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tv   Q A  CSPAN  February 13, 2011 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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>> this week on "q&a," our guest is the president of southern methodist university, gerald turner. it will be at the site of the george w. bush presidential library is scheduled to open in 2013. dr. gerald turner, president of southern massive list -- southern methodist university. do you have a slogan truth will set you free? >> that was the model identified at the opening of the school when it was founded. that is the motto. >> what does it mean to you? >> it means the truth will set you free. the basic goal of the institution is to try to find
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the truth, whether that is in teaching or the human experiences. also, baycol is to find what is really there. >> -- the goal is to find what is really there. >> the toughest part of being a president -- when people say what is your job description? i say it is a coordination of incompatible forces. that is pretty much the case. if you are in business you have one basic goal. that is to make it quarter to quarter. you can be pretty focused about it. whereas here we have so many governments. the truth cell -- shall set you free, you have to get the best people you can get who can learn what we do know past and present, so the constituency you
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have have incompatible goals and you have to plow through trying to get as much support as possible towards a vision and toward an image that there are different ways of approaching things can aligned behind and energized. the complexity of the university president's job is something that's where is a lot of people out. -- wears a lot of people out. no two days are the same. you have to keep ahead of the pack. the variety of it, the complexity of it is what makes it difficult. they also make it enjoyable in some way. >> how many students? >> we have about 11,000 students total. we keep the undergraduate enrollment at 6200. stable.
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4800 are professional and graduate. we have 1,401st year students and 300 transfer. the undergraduates -- our goal is from half to be from texas and half out of state. the half from out of state, california is always first and florida second. then it georgia and tennessee, connecticut. the top 10 states don't vary a whole lot. >> the southern methodist university -- how important is the methodist part? >> the methodist heritage we have we put up front in our statement. the only person on campus that has to be met this is the dean of the school of theology. there is a lot of variation here. there are a lot of people that
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are not christian, but it gives us a sense of direction. one of the things i like the most about it is it is still a place where all variations towards truth are viable. the spiritual dimension still has its place in a conversation. it is just not mandatory were hoisted upon anyone. it is a part of the dialogue. i think a school like smu that has a tradition of academic freedom -- the spiritual dimension of our existence is something that could be discussed. gives it a much broader perspective than if it is purely secular were strongly religious. >> you started in a community college where you got an
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associate degree? explained that, because so many people are starting with community college. where did you start? >> i got farme dout. -- farmed out. i was from texas-northeast texas. if you were very good at all there were opportunities for you. i grew up reading the "dallas morning news." i loved basketball and wanted to play here but was not that good. abilene christian was recruiting me and talking with me. they had a very good point guard. they decided i needed to become a guard. they literally said why don't you go to this two year school which i didn't know existed.
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go up there and we will bring you back here after this other guy graduates. >> i went up there to play basketball and tore my knee to where i could not continue but i went back on an academic scholarship because i maintain that focus. >> where did you go next? >> then i went to austin and get my master's and phd. whenever we are recruiting community college -- that is 300 transfer students each year. 170 of them are local. they are older than our traditional students. than add a lot to our upper division classes. when i got here we set up a number of articulation agreements and created a scholarship program to where we give 10 full tuition scholarships to the local
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community colleges. there is a lot of competition for those. it has helped solidify the opportunity. people know the value of education over the country. those tend sponsor are important. they are important because i know i can communicate to these students that they are welcomed here. i know the transfer issues they might have. >> you got a phd in psychology. where did you get your interest in psychology? >> i was majoring in math and looking for something to put it with. i knew i wanted to teach at a university. i am in the family business. i just started taking some psychology courses and it made a
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lot of sense, especially when you look at how statistically based the findings are. even though my graduate degree i took 18 cloris -- 18 hours of graduate statistics. it was a way i could utilize another ability i knew i had. >> what is the difference -- what year did you get out of undergrad? >> 1968. >> what is a difference for a person graduating in 1968 and today? >> the competition is a lot stiffer in terms of admissions and various programs. the costs are greater than they were because the state's schools were providing the predominance of operations for
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universities. there is a greater hunger for the college graduate. i think it is harder to be a young person then it was today. we have more things to burden you. you have more drug and alcohol pressures on you. when we were growing up it was to have a few years and now the plethora of options pushed on these kids is enormous. it was easier growing up when i was growing up. >> if we saw you talking about the drug and alcohol students with your staff, what would you be talking about? >> we had a task force on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. we came out with a report in 2008 we have been trying to implement. that will be working with local
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bars to make them utilize our -- every kid in america who is 18 can prove he is 21 with these fake id's. working with the students to try to help identify how is it we can encourage activities that are alcohol-free and how do you teach 21-year-old is responsible drinking? what is our disciplinary program regarding drugs? we have a big counseling center to help students but you have to be pretty and tolerant of this. it can catch on and one thing leads to another. every campus is deeply concerned about alcohol and drug abuse. some of it is created on our campuses but we don't know -- it
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is amazing how many kids bring problems to you. you hear about of use starting in junior high. the challenges are enormous. that is one of the biggest challenges facing our country. that is how we maintain a healthy lifestyle and get kids to have the judgment to say no and use things that are illegal with moderation. >> what is worse, the drugs or the alcohol? >> the drugs are worse in terms of how damaging their affects would be. alcohol is more pervasive but once kids get hooked on cocaine or any of the other addictive drugs really have a hard time. fortunately we don't have a lot of bad but we have a lot more than we went to experience.
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>> you started out where after you got your phd? >> i started out at pepperdine. it has historical bitches in a -- basis in the church of christ. -- it has historical basis in the church of christ. it has that religious tradition. ben to oklahoma. i was at pepperdine for four years. the president eventually hired me to be his chief of staff. i served a term as interim provost and then served there for five years. >> how long were you at old miss? >> 11 years. >> what is the big difference? how do they differ? >> when i moved back here i had
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a lot of people ask me what is the difference? i told them two-thirds are the same. you are still hiring the best faculty you can but the 25% that is different is really refreshing. i felt like i had been repotted. there is the pressure of raising the money. there was always this fighting back and forth with competition with other institutions that made it difficult. i just very much like having the ability to say we are private institutions and don't do that, or we want to go in this direction and if we can get someone to fund if you can bring it about. this has happened over and over.
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a company will say we need to have our employees have access to a program in x that does z. we can go to our engineering program and they can get it off the blocks within six months. whereas a state school would require two years. oftentimes local state schools will add that on. businesses find that is very helpful. i just like that that you can have. >> when you walk around this campus uc a brand new football stadium, arts center, the names of a lot of different people. i gather that is money. why do people give lots of money? what is the biggest contributor
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you have ever had? >> people give to higher education because they want to be proactive. if you look at it, the two things that have endorsed our universities and churches. you look at governments that turned over. the universities are 1000 years old and churches are older than that. those are at the core. you feel that if you are giving to a university you are helping younger people and injuring the best of civilization gets to go forward. people often have strong ties to the ground they went to school on. we have a tremendous dedication to -- people really get tied to
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it and want to be a part of it. but 40% of the donors were people who believe in me university and what its role is. i push very much for people putting their names on things, because if your alumni are not willing to put their name out on the institution with the new, then what do you say about that? it is affirming to a university when one of its stellar alumns will put their name forward and help to build a building. all of that works together because the private school is the sum of its alumni and supporters.
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if it loses credibility with this people then there is no reason for it to exist. >> who is your biggest contributor? >> the biggest numbers are for the 50 million range. we have not had $100 million donor but i am looking for that. >> can people give to this university anonymously? >> yes. >> we have a number of shares that are anonymous. sometimes the person will designate someone whose name might be on that. we have a donor designate a faculty member that was retiring. he honored that faculty member because he had meant so much to him. they're all kinds of ways to do it, but it is always nice
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someone will sign on with you and say we are in this together. >> over $1 billion in your endowment? >> it was 1 billion before the recession hit. we are in the 50's in terms of size of the endowment. smu did not get into raising money until after the 1970 pus. our endowment in 1971 was $70 million. this means it is restricting. people in the late 1960's started restricting their gifts. before that time the older endowments' like harvard had a huge parts that are unrestricted.
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whereas for a school like us, the endowment is very lou -- very new. a couple weeks ago we did a program with george w. bush sitting in that chair. laura bush is on your report? >> -- laura bush is on your board? >> ray hunt is a famous texas named. who does sarah were lake? >> she is an alumni. she is married to ross perot, jr.. sarah is an alumnus so we are very pleased to have them a part of the family. >> how big is your board? >> it is 42. they had a number of official members. they had a voting student that
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boats for everyone else. we have three bishops of the united methodist church on the board. it turns over every four years. there is a term limit of three- year terms. there can be exceptions but -- 42 is a good size. it obviously has to govern the university andy encourage others to be a part of it. >> go back to the first moment he thought about trying to get george bush to bring his library here on this campus? >> the first time i set it at -- -action when he said we were running. we did not do anything until after the florida vote. after that vote i walked in to my director of executive affairs
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and said what do you know about presidential library? he said i don't know anything about presidential library. we are going to become an expert. he has been to most of them. we started working toward it. it was a very competitive situation because there were a lot of institutions that had claims they could make for why it should be there. >> i noticed just reading about the bush library on this campus you appeared to have a lot of academic negative reactions to it. >> there was a group of faculty that did have concerns about it. this is a university. anything important will have a lot of dialogue. we did but the faculty as a whole, we are always behind its
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but there were some legitimate questions faculty members asked. we started our effort in 2001. in 2008 when we were identified as a recipient, that left a good bit of time for different things to be debated. you had differences of opinion. i think most of them were resolved. the campus was delighted to have the center over there. >> they ran into the same problem at stanford. there are other instances like that. i have heard conservatives say this has been nothing more than left-wing academics who don't want anything from george bush on any campus. what would you say?
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>> having different points of view on a campus ultimately -- the idea is there are different directions towards trying to understand what is the truth, so you need different points of view. people ask why was i convinced this was the right thing? a large part of that came from conversations with the president about what they wanted, but while i was in graduate school they announce the library would be there. that was enormously controversial. this was the late 1960's. now if you try to remove the lbj
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library you would have demonstrations. that experience really taught me that the value of presidential library, if it had something that goes far and is not just a mausoleum, but as something that moves it forward like the institute here will, they are worth working toward because it was a tough time in austin when that was announced. there are a number of faculty here at graduate school at that time. they could verify that was the case. that made me feel like if it were set up appropriately it would have continuing value to the university and greater texas area over time. now there is a constellation of presidential libraries here with
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clinton and bush 41 within driving distance. >> how much money did you have to raise for this project? >> there was not any set amount by a part of our proposal would be it would be important for those advising the president to know there was a lot of support. we had 20 individuals who said they would do $1 million. i had been a part of the fund- raising efforts so i can assure you those associated with smu had given more than $20 million. it is a very significant part of the contributions but they also come from all over the country. not only did smu people contribute, but a lot of people who never gave anything are helping to build something. >> once that opens in 2013 how
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much of its do you own and how much does the foundation upon? >> the foundation owns the facility. it is a working arrangement between the university and the bush foundation. nara will run the library and museum. we have leased them the land, so we will have all lot of programs with the institute. we will have a lot of students working there, but we also want to have appointments for people who have appointments in the bush institute. if the faculty has voted them to have an appointment -- i think those things going back and forth all can help invigorate a number of areas of the
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university and add to the dynamism of the library center. >> go back to 1995 when you came in. why did you leave old miss? >> i have always had a sense of like to be at smu. i had four sets of aunts and uncles in dallas. so when the opportunity presented itself, it was of very much interest to me. smu was at a point where i felt like they were set with what they needed and ken was my predecessor. i knew what he had done to stabilize the institution and create a great foundation. he did not enjoy the external aspects of a presidency. the daily work of running the
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institution is always there but i enjoy getting out and trying to make people believe in the vision. >> you served on a number of corporate boards. you are also co-chairman of the commission. are you still involved in the ncaa? >> not directly with them. i am on the nc -- >> go back to the knight commission. what is it? >> it was set up to address some of the major problems facing intercollegiate athletics. i went on in 1990 and have been with it ever since. it surrounds the idea that as a part of the campus community they should play its proper role.
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there was a concern academics were not being emphasized enough, issues of student welfare and so on, but there were the beginnings of the commercialism that is rampant throughout. there needed to be some voice outside the ncaa trying to address these things. but every time we have gone dormant for a while, the demand of our colleagues brings us back into operation. it is just one of those things you do because we have the unusual circumstance of having an athletic programs associated with our universities. when the first yacht races started that got everything under way. >> what did you take to the
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commission and what are the things you might have something to say -- different documents they have released? >> the first one has been the foundation. the presidential control in relation to economic security and financial -- the whole issue at that time was a new presidents have the authority to run their programs because they would simply take over the athletic program. there were a lot of private foundations that raised the money and were not a part of the university. athletics was operating on a parallel track. they ought to be a part of the university. that has been the effort. i chaired an effort to have
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spears review the operational program. there would be a certification every so often of athletic programs to try to bring more light into how things were operating and to build some trust across institutions. we pass that on the night commission. the ncaa asked if i would share the commission. for five years -- worked for two years creating certification. then i chaired the first federation of all 306 schools. in between that time and now that has been efforts towards a academic reform. i feel good that student athletes are being required to
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take courses that gives them a chance to get a college degree. the high schools have to furnish real courses but before there were not any standards. kids were arriving without a chance to get a college degree. there have been a lot of things that have been for the benefit of student athletes, but the infatuation of americans with sports and the fact that it television network use us as product has increased the demand. >> you have been criticized for the money you spend on a football program. you are paying as much as $2 million a year? >> if you take everything together -- they are running up
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now to four to five. we did an analysis with a group of individuals on the board and the amount of money we were losing four a year that were not competitive -- why didn't we try to get someone? each year we made a change we would hire an assistant in the hope they would move up to the next level. you can be right some and wrong a lot. we decided to hire one that had some experience under his belt. that group of individuals agreed to furnish that outside of what they normally do to try to see if over time ticket sales would make up the difference. during this last three years the
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operational deficit of the program has gone down on $3 million. so far it has worked like we expected. >> at many colleges the coach of the football team makes more money than the president of the school. is that a good trend? >> it reflects the market. in medical schools you will find faculty members there that make multiples of what the president of the institution makes. as athletics gets more commercialized and reflects more of the market, that continues. so far the other sports have not gone up to that level but you see signs of it in baseball and you wonder how long it will be
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before you see huge salaries in baseball because more contracts are being signed. this is something presidents are beginning to discuss a lot. >> what was your experience as to how many colleges make money off of athletics? >> within the last five years there are 120 football bowl subdivisions. 7 have broken even or make money each of the last five years. last year 14 broke even or make money. what you see is a small number of schools driving everyone. in their conference uc very few schools are driving the rest.
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many are having a hard time keeping up. i don't know where this is headed but i know it is taking more time. the emphasis within academic communities with alumni and friends does not seem to be waning. >> when you sit in your office how often do you go, i am squeezed here between the alums who want a good football teams and academics who could care less? what is the worst part of that situation? >> every president knows there is two sides. it is an important aspect of the job in terms of being able to moderate those incompatible
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forces and coordinate them in ways that are constructive. i am fortunate there are many people that are supportive of the institution and are giving scholarships that don't care that much about the athletic program. there are people that do care about it. the idea is to keep all three groups supportive of where the institution is going forward. if you look at the average sat's, we have been able to do that. >> you have a daughter that is a soprano. >> i do. >> how did that happen? >> that is a debate gail and i constantly have. our daughter angela is an opera singer and is a very good one.
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i have in my family some musical talent. i have a cousin that was an opera singer. gail's mother has some musical talent. we think it all aligned locally behind her. our daughter that does a lot of stage acting -- she has been on stage most of her life. i became chancellor at old miss when she was 7. both of them are very talented and we are very proud of them. some of our great choice are watching them perform. >> is there any part of this job you don't like? >> there are parts i would rather do than others, but every day i would like to get to work.
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it is not like a john, it is -- it is not like a job, it is a way of life. i am always the president. if i go out you see people. one time my younger daughter when she was eight, gail said where are we going on vacation? she said let's go someplace where no one knows daddy. it is always there. you do need a break from ed, but if you are not energized you are not in the right business. there is not one particular thing i dislike that colors the job in the way i don't get up every morning ready to do it. >> of should one determine if they should have a college degree? >> if a person has a skill that
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is a high level and that can be in electronics or carpentry, or painting, i think education is there to always augment whatever skills one has. i think there are trades in which a person could make a good living and not go to college, but unless they read a lot they will miss the richness of the human experience. i think the ability to deal with the vicissitudes of life are increased by one going to college because you get different perspectives. there is nothing new under the sun, only history you don't know. i don't think college is
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necessary for everyone, but i think for most people that want a greater sense of weadership opportunities we have are just enormous. i know more schools have added that on, but when smu started in 1988 there was not a voting student on the board itself. those kinds of opportunities are fairly unique for smu. >> if i used the words death penalty, what does that mean to you? >> that occurs with our football ingram in the late a.d.'s -- the late 1980's within a period of time the membership was deserving of it. it means we could not compete
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with an intercollegiate football that year. the institution decided to add another year to it to get everything organists. that had a very detrimental affect on the athletic program. we're just now coming out of it. some positive things that did come out was the fact that the board was restructured to where it is a model structure. it allowed the institution to reveal itself and hit the start button all over again which you usually don't get a chance to do. there have to be easier ways to do that than what we had to go through. that happened in 1986-1988. >> has that happened to any other school? >> it has not. just seeing the effect on smu
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has made the membership were reluctant to do that. ours was compounded by the fact the southwest conference dissolved. all these schools in texas had been together forever. when that fell apart and the a number of us were not moved into the big 12, that created a series of memberships that our alumni and did not know. so we were not playing texas and so on. the effect of the death penalty was the accentuated by the fact that the conference dissolved. people attribute this to the death penalty but that is not true. >> as you are co-chairman and
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look around this country, our most schools honest? >> schools are a lot more honest than they used to be. presidents are really trying to be. most coaches and athletic directors don't want that. there are probably exceptions that occur that sometimes you break rules when you are not aware you have. i think usually where there are blatant violations, there are external forces doing something they should not do. to the extent to which institution knows it is what is pertinent. for smu, when i got here because we have a reassessment there was such a readiness to move out
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and be assertive. all these new facilities uc, the fact that we have added 50 acres and our scholarship profile is going out, all or a result of people saying it is time to get going again. the great things we have had-the last 15 years have their foundation-that negative aspect to try to overcome it. i have had many instances -- i stand on kens' shoulders and many others about this positive aero we are in came out of some difficult years. >> i want to come to smu. what does mine sat have to be?
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>> somewhere between 1250-1260. it was 114010 years ago. the number of students that will apply this year will be three times that. it will be around 13,000. each year the average is going up somewhere between 6 to 10 points. our goal is to be at 1300 by 2015, and not to lose the entrepreneur real character our students have. that is a challenge because we don't want people who want to be in labs and stay therer. want people with interpersonal skills in these along. you would need 3.6-3.7 in our
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core, and over 1250 if you wanted early admissions. >> i know they added 800 points at some points with the writing. do you use that on the s.a.t.? >> i am basically talking about the verbal and quantitative. if you put the other part on it you would need 1900. >> you are talking about a 1600. score. i don't qualify for any aid. how much do i pay? >> the tuition this year was about $37,000. room and board would have been about 49. next year we will be at 52. 70% of our kids get financial aid. for students that have a lot of ability, is a way to go.
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>> that will cost me $45,000? >> it will be about $42.5000. -- $42,500. >> if you add those of you will be over $50,000. >> you still have three times the number of people you can bring-that are willing to pay that? >> we will have about 13,000 applications for 1400 spots. >> if you were in charge of the leader skip -- leadership school for future university presidents the hours you keep. what are some of the things you tell someone on being a president of a school? >> very few that are president's
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intended to be. you came into it because you had some ideas you wanted to implement and saw you could have a greater impact doing that. you have to be able to work with individuals. you cannot have a hot temper. you have to be able to moderate yourself as you try to moderate the forces coming in. you have to be able to see down the road. you have to know if i do x, y is going to occur. that comes from experience, so you have to have some leadership experience. it also comes from having a good sense of yourself, because if you don't know yourself pretty well, then you will get yourself in a lot of trouble.
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i think the experiences of working with people, nothing train scene like that. i tell students if they are president of no matter what and are in charge of motivating individuals and seeing that plans are implemented, that is incredible experience. it is a matter of what the goal is. i urge them to get experience and learn to talk, to take this speech classes. to always be willing to volunteer to do things that our leadership-oriented. i tell them to get to know themselves. they cannot be impulsive and have to have a good sense of themselves before they can try to provide leadership for others. >> what about generating money for the university?
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>> it is having a vision that other people will share with you, and that you provide ways that empower them to implement that vision. hours used to be within the top 50 organizations in this state. to be among those when people are talking about the top private schools in the u.s., we are not harvard or yale but we want to be in that next group. we are only 100-years old, so we are still getting started. but they have to have a sense what the institution does is important and they can have an important role in it. once they see what they can do fits in with that vision, and they will help.
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if it is not moving forward and improving, it will not want to be a part. it requires a vision they can buy into and support, and knowing there will be follow-up. that this will occur and it is not just based upon this particular year. the image and commitment is bigger. that is where your board comes in. >> what percentage of college freshmen are pac? >> that figure is going down. president.re there are still not as many master's levels. there are many phd's and some variations on different doctoral
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degrees. you are seeing more lawyers become university presidents and what used to. it does not have the independent research level a phd does. >> if you had to start over again and choose another profession, what would it be? >> i don't have any idea. i wanted to be an academic. my dad was a junior high principle and my mother taught 4th to 8th grade, so in a real way i am in the family business. i always wanted to be a part of working with young people. even when i was one, so i have never considered -- i have never been on a company board where i thought i would rather be president of that company then what i am doing. i never found anything i would
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rather do. >> what are those three boards you are on? >> j.c. penney and -- >>dr. gerald turner, i think you very much. >> it has been my pleasure. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> for a dvd copy, ca;;ll -- for free transcript's visit us at q &a.org. "q&a"programs are also available as c-span podcast. >> tomorrow, a couple of briefings on the president's 2012 budget proposal.
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budget director will present the request for the office of management and budget. he is joined by the chairman of the president's council of economic advisers. that is live at 12:15 p.m. eastern. on c-span3, robert gates will talk to reporters live at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> the patriot act passed after the 9/11 attacks made it easier to conduct surveillance on terrorism suspects. the provisions of the bill ending, chris are trying to review provisions. follow the history of the b ill on line where you can track the transcripts of every session and find full video archives for every video archives c-span.org. >> we are all waiting for his big idea.
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we have got it. we got a big idea. labor has published their new ideas. the tree was shot down and there is nothing in it. we all knew we wanted a blank page but no one thought -- what are his plans? what are his great ideas? he has not got a single idea for making this country a better place. why doesn't he worked out how we could build a better society? >> now from london, prime minister questions from the british house of commons. they were cameron defended his government's state society program which she says gives powers back to local communities. the opposition leader argued the government's public spending cuts would hurt volunteer efforts. later, members asked the prime
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canister -- prime minister on a supporting people and giving prisoners the right to vote. >> questions for the prime minister. >> thank you. i am sure the house will wish to join me in paying tribute. indeed warrant officer from the third battalion who died on saturday. they were both highly respected soldiers who served with utmost dedication. they will be missed by their colleagues and all who knew them. our deepest sympathy should be with their family and friends. this morning
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life in afghanistan. training establishments in my constituency, such as the sennybridge ranges and the infantry battle school, have built up very good relationships between the community and the military, which are ongoing and strengthening.uk universities have a worldwide reputation for teaching and research. many foreign students wish to attend those universities, and they are important not least because of the 5 billion pounds that they contribute to the national economy. many universities are very concerned that government proposals -- >> order. a short, sharp question, please. >> can the prime minister give an assurance to the universities that any proposals will not discourage the recruitment of genuine students? >> the honorable gentleman makes an extremely good point. our universities in this country are world-class, and we want students from around the world to come to those universities to study, not just for the contribution that they bring financially but because of the links they will make between our country and their country in
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years to come. i can tell the honorable gentleman that we are not currently looking at limits on tier 4 immigration visas, but i make this point to anybody who is concerned about the issue. i profoundly believe that we can have excellent universities, open to foreign students, and control immigration at the same time. the reason i am so confident is that last year there were about 91,000 students who did not go to the trusted universities but went to other colleges -- some 600 colleges. i am sure that the extent of the abuse is very great, and if we crack down on that abuse we can make sure that there are many students coming to our excellent universities. >> i join the prime minister in paying tribute to ranger david dalzell, from 1st battalion the royal irish regiment, and warrant officer class 2 colin beckett, from 3rd battalion the parachute regiment. we should all remember both men for their heroism, their dedication and their sacrifice, and our deep condolences go to their family and friends. their family and friends.
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