Equality & excellence; conflict & creativity @ Guilford College

Guilford College Art Gallery

Guilford College Art Gallery

Connecticut-based governing-board consultant and author, Dr. Martha Summerville, observes that tension between values stimulates creativity. She is commenting on an earlier post here questioning how Guilford College can hold both excellence and equality at the same time as fundamental values. Is this tension (between excellence and equality) and the resulting creativity, at the heart of what sets Guilford College apart?

Martha is a Guilford graduate and trustee. Tensions like this, she says, can stimulate creativity, but they can also generate conflict. This puts me in mind of long time Guilford trustee Martin Eakes’ frequent comment that, in group deliberations, creativity is the product of conflict. Martin loves to see conflict in board deliberations.

Guilford College and its board have some of all that. Simultaneous commitments to equality and to excellence are at the center of it. And I believe that the source is in the essential Quaker insights there is that of God in every person; and revelation is continuing.

How much tension is that?

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