NECPA Award Winner Spotlight – Corey Olsen

Champion of Equity and Inclusion Award Winner – Corey Olsen

What do you love most about working at Signum University?

I love the opportunity to help establish new systems that treat employees more fairly and generously.  Starting up a university from scratch has been a ridiculous amount of work, but the opportunity to establish some completely new working systems that leave behind many of the traditional injustices and imbalances common to higher education has been a wonderful compensation for all the headaches!

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?

I began my higher education journey as a teacher, and it is still classroom teaching and interacting with students that I love best.  I was inspired to become an entrepreneur and a leader of my own institution by the desire to seize the opportunity to crack some of the biggest problems in the industry: the student debt problem, the inflationary growth of university administration, and the routine exploitation of faculty and staff.  Hitting the reset button has been challenging, but fun, and very rewarding.

What advice would you offer to new professionals who are starting their first professional position?

My advice to a new professional would be to be willing to think outside the box and to question the established traditions of higher education.  The existing power structure of your institution may or may not encourage this, but Change is coming to our industry, and you owe it to yourself to be thinking forwards and preparing to find your way among the changes that are beginning.

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