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Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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Retirement, Unions and Status: a Survey of Campus HR Officers | Inside Higher Ed

Retirement, Unions and Status: a Survey of Campus HR Officers | Inside Higher Ed | SCUP Links |

"Inside Higher Ed's first-ever study of chief HR officers finds underwhelming concern about retirement issues, skepticism about the role of unions -- and a desire for a stronger strategic role for themselves on campuses."

They want to be within the integrated planning team.

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4 Ways Technology Can Reduce Higher Ed Costs | Inside Higher Ed


"Senior campus technology leaders should be held accountable for developing and delivering on plans to:

  • Increase Quality
  • Increase Access
  • Reduce Costs

Every project that technology touches (which now means most things we do in higher ed) should be looked at through the lenses of quality, access and costs. It is no longer adequate to address one or two legs of this three legged stool."

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Belief and Lazy Consensus: Focusing on Governance - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education

When it comes to faculty governance, Jason B. Jones see an analogy to soccer, when a team is dispirited after an unexpected goal by the other side:

"I think there’s a metaphor here that’s related to faculty governance.

The simultaneous erosion of tenure-track positions over the past three decades and the systematic abuse of contingent appointments has, as Debra Lee Scott has recently observed, left professors discombobulated: “We have been deprofessionalized. And by de-professionalizing us, the administration has gained control and silenced the faculty” (via Jonathan Rees).

The quietism of some faculty stems from many sources: the desire not to seem like a crank; misconceiving of the work of the university as “service” rather than governance; deciding to focus on your disciplinary colleagues elsewhere (or online) instead of your institution; a healthy human hatred of meetings–all of these add up to a sort of despair that the faculty can make a difference.

They amount, in short, to a crisis in belief." (Like when the soccer team ... .)

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David Helfand’s New Quest

David Helfand’s New Quest | SCUP Links |

"No tenure. No departments. This university challenges typical teaching, and learning." This is Quest University, and its president, David Helfand, will join us to present the concurrent session, "Big Site, Small Classes, Smart Funding: Building Canada's Quest University," about the creation and success of Quest.

More about Quest University:

"You’ve eliminated departments. Why?

Departments are the source of much evil in universities. They waste enormous amounts of time and emotional energy by arguing about space and “faculty lines” and resources, while walling off disciplines from innovative approaches to knowledge and restricting students and faculty alike to narrow, often outmoded paths of inquiry.

What’s Quest’s biggest challenge?

We have to make sure people’s inherent conservatism isn’t allowed to come through. We have to institutionalize revolution, or we’ll end up with departments and semester-long courses."

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Who Will Bankroll Poetry? Fighting for the Humanities

Who Will Bankroll Poetry? Fighting for the Humanities | SCUP Links |

"The accountability and assessment movement, which has largely overtaken K–12 education, now has its eyes on higher education. It has a wedge issue—the education of K–12 teachers. Case law gives the state a vested interest in the education of elementary and high school students. And thus state education departments and regional and national accrediting agencies will seek more power over and uniformity in teacher-training programs. The Obama administration’s Department of Education plan for teacher-education reform and improvement, Our Future, Our Teachers (released September 30, 2011), makes it clear that the federal government has embraced the same agenda. Look for more prescribed syllabi, more identical final exams, less academic freedom, and less opportunity for variation in educational philosophy.

And the accountability movement intersects with the for-profit sector’s altogether instrumental view of education. Education for some interested parties merely delivers content, teaches skills, provides socialization, and manages credentialing. These four aims can be unbundled and provided more cheaply than traditional higher education can."

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Fish? Check. Barrel? Check. | Inside Higher Ed

Dean Dad boils down the reasons behind the higher education cost spiral:

"The first, which is easy to explain, is cuts in public appropriations. My own college gets about five million per year less from the state than it got four years ago. (That’s over ten percent of its total budget.) That’s before adjusting for inflation. In many other states, it’s considerably worse. You simply cannot remove that much money that quickly without consequences.

The only problem with this theory is that while it’s unassailable in explaining the last few years, it isn’t as strong in explaining the preceding decades. Yes, the recent fiscal sinkhole matters, but tuition went up fast during better years, too.

The longer-term issue is productivity. And no, that’s not a euphemism for “you’re too lazy.” It’s simply to say that if you continue to measure learning in units of time, and those units don’t change, then your productivity increases will forever be zero, by definition. When the rest of the economy grows a few percent per year for decades, the gap compounds. It’s called “Baumol’s cost disease,” and it’s endemic to education and health care. And that’s true whether the professors or doctors are lazy, conscientious, or even heroic. It’s not about them."

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ACE annual meeting focuses on enacting change within shared governance | Inside Higher Ed

Kevin Kiley at Inside Higher Ed has compiled a very nice summary of challenges and concerns at the presidential level. He is quoted below. Jack Stripling does this report for The Chronicle.

"[B]eing a college or university president is much more about trying to win constituents over to your position than imposing ideas. 'If you want to effect change, let it be someone else’s ideas,' Floyd said.

Floyd also noted that change takes time, and that a president can push new ideas, but has to give faculty members and other stakeholders time to come around to his ideas. 'If we rapidly engage in change, that’s not a change that is sustainable,' he said.

That lesson is particularly important for new presidents. In a 'lessons learned' session, four veteran presidents all cautioned new campus leaders on laying out an agenda too quickly after getting on campus.

Take time to get to know the institution, those who work there, and what vision they have for the institution, they said. 'If you look at presidents who get in trouble, it's organ rejection,' said Lawrence S. Bacow, former president of Tufts University. He noted that presidents try to implement a vision without molding it to the institution and getting faculty and others on the same page."

No comment yet.! The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters (9780199782444): Benjamin Ginsberg: Books

The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters

~ Benjamin Ginsberg (author) More about this product
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"Until very recently, American universities were led mainly by their faculties, which viewed intellectual production and pedagogy as the core missions of higher education. Today, as Benjamin Ginsberg warns in this eye-opening, controversial book, "deanlets"--administrators and staffers often without serious academic backgrounds or experience--are setting the educational agenda.

The Fall of the Faculty examines the fallout of rampant administrative blight that now plagues the nation's universities. In the past decade, universities have added layers of administrators and staffers to their payrolls every year even while laying off full-time faculty in increasing numbers--ostensibly because of budget cuts. In a further irony, many of the newly minted--and non-academic--administrators are career managers who downplay the importance of teaching and research, as evidenced by their tireless advocacy for a banal "life skills" curriculum. Consequently, students are denied a more enriching educational experience--one defined by intellectual rigor. Ginsberg also reveals how the legitimate grievances of minority groups and liberal activists, which were traditionally championed by faculty members, have, in the hands of administrators, been reduced to chess pieces in a game of power politics. By embracing initiatives such as affirmative action, the administration gained favor with these groups and legitimized a thinly cloaked gambit to bolster their power over the faculty.

As troubling as this trend has become, there are ways to reverse it. The Fall of the Faculty outlines how we can revamp the system so that real educators can regain their voice in curriculum policy."

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The Imperfect University: who should lead universities?

The Imperfect University: who should lead universities? | SCUP Links |

From the blog, Registrarism:

"Amanda Goodall, who has done a lot of work on this, recently published a brief piece on why academics make the best university leaders. It’s a powerful argument and it is difficult to disagree with Goodall’s thesis – top universities do need top academics to lead them. Goodall’s recent book, Socrates in the Boardroom, makes this quite compelling case in more detail.

And yet. There is a suggestion here that it is sufficient simply to appoint a top academic. That, somehow, everything will come good if only the university can find the right leader, someone with the strongest academic credentials, with the most citations."

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Mixed Grades: A Survey of Provosts | Inside Higher Ed

The 2011–12 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College & University Chief Academic Officers by Kenneth C. Greene, with Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman. The title link goes to a report on Inside Higher Ed's website; here is a link to download the full document (PDF).

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State Support For Higher Education Falls 7.6% in 2012 Fiscal Year - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education

State Support For Higher Education Falls 7.6% in 2012 Fiscal Year - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education | SCUP Links |

"Higher education's oracles and prognosticators began warning of a "cliff" in state appropriations shortlyafter the $767-billion federal economic-recovery act passed, in 2009.

Now data show just how high that cliff was."

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University mergers need to be transparent and inclusive - University World News

University mergers need to be transparent and inclusive - University World News | SCUP Links |

A very nice report on a study of a number of mergers, focusing on several Finnish organizations: "My research focuses on how Finnish universities are reacting to mergers from the perspective of their own academic work and their teaching work.

Managers, academics and students were interviewed about their views and they raised several issues about the merger process. The key problems were:"

Good list. Very useful.

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Issues Facing Historically Black Colleges and Universities Results of a Focused Discussion by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)

Now you can read it here.

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Alcorn State gives faculty a role in deciding administrators' fate | Inside Higher Ed

Dean prioritization:


Dickson Idusuyi, the Faculty Senate president and an associate professor of social science at the university, said that discussions have centered around how to make Alcorn more efficient and whether some departments need restructuring. Idusuyi said the university has had a culture where deans stay on in their jobs year after year. “They stay in these positions too long to be effective,” he said. “It doesn’t mean they are not doing their work or they are inefficient. Being a dean is not a lifetime appointment. Just like there is reassessment in the business world, there should be a reassessment of these positions.

Brown said that one problem with the existing situation was that the deans were not being re-evaluated regularly.


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#SCUP47 Presenter Heze Simmons Receives the 2011 Financial Executive of the Year Award

Simmons is presenting "Integrated Planning and Resource Allocation to Meet Changing Fiscal Realities" on Tuesday, July 10 at 10:45 am. Register for SCUP–47 by Monday, April 30 for early bird savings!

"Rochester Business Journal and Financial Executives International award this distinction to individuals who make significant contributions to their organizations and the community during the past year. Heze was recognized for student focused financial decision making, empowering and developing employees and leading efforts for the very successful shuttle between campuses. Outside of MCC, Simmons was recognized for his contributions to Jefferson Avenue Childhood Development Center.

In an article in the Rochester Business Journal, Heze said 'I see this award as a tribute to my staff and an extension of all the hard work they do, too.'"

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In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus

In conversation: UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau – Macleans OnCampus | SCUP Links |

UC Berkeley chancellor stepping down. He's a former U of Toronto president. He's interviewed in Macleans On Campus, covering a broad range of issues about the UC system, Canadian higher education, and the challenges of the chancellor's roll. Planners will find it worth a quick read.

"Q: Just how bad did it get at Berkeley?

A: When I arrived there was a commitment from the government that our funding for paying faculty and staff salaries would go up four to five per cent a year. If that compact had held we would have $600 million this year. In fact, we have $240 million. So in five years, we’ve lost more than half of our money from the government to pay those salaries.

Q: How did you bridge that shortfall?

A: We were not naive about the budget. We whined somewhat, but we also knuckled down and said, “Okay, we need a comprehensive financial strategy.” I was president of U of T for four years, and I learned a lot. Some of the good management practices we introduced at Berkeley we had already introduced in Toronto.

Q: What did you borrow from U of T?

A: One thing is that every large institution like Berkeley and the U of T always has a large amount of money sitting waiting to be spent. Typically these amounts were of the order of [$750 million] to a billion dollars, and they’re sitting in accounts yielding the lowest interest rate. In Toronto we realized we were wasting money and began aggressively investing about half—$400 million or so. We introduced that at Berkeley and ended up generating an additional $30 million to $40 million a year in income."

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Should Yale College Faculty Approval be Needed to Build a New Campus in Singapore?

Even if that campus will not be granting Yale College degrees. From the Dean of Faculty: "It is true that the Yale College faculty have never recorded an official vote on the project. Technically that's appropriate since Yale-NUS will not be giving Yale College degrees."

From the Yale College Faculty (YCF) "Yale held a series of “town meetings” prior to finalizing the agreement to create Yale-NUS -- an undergraduate, residential liberal arts college -- and dozens of individual faculty members have served on planning committees. But there has never been a formal Yale College faculty vote on the matter. "The Yale College Faculty is not a 'town,' " said Miller. "We are the constituted body of the professors of arts and sciences at Yale; Yale's reputation comes from us -- not from the corporation" ("the corporation" being the name for Yale’s governing board).

“When Yale went co-ed, the YCF [Yale College Faculty] voted. When, last year, there was a decision about bringing ROTC back, the YCF voted. But when there was a question about setting up the first sister campus bearing Yale's name in 300 years, suddenly it was 'not a project of Yale College,' and we were not allowed to vote; the corporation acted on its own," Miller said.

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Survey finds 2 percent increase in mid-level administrative salaries | Inside Higher Ed

"Most mid-level administrators won't be seeing an increase in purchasing power, however, because the growth in inflation (3.2 percent) outpaced their raises. Consistent with recent CUPA-HR surveys on the salaries of senior administrators and of faculty members, the increases were larger at private institutions (2.2 percent) than at publics (1.4 percent)."

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Augustana retreat an exercise in collective governance | Inside Higher Ed

Augustana College president Steven C. Bahls raninto a thorny hedge with his first strategic plan, but has since done leading edge work in the area. Kevin Kiley pictures the governance preparation at Augustana as it prepares for another strategic planning process. In the process he examines shared governance issues from a number of perspectives. Definitely worth a read. ipeds143084

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The Goldilocks Approach - WorldWise - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Paul Hanstedt, a professor of English at Roanoke College, just finished studying universities in Hong Kong. With a focus on hierarchy and administration.

"[I]n the petri dish of curricular redesign that is Hong Kong, the institutions that seem to be pulling ahead are likely to have found some sort of habitable zone of administrative involvement. That is to say, like the “Goldilocks” planets that occupy the belt in solar system where life is sustainable—not too hot, not too cold—these institutions seem to have found a balanced role for administrators: they are involved, yes, but not so much that faculty creativity and investment is stifled. As a result, these universities have not only developed unique general-education models that match the needs of their students, but have achieved faculty buy-in of those models and are well on the way toward productive implementation."

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Emerging Forces That Drive the Need for Prioritization: What Campus Leaders Are Telling Us

Executive summary of a SCUP-46 presentation on academic and other program prioritization. Previously only available to SCUP members and SCUP-46 attendees.

Dickeson will update this popular session in July 2012 at SCUP-47, Chicago.

No comment yet.! Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (9780307352149): Susan Cain: Books

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

~ Susan Cain (author) More about this product
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Planners can expect a growing trend for stakeholders' groups to expect procedures to get introverts to speak out:

"Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best. Stimulation comes in all forms – social stimulation, but also lights, noise, and so on. Introverts even salivate more than extroverts do if you place a drop of lemon juice on their tongues! So an introvert is more likely to enjoy a quiet glass of wine with a close friend than a loud, raucous party full of strangers.

It’s also important to understand that introversion is different from shyness. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, while introversion is simply the preference for less stimulation. Shyness is inherently uncomfortable; introversion is not. The traits do overlap, though psychologists debate to what degree."

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University heads deny accusations of elitism - The Irish Times - Tue, Jan 24, 2012

Ireland is considering consolidating a number of smaller technical colleges into one or tso major technical universities. The presidents of the more traditional universities are not happy about this.

"Given Government approval, they say a Border Midlands West Technological University (BMW TU) would create the largest higher education institution in the State with 27,000 students. A steering group comprising senior staff at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), Dundalk Institute of Technology, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology, Sligo, is directing the negotiations.

The move by the BMW colleges raised the possibility of at least two and possibly many more technological universities. TU status for the south-east – which has the strong backing of Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, who are from the region – is regarded as virtually certain by education sources. This would bring together the institutes of technology in Waterford and Carlow."

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Balancing Cost-Savings and Outcomes | Campus Consolidation in Georgia

James T. Minor, of the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) expresses concerns about the big plans in the Georgia system. (A related recent SCUP post about research on European campus consolidation is here.)

"Finally, there is very little experience in the four-year sector of higher education with modern-day consolidations. Strong positive correlations between this kind of consolidation and educational outcomes do not exist. In fact, the potential for negative outcomes must be considered. In other words, it is possible to achieve cost savings at the expense of institutional effectiveness, the student experience or their chances of earning a degree in some cases. Creating economies of scale with a population of students who typically require more support to complete college does not necessarily equal better outcomes. Understanding the educational trade-offs on the front-end is important rather than experiencing them haphazardly.

The process of transforming eight public institutions into four will offer an interesting experiment to be observed by the higher education community. If students represent the subjects, I hope the outcomes and profit margins are worthwhile."

Katie Keig's curator insight, October 16, 2014 3:59 PM

The fact that there is not much research done on the correlation of merging schools and decreased financial strains concerns me as a student of University of North Georgia. From what I understood of the merger that occured two years ago, Gainesville State College was one of the few Georgia schools  not in debt and actually do quite well despite the recession and North Georgia College and State University was very much in debt. The merger was to equal out and help both schools, NGCSU in the short run and GSC in the long run because it was making it a bigger school. However, bigger isn't always better and I did not ask for this merger and am upset at the higher tuition at Gainesville due to the merger. I and several other people considered going to the new Georgia Gwinnett College because it is cheaper. The research should not just be done on numbers but how students feel because that's where the money is coming from. Student opinion was not considered at all when the announcement of the merger appeared in 2012 and now all I've seen as a Communication student is tuition increase and now we have a bachelors for Communication which we would have had at Gainesville State College anyway.!

The Presidency | Magazine of ACE, The American Council on Education

The Presidency | Magazine of ACE, The American Council on Education | SCUP Links |

Links to table of contents of recent issues of The Presidency magazine.

The presidency is an excellent source of presidential insight. Think of it as getting to read what your president might be reading.

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