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Today, with increased attention on student success and the long-term effects of unpaid accounts, institutions need to recognize the impact financial services staff have on recruitment and retention. It’s a shift to thinking more about the big picture.

MOBILE MINDFULNESS—UT Austin higher ed students and faculty using  Thrive at UT can take a few minutes to read daily and weekly gratitude reflections. Interactive quizzes help students apply the concepts to their own lives.

A well-being app encourages students at The University of Texas at Austin to stay in the moment—via the device that often takes them out of it: their phone.

Elizabeth Davis is higher ed president of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

The rancorous 2016 election and this year’s transition to a new presidential administration makes one thing clear: We are suffering from a national shortage of empathy.

The Core Campus Project—a mixed-use addition to Clemson University—includes student housing, retail and residential dining, and is also a centralized home for the Calhoun Honors College.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.”

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