Big data teams November 10

Creating ‘Big Data’ Teams

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Ten years ago, I was a new director of admissions at the University of Michigan- Flint with an enormous goal: to grow enrollment at a school that had many competitors in the state. I was encouraged because we had strong leadership, a good product, great staff, and a strong infrastructure. We also had a customer relationship management system (CRM) with a bridge to our student information system (Banner). In admissions, we had a CRM manager, a business analyst, and a Banner specialist. This team was supported by a divisional ITS person who was very forward-thinking. In all, the team was small but mighty.


MOOCs and the Law: Five Key Questions October 4

MOOCs and the Law: Five Key Questions

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Although much has been written and discussed about MOOCs’ educational, access-opening, and revenue-generating potential, less is known about their legal implications. Administrators and faculty interested in MOOCs need to consider not only pedagogical and financial concerns but also legal concerns before getting involved, says Linda Enghagen, attorney and professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


strategic plan change September 27

Inspiring Change with Your Strategic Plan

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Almost every institution of higher education has a strategic plan, but how many institutions actually make use of that plan? According to Wayne Smutz, dean of continuing education and extension for UCLA, not many. Yet an institution’s strategic plan can be a powerful tool for spurring it to action. At the recent University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West 2015 Regional Conference, Smutz detailed a seven-point plan for constructing and using the institutional strategic plan for change.



accountability September 8

Accountability in its Many Forms

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Calls for accountability in higher education have been heard for a number of years, with some of the first salvos being concerned with student learning and continual faculty productivity, the latter of which led to many institutions approving new policies on post-tenure review. Today, questions continue, but they are now focused on retention, graduation rates, the cost of higher education, and the value of the degrees in some of our disciplines.




Motivational Interviewing June 2

Using Motivational Interviewing to Engage Faculty and Facilitate Change

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Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a collaborative communication style, developed in the field of clinical psychology, for strengthening an individual’s intrinsic motivation and commitment to change. Within an atmosphere of acceptance, compassion, and empowerment, people’s ambivalence about change is identified and explored by evoking their own reasons to change with respect to their values and goals. Thirty years of research shows this approach to be effective in facilitating behavior changes in contexts ranging from substance abusers entering treatment to dietary changes in diabetics, medication compliance in cardiovascular disease, and increasing water sanitation practices in remote South African villages, among others. More recently, MI has been brought into the context of organizational change, including academia.


Blended Learning May 31

Four Steps to Building Institutional Support for Blended Learning

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“Building an effective blended learning culture needs strategic partners across multiple campus constituents and not just faculty. Strong support from higher-up administration coupled with faculty goes a long way towards the acceptance of such alternative learning strategies across campus.” These ideas come from Sunay Palsole, PhD, associate vice provost for digital learning at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He discussed several ways to build institutional support for blended learning by working with various campus offices, and shared four specific ideas with us.


Online Program Planning May 24

How to Be More Strategic with Online Program Planning

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Although you might know a few faculty members who are adamantly opposed to online education, online programming—the development of individual courses and degree programs—continues to expand. My experience, both at my institution and in my conversations with online administrators across the country, reveals that colleges and universities are beginning to think more strategically about their online offerings. I especially see evidence related to developing strategic plans for online education. If you Google “online education strategic plan,” you will find dozens of examples that various institutions have developed.