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Articles: Administration & Management

All higher education institutions offer employee training and skill development in some form or another. Workshops. Webinars. Mentoring. Coaching. It’s the same-old same-old—but does it have to be?

Out in front with OER: Tidewater Community College created the first degree program—in business administration—to use only open-educational resources.

A few dozen community colleges will get financial backing to design degree programs based wholly on free, open educational resources (OER) in a sweeping effort to make higher ed more affordable. Full-time community college students spend about $1,300 a year on textbooks, ultimately representing about a third of the cost of their associate degrees.

More than 1,100 campus tech leaders and innovators from across the nation flocked to Las Vegas for the June 6-8 event, descending upon The Mirage Convention Center for three days of insight and inspiration.

Claire Sterk's long-range plan includes increasing diversity of staff and students, improving access and making the Emory University more affordable.

Claire Sterk's long-range plan includes increasing diversity of staff and students, improving access and making the Emory University more affordable. Also in People News: Ingrid Thompson-Sellers becomes interim president at South Georgia State College

It is no coincidence that at a time of staggering family college debt burden, hands-on learning is experiencing a revival in schools, colleges, and universities across the Nation and around the world. Students and families perplexed and frustrated by the gainful employment vs. tuition gap are looking for more practical (maker) skills from their next learning experience.

For a long time, the academy has faced questions about whether or not liberal arts and STEM could co-exist. The talking points haven’t changed much – liberal arts colleges help students learn how to think and learn, while STEM institutions provide the highly technical education required. But today’s colleges and universities are tasked with delivering students to the marketplace who are both thinkers and tinkerers.

A recent survey of alumni of institutions confirmed what every university president knows: when asked who set them on a constructive path, at the top of the list are professors who made them excited about learning, professors who cared about them as persons, encouraged them, mentored them, and directed them in projects—what we call “high touch.”

At schools such as Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, therapy dogs are brought in during finals week to help manage student stress. It’s an example of “universal design” because those diagnosed with anxiety aren’t the only ones to benefit.

Common oversights can occur even on campuses where leaders believe they have complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To avoid running afoul of the law, constant vigilance and ongoing review are essential because there are so many factors to consider.

Nick Kalm is president and Courtney Harper is senior vice president at Reputation Partners, a communications consultancy that specializes in labor communications for universities and other organizations.

Unionization movements will continue to gain traction at colleges and universities, so it’s important for administrators to prepare. While pay, benefits and shared governance will be pressing issues, many institutions fail to develop a strategy to communicate with employees.

The Venture Development Center has all the hallmarks of a typical startup: Computers running equations, whiteboards covered with revenue projections and caffeine-fueled meetings about venture capital in glass-walled rooms. But it's more than that: the center is also a University of Massachusetts, Boston incubator that houses dozens of fledgling bioscience and computer science firms.

The numbers should unsettle enrollment professionals: College and university enrollment rates have decreased for each of the last four years and nothing indicates a reversal anytime soon.

Fraternity brothers on spring break—what image immediately comes to mind? Picture this instead: golf-ball sized blisters, swollen feet, strained muscles and determination to help others. Thirty-one members of Troy University’s Alpha Tau Omega Chapter dedicated their spring break to walking 128 miles to raise money to aid wounded military veterans. I met with them on day three of their six-day march from Troy, Ala., to Panama City Beach, Fla. I contrasted this group of unselfish undergraduates with the prevailing image of the spoiled frat boy, which dominates media nationwide.  

Lex O. McMillan III is president of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

If the heart of a liberal (hence, liberating) education is learning to see through the eyes of others—both living and dead—I now see clearly how the bumpy roads of Haiti led us to new learning about others and about ourselves.

How can freshmen who may not even be able to find their way around campus during their first weeks in school learn to lead others? The question may sound like a new riddle of the Sphinx or the beginning of a joke.

But the concept of 18-year-olds learning to lead should not be a riddle and is no joke.

College boost: Students in Housatonic Community College’s Family Economic Security Program attend retreats to learn career skills such as public speaking and networking.

An act as simple as handing out bottled water and granola bars before a long evening class can change the course of a college career—especially when the student on the receiving end is a single mother who has just rushed over to campus after a full day at work.

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