains a Minnesota police officer just shot her fiancé four times”.

Oh, and as usual, the authorities are urging people to be calm and peaceful about this.

Remain calm eh? Why should we?

“Responsibilities of a police officer are varied, and may differ greatly from within one political context to another. Typical duties relate to keeping the peace, law enforcement, protection of people and property and the investigation of crimes”.

People in this country are innocent until proven guilty, and not to mention the fact that it is obvious that the people who have been killed recently, for the most part, were killed under panic by the cops.

Execution is reserved for the most heinous of crimes, after the person has been tried and convicted; we have been watching illegal executions of civilians thanks to to cell phone technology. How do we teach our kids what justice is if we see bad examples daily?

Oh, and before anyone starts on the “black on black crime” nonsense, please stop and realize you are talking with an educated man who can shut down your tirade cold without breaking a sweat. That topic is irrelevant to this discussion.

Yes cops you have a right to get home safe to your families: but guess what? Civilians have that same right, and your job is to help make sure they get home safe to their families.

So tell me: why should the population remain calm about another dead civilian, killed by the hands who swore to protect them?

“No one is an unjust villain in his own mind. Even - perhaps even especially - those who are the worst of us. Some of the cruelest tyrants in history were motivated by noble ideals, or made choices that they would call 'hard but necessary steps' for the good of their nation. We're all the hero of our own story.” 

There are neighborhoods in this country that feel terrorized by the police, they are terrified by the police, and when the stats actually come out (such as Ferguson), you realize they have every right to feel that way because they are being terrorized!

Why is this not considered a state of emergency? Why is there no action on this issue that has killed more people in the U.S than: Zika, bird flu, Ebola swine flu, killer bees, transgendered toilets, gay marriage, combined?

Your people are being killed by those who are supposed to protect them, your people are being killed and there is no accountability, your people are being killed and the people doing the killing often try to blame the person who was killed as if they asked for it!

As teachers, we would have all been fired for doing such a terrible job, and we often are vilified for doing are best to do our job despite often long odds. Law enforcement, you are failing!

So why should we stay silent, but what can we do is the question we need to be able to articulate to our kids?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam