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Academic Leadership

Time and again, institutions struggle with properly deploying a new assessment platform. Often that fault lies with the vendor who lacks the knowledge or institutional expertise to provide sound counsel on how it should be accomplished. Take a different approach and it will be a success:

Some see the three year baccalaureate as a fad which will ultimately dilute the depth, breadth, and rigor of the true college learning and living experience. Other commentators see the accelerated credentials megatrend as the natural outcome of decades of degree inflation.

Think about the fact that an associate’s degree is no longer the coin of the realm in contemporary American higher education, business, and industry. In fact, in the current economy, one wonders whether four years is too long for a bachelors degree? Enter the three year baccalaureate.

In today’s competitive higher education market, colleges and universities must prove the value of the degrees they bestow to graduates each year. Traditional measures, such as graduation rates, grade point averages, and cohort default rates, have become only a few of the ways colleges and universities are evaluated. Students and their parents want to be assured that their investment in a college education will pay off in the form of a self-sustaining and financially-secure career path.

Challenged by high expectations and a sense of urgency to hit the ground running, newly appointed leaders are prime candidates for performance derailment even on day one. Compounded by insufficient or less structured on-boarding, leaders with the potential to succeed simply don’t. Worse yet, they don’t know what hit them.

Interdisciplinary courses and programs in peacebuilding have existed mainly at four-year institutions and graduate schools. But the offerings are a slow, but growing trend at community colleges.

While digital technologies have become central to our society and our lives in higher education, the continuing development of the internet, mobile phone applications, and social media brings the need for up-to-date professional development. Indeed, standing still with digital technology means we are falling behind, and your staff needs continuing opportunities to evaluate and implement new online options.

Today’s enrollment challenges have impacted all sectors and strata of colleges and universities. Campus leaders are questioning whether their organizational models, as well as the roles and responsibilities of key enrollment players, are aligned for optimal enrollment success.

An effective chief information officer can be a bit like a superhero, but without the visible cape. Protecting information and ensuring the population can go about its day-to-day are all in a day’s work for these administrators. This spring, we talked with five campus CIOs to hear what is keeping them up at night and getting them revved to go in the morning. While we heard bandwidth is an ever-growing need (it’s like a teenager on a growth spurt), we also heard good news about the ability to use technology to inform the culture and learning of an institution.

Michael T. Benson

    Frederik Logevall, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University, has been appointed the university’s vice provost for international relations, to begin July 1. He will succeed Alice Pell, who has served as vice provost since 2008. A history professor with expertise in U.S. foreign relations, Logevall will remain director of the Einaudi Center and will assist the office of the vice provost for undergraduate education in the oversight of the Cornell Abroad program.