Academic Leadership

A Conversation With Anant Agarwal, President of the edX Project

In May, MIT and Harvard announced a $60 million joint venture, called edX, to develop an open-source platform to deliver online courses. The descendant of MIT’s OpenCourseWare project that made the institution’s course materials freely available, edX offers significant improvements. For one thing, unlike OCW, edX will host full MITx and Harvardx faculty-led courses, with certificates of mastery at completion. In July, edX announced the addition of UC Berkeley to the project, and the formation of the X-University Consortium.

People Watch

James Maguire, former associate vice president for Campus Planning and Facilities at Boise State University (Idaho), is now vice chancellor for Administrative Services and chief architect for the University of North Texas System. He began his duties, which include overseeing the system’s design and staff members and collaborating with campus presidents and their senior staff, on July 30. He also previously served as director of Capital Program Implementation for the University of California System and an architect in private practice.

The Changing Face of the CIO

Once charged with fixing computers and not much else, today’s technology leaders have become part of institutions’ strategic elite.

Not long after Pennie Turgeon came to Clark University (Mass.) as its vice president for information technology and chief information officer, one of the university’s functional units undertook a project with a significant technology component to it. Despite the expertise of Turgeon’s team, the other unit saw Information Technology Services as little more than tactical lackeys.

“IT,” Turgeon recalls, “was viewed as the plug-and-chug monkeys.”

Big Ideas: The Administrator's Bookshelf

Advocating for change in higher education

If you want a comprehensive view of the world of higher education, look no further than your local bookstore. Every month sees a wave of releases by administrators, scholars, analysts, and more focusing on the current state—good and bad—of higher education. We’ve chosen to highlight here some of the more interesting titles that have arrived at our offices. You’ll probably notice a common thread of thought among them. All the books below advocate dramatic changes to the very nature of higher education, and in many cases, they don’t just suggest change, they demand it.

Nation’s First School of Philanthropy Slated for Indiana

Indiana University sees an opportunity to capitalize on the growing market for nonprofit workers with a formal School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Officials say nonprofits already account for 9 percent of U.S. wages and salaries, and are expected to grow as government and corporation philanthropy declines.

According to one recent study, nonprofit organizations with revenues of more than $250,000 will hire up to 640,000 more executives by 2016.

People Watch

Indiana Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. will put his two terms’ worth of experience as Indiana’s 49th governor to use as president of Purdue University (Ind.) beginning in January. He will be its 12th president, succeeding France A. Córdova, who stepped down July 15. Daniels was elected governor in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 with the largest number of votes ever recorded by any candidate for public office in state history.

J. Michael Adams, president of Fairleigh Dickinson University (N.J.) since 1999, has retired, effective June 30.

U.Va.'s Sullivan Reinstated

Process and decision to serve as lessons for other institutions

In the two weeks between University of Virginia board members controversially asking Teresa A. Sullivan to resign her position of president on June 10 and her reinstatement on June 26, the university faced donors pulling out and an outpouring of public support for Sullivan.

Sullivan, who began her term on Aug. 1, 2010 after she was unanimously elected by the Board of Visitors in January of that year, was fired on June 10 for reasons that have largely not been made public.

An Avoidable Crisis

Reflections on the University of Virginia situation

Relative calm now reigns at the University of Virginia after Helen Dragas, chairwoman of U.Va.’s Board of Visitors, tried to engineer dismissal of Theresa Sullivan, the university’s popular president. Now, Sullivan has retained her job, and Gov. Bob McDonnell has reappointed Dragas as Rector for a second term. Rector and president have made a public show of unity. The U.Va. drama involved poor governance practices that resulted in an entirely avoidable crisis.

On the Move

Mel Shiavelli has been named executive vice president at Northern Virginia Community College. The former president and CEO of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (Pa.) since 2002 and a charter member of the Manufacturing Institute’s Education Council, Shiavelli started in his new role July 1.

New Hampshire Stepping Up STEM Field Efforts

Students, residents, and employers of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field graduates in New Hampshire will be hearing a whole lot more about these areas of study in coming years. Representatives from the University System of New Hampshire and the Community College System of New Hampshire signed a letter of commitment last month that lays out steps to meet a big goal: increase STEM-educated graduates by 50 percent by 2020, and then double that number by 2025. Currently, the two systems graduate about 1,120 students in these areas.

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