CURRENT ARTICLE • December 13th Skills Expectation Gap

Closing the Skills Expectations–Performance Gap

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A Google search for “college graduate employment readiness” produces over 2.5 million hits. Unfortunately, the top results have titles such as, “Study Finds Big Gap between Student and Employer Perceptions” (Inside Higher Ed); “Why Are So Many College Students Failing to Gain Job Skills before Graduation?” (Washington Post); and “2015 College Graduates May Not Be as Ready for the Workplace as They Think” (Time). The titles reflect an expectations–performance gap in skills.

OTHER RECENT ARTICLES

Campus speech December 11

Spotlight on Campus Speech: Q&A with Tom McDaniel

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The last few years has seen a rise in both controversial campus speakers and vociferous student protests (the latter often in direct response to the former). The college campus, which has long been a bastion of the free exchange of ideas, has become the nexus of this clash of ideals, and ignited a debate over free speech, hate speech, and censorship. In our Q&A series Spotlight on Campus Speech, Academic Leader Today brings campus administrators expert perspectives to help understand the current challenges of campus speech issues. For this installment, I interviewed Tom McDaniel. McDaniel’s conference presentation “Campus Freedom of Speech: Issues for Academic Leaders” was one of the top ranked sessions of Magna’s 2017 Leadership in Higher Education conference in Baltimore. His essay “Freedom of Speech Issues: A Legal Primer for Academic Leaders” was anthologized in The Academic Leader’s Handbook.


climate survey December 8

UW–Madison Campus Climate Survey: 5 Key Results Charted

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Officials from the University of Wisconsin-Madison released results from a campus-wide climate survey. The survey of nearly 200 questions was conducted in the fall of 2016. All undergraduate, graduate, professional and non-degree-seeking students were invited to participate. Overall, 8,652 students, or 21% of those who were eligible, completed the survey. The survey was developed by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement to understand students’ experiences with and perceptions about campus climate and diversity, including how people of different backgrounds and identities experience life at UW–Madison. Academic Leader Today has graphed the data from five key questions concerning perceived safety and inclusion.


campus speech December 6

Spotlight on Campus Speech: Q&A with Michelle N. Deutchman of the ADL (Part 2)

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In our Q&A series Spotlight On: Campus Speech, Academic Leader Today brings campus administrators expert perspectives to help understand the current challenges of campus speech issues. For this installment, I interviewed Michelle N. Deutchman, National Campus Counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, via email. This is part two of a two-part interview.


Spotlight on Campus Speech December 4

Spotlight on Campus Speech: Q&A with Michelle N. Deutchman of the ADL (Part 1)

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The last few years has seen a rise in both controversial campus speakers and vociferous student protests (the latter often in direct response to the former). Both phenomena seem symptomatic of the growing political polarization of the country as a whole—groups and individuals with hateful and offensive beliefs feel legitimized and emboldened to publicly voice their platforms, which in turn galvanizes an activist response. The college campus, which has long been a bastion of the free exchange of ideas, has become the nexus of this clash of ideals, and ignited a debate over free speech, hate speech, and censorship. In our Q&A series Spotlight On: Campus Speech, Academic Leader Today brings campus administrators expert perspectives to help understand the current challenges of campus speech issues.


informal faculty leadership December 1

Informal Faculty Leadership: Spreading Innovative Teaching

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There’s a long-standing tradition of informal sharing of pedagogical innovation among K-12 teachers and a whole line of research on this phenomenon, which is known as teacher leadership. The same type of informal faculty leadership exists in higher education as well, but there is very little research on this topic.

In an effort to better understand informal faculty leadership in higher education, Pete Turner, education faculty member and director of the Teacher Education Institute at Estrella Mountain Community College, conducted a study that combined faculty surveys and administrator interviews at three Landmark Learning Colleges identified by the League for Innovation in the Community College.


Moving from Courses to Curriculum November 29

Moving from Courses to a Curriculum

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What does it mean to offer students a curriculum as opposed to a series of related courses? How does a program, major, or minor encourage students to make meaningful connections between courses so that they develop strong professional identities? I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions. I used to teach at a larger, public university where students tended to take an “à la carte approach” to completing a program of study. Recently I started teaching at a smaller, liberal arts college, and here students follow a more prescribed sequence of courses, and they’re required to make connections between courses. Teaching here, I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily the sequence of the courses (which our students mostly take in cohort groups) that matters most—although that does add program coherence—rather, it is the intentionality with which instructors provide opportunities for students to make meaningful connections between their courses. In our department, courses are seen as comprising a curriculum.


Clery Act Deadline November 27

Clery’s October 1 Deadline Has Passed. What Now?

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Pursuant to the Clery Act, institutions of higher education participating in Title IV programs are required to publish and distribute an Annual Security Report (and an Annual Fire Safety Report if the institution has on-campus student housing) by Oct. 1 each year. The report must include 50+ statements of policy, procedure, and programming, and statistics for certain reported crimes for the past three calendar years.


Academic Leaders Anger Stakeholders November 22

When Academic Leaders Anger Their Stakeholders

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Make no mistake about it: any job that requires you to say “No” to people from time to time will cause you to meet resistance. We sometimes end up angering individual stakeholders because we feel obliged to turn them down for a promotion, oppose them on an issue they care deeply about, or confer on someone else a benefit they strongly desire. In most of these cases, however, their anger is only temporary. But what do you do when you, as chair, dean, or vice president, make a decision that’s bound to alienate not just one person, but the entire upper administration, every faculty member in your unit, or all your colleagues?