The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

3 Takeaways From the CUPA-HR Annual Conference

Thank you to all who attended the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo in person and virtually this week! It was wonderful to welcome new and familiar faces, celebrate CUPA-HR’s 75th anniversary, and explore outstanding sessions with so many of you.

For those who weren’t able to attend, here are three conference takeaways you can put to use wherever you are.

  • The Power of Kindness — Opening keynote and host of the Netflix series, “Kindness Diaries,” Leon Logothetis shared some of his experiences travelling the world fueled only by the kindness of strangers. “Kindness,” said Logothetis, “is simply a portal into human connection.” Overwhelmed by all the work to be done to support your institution’s workforce? Logothetis offered this advice: “To change the world, start by changing one life.” Who can you connect with and invest in at your institution? How can you use the power of kindness to make a difference in their life?
  • Birds and Frogs — Tuesday’s keynote speaker, David Epstein, spoke about the data supporting the value of generalists in a world increasingly focused on specialization. During his presentation, he offered an insightful message on how organizations can adapt successfully to change. Epstein used the example of birds and frogs; frogs are down on the ground, seeing all the granular details while the birds soaring above have a broader view of the big picture. Epstein asserted that we need both of these types of people to enhance our campus “ecosystems,” and should actively seek them out.
  • Ubuntu: I am because we are — Shola Richards topped off the conference with his energetic and inspiring message about the African concept of Ubuntu, which means “I am because we are.” Richards encouraged HR pros to use the spirit of Ubuntu in our various units and teams back on campus and to recognize that we will go a lot farther together than we will if we go alone no matter how small we feel (“be the mosquito, tiny but impossible to ignore”) or how difficult the situation (“be the buffalo, and run toward the storm”).

We can’t wait to hear about the projects, initiatives, conversations and connections sparked by this year’s conference. Be sure to save the dates for our Virtual Spring Conference, April 19-21, and our 2022 Annual Conference, taking place October 22-24 in San Diego! Registration details coming soon.


The CUPA-HR office will be closed Fridays through August 19.