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Leslie Crosley is a higher ed enrollment management consultant for Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Jim Scannell recently retired as senior consultant for enrollment management at Ruffalo Noel Levitz and is the former president of Scannell & Kurz.

Now more than ever, enrollment leadership requires a coordinated campus team to respond to emerging internal challenges as well as shifting external forces.

1. Set some ground rules. After introducing Slack, some users felt it was hard to cut through the clutter of irrelevant information, says Dominic Abbate, the creative director at The George Washington University. So they responded by setting up specific channels designated for non-work chit-chat like #food and #just-for-fun.

2. Listen to feedback. When Cherwell’s adoption rate was lagging because the tool was too complex and IT-focused, The University of New Mexico’s IT team redesigned the portal to make it more customer-friendly.

Yammer (free)

Good for: Collaboration and communication

Who’s using it: Penn State

From event planning to website redesign, setting up Yammer networking groups to share ideas, get feedback and check in on the progress of projects can help large campuses stay connected.

Trello (free)

Good for: Tracking projects

Who’s using it: The George Washington University

Barry Mills has been appointed higher ed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Barry Mills has been appointed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Higher ed administrators are using apps and platforms behind the scenes to help create efficiencies, increase productivity, and manage projects and workflow.

Disabilities services administrators at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts, University of Connecticut and Landmark College in Vermont recommend the following assistive technology for students with executive dysfunction:

While the gender-related pay gap in higher education has gotten only marginally smaller in the last few years, women’s salaries still lag behind those for men.

First-year college students with executive function (EF) difficulties arrive on campus and can be overwhelmed by the independence.

A link to Virginia Tech’s We Remember website, created immediately after the tragedy, holds a prominent place at the top right of the university’s home page.

Each spring, updated commemoration event information gets posted to the site, www.weremember.vt.edu—with all previous content remaining accessible and the victims’ photos and biographies easy to find.

“Nothing has ever been taken down,” says Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president for news and information at the university. “It’s there as public record.”

Community colleges in two of California’s biggest cities have announced plans to substantially expand access to public education by offering residents
the chance to earn an associate degree for free.

A PLACE TO GATHER, MOURN, REFLECT—Hours after the April 16 tragedy, a higher ed student organization placed 32 “Hokie Stones” on the campus Drillfield. Later, stones weighing 300 pounds each were permanently placed in the field, with paths to allow for easier viewing.

A decade and well over 100 school shootings since the Virginia Tech tragedy, the higher ed community has considered and implemented changes in policy and practice recommended after the full investigation. 

“The reaction to people who are threatening in the workplace, classroom or laboratory environment has changed,” says International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Executive Director Sue Riseling.

“We've seen a tremendous number of cases where there is a mental illness component. Of course, that’s why you want to intervene early and get them the medical help they need.”

Despite the expanded awareness, higher ed currently struggles to keep pace with the growing need for mental health services, with a shortage of available professionals.

Higher ed institutions in the U.S. lead the world when it comes to producing graduates who go on to create unicorns—private start-up companies worth in excess of $1 billion, such as Uber, Facebook or SpaceX.

Higher ed researchers Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos, in their book Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt, say the real challenges facing student lending are obscured by the popular myth of looming crisis.

The student debt crisis—despite dire warnings from the media—is not as bad as it is portrayed, researchers Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos say.

Leaders at Marlboro College hope to increase enrollment by 50 percent. At a university such as Ohio State, this would mean adding the population of a small city along with rows of new residence halls and high-tech classrooms.

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