Perspective: Leadership In The Time Of Pandemic

Apr 1, 2020

In a few short weeks COVID-19 has come to grip the nation. Practically overnight we are uncomfortably settling into economic uncertainty, self-quarantining, online education, and accepting social distancing.

All the while, unfortunately, the leadership coming out of Washington is often contradictory, confused, and uncertain. It seems as though the most important message on the mind of the White House is how great of a job Mr. Trump is doing -- a dubious, self-righteous, point-missing affront to the grave urgency of the moment, a moment that grows exponentially more dire daily.

The developments are a desperate recipe for chaos, and it could be chaos if not for the brilliant leadership outside Washington. Case in point: Northern Illinois University president, Dr. Lisa Freeman.

President Freeman has been a rock-solid voice in this tumult. She -- and her team -- has modeled the best of leadership: measured, informed, accurate, flexible and selfless, prescient to the challenges and equity needs of the community. She has kept us consistently informed and made sure that everyone had the necessary resources and supports to move practically all university operations online, a herculean task.

But most importantly, in her written and taped statements you can hear the sincere care and concern she has for all of us. Her leadership makes me proud to be a Huskie.

On behalf of the NIU community, I want to thank President Freeman and her team for their efforts to guide us through this time. They are a model of leadership I wish all of our leaders would aspire to, some more than others.

I am Joseph Flynn and that is my perspective. Please take care everyone. Practice social distancing and keep washing those hands. Forward, together forward.