Better ME Better WE Consulting
Eric Guthrie, Esq., President & CEO, Better ME Better WE provides consulting and domestic and international training on: diversity, human resources, and ethical issues, and methods to market products and services to the diversity community. We also custom design web-based and classroom trainings to address the training needs of any organization.
Eric started BetterMEBetterWE in 2008 when he saw a need for top shelf diversity consulting. So he brought BetterMEBetterME into being.
Eric has conducted trainings and motivational speaking throughout the United States, Canada, Thailand and Japan.
As Eric moved up the corporate and government ladder occupying executive positions in two Fortune 500 companies, he realized he had a passion to create and deliver trainings. Eric has now trained hundreds of supervisors, employees, and managers on diversity, legal issues, ethics and management skills. Eric’s public speaking style is exciting, passionate, objective and results orientated.
BetterMEBetterWE has sponsors and many writers that share Eric’s passion to educate the community. Eric has paired his exciting public speaking with BetterMEBetterWE to improve the lives of African Americans and Latinos one heartbeat, dollar, relationship and mind at a time.
Eric is available for public speaking events, trainings, workshops and interviews. Eric is looking forward to talking to improving your company’s management skills, ethical standards, diversity and motivating your employees, volunteers, students, or community.
Born and raised in New York, as a youth Eric had a passion for musical instruments and sports. After High School, Eric attended Morehouse College where he studied Biology/Pre-Medicine. During his tenure at Morehouse, Eric became involved in community affairs and politics and became the President of the Georgia College Democrats. He worked on various political campaigns and it was during these years of community service that Eric gained a passion for the law. Although Eric graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 1988, Eric decided not to attend medical school and pursued a legal career. Eric was admitted to Columbia Law School in 1989.
During Eric’s years at Columbia, he continued his community involvement. Eric also served a Judicial Clerk for Judge Bruce McMann. Wright, author of the well know book Black Robes White Justice. Eric graduated from Columbia Law in 1992. Unlike most of his classmates, Eric decided to enter into public service and served as a District Attorney for Kings County in New York. After his service, Eric relocated to Hartford, CT where Eric started his legal career as an Employment and Labor Attorney for the State of Connecticut.
Higher Education Must Diversify or Die: The Critical Diversity Connection Between Diversity Faculty, Student Safety, and Alumni Fundraising
Recruiting and retaining diverse college students, in an increasingly diverse United States, has become an important factor to maintain or increase profitability in colleges and universities. Statistics show diversity in the student population in the U.S. has been steadily increasing and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. Statistics also show an increase in diversity in high schools, a feeder pool for higher education. Unfortunately, an analysis of relevant statistics also shows a vast gap in diversity in the student population as compared to diversity in full time faculty positions. This article will address the business case for decreasing that gap from a diversity and inclusion perspective. In particular, it will address the potential impact on the learning environment of the diverse students, as well as the bottom line of the college or university.
According to the Projection of Education Statistics to 2023 published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), increasing numbers and percentages of Black and Hispanic students are attending college. Between 2000 and 2014, the percentage of Black college students increased from 11.7 to 14.5 percent, and the percentage of Hispanic students increased from 9.9 to 16.5 percent (Digest of Education Statistics). Also, the percentage of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college increased from 21.7 percent in 2000 to 34.7 percent in 2014; the
percentage of Black 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled did not change measurably during this period (Digest of Education Statistics). These increases also reflect the increase in diversity in the U.S.
How do these diversity statistics relate to the business case? In recent Morehouse College Alumni meetings, Morehouse executives advocated an evolved business case for Morehouse where the Morehouse education is the “product”, the students are the “consumers”, and the family are the “clients”. While, of course, institutes of higher learning are businesses, I was encouraged to see my alma mater adopt the “product”, “consumer”, “client” paradigm. It is truly an enlightened approach. However, in this higher education business model, one must understand that “education” is more than just textbooks and lectures: it is preparing student consumers as professionals in an increasingly diverse world. This “product”, “consumer”, and “client” paradigm will be consistently emphasized throughout this article as “professors” will be referred to as “professor providers” and “students” will be referred to as “student consumers”.
Product Familiarity and Loyalty Leads to Product Profitability
Once a consumer identifies with a product, it is common knowledge they are very faithful to that product. The same argument also applies to higher education - from the academic years, to alumni engagement and donation. The question becomes how to create product familiarity and loyalty during those college years to create product profitability in alumni donations.
According to the NCES, in fall 2013, among full-time professors, 58 percent were White males, 26 percent were White females, 2 percent were Black males, 1 percent were Black females, 2 percent were Hispanic males, 1 percent were Hispanic females, 7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males, and 2 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females. Making up less than 1 percent each were professors who were American Indian/Alaska Native or individuals of two or more races.
A side by side comparison displays the gap in the ratio of diverse students to diverse faculty based on race:
- 14.5% of college students are black and, among full time professors, only 3% are Black males and 1% are black females.
- 16.5% of college students are Hispanic; among full time professors, 2% are Hispanic males and 1% are Hispanic females.
These statistics do not account for the various professorial tracks including: “part-time”, “visiting professor” or “adjunct professor” mainly because these professorial tracks are typically non-tenured and temporary in nature; thus failing to fill the tenure gap of a full time professor provider. The gap between diverse professor provider and diverse student consumer is extreme; but this gap is also illustrative of a larger systems-wide issue in providing this product called “education” to the student consumers.
Evolve and Succeed
The end of most chapters in Diversify or Die contain an “Evolve or Succeed” section. This section asks important questions to reinforce in the reader’s understanding the particular diversity discussion in each chapter as more than theory: They have real time applicability. The same approach applies for this article. In order for an institute of higher learning to evolve and succeed, the following questions should be honestly considered. If there is any doubt as to the true relevance of these questions, one need only ask a diverse professor provider or student consumer.
- What is your ratio of diverse student consumers to diverse professor providers?
- Do diverse students consumers feel their education would be more fulfilling if they had a higher representation of diverse professors providers in tenured positions.
- Have issues with racism or discrimination on your campus? If so, what is your action plan to address these unfortunate and mission-critical issues?
The answer to these questions will start the diversity evolutionary process for your institute of higher learning by producing a better education product for the for all consumer students. This is the path for an institute of higher learning to evolve and succeed.
Eric Guthrie, Esq. is the President & CEO of Better ME Better WE, LLC and the author of: Diversify or Die. Diversity. Inclusion. Evolution. Success.