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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 | Scoop.it

"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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In the Studio with 'Adjunct Hero' Justin Staller

Justin Myer Staller, Adjunct Professor of Art and Design, was recently interviewed for Inside Higher Ed's newest blog feature "Adjunct Heroes," which profile...
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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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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."

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Putting Adjunct Faculty Into the Strategic Plan | Inside Higher Ed

Putting Adjunct Faculty Into the Strategic Plan | Inside Higher Ed | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"Adjunct professors often say that university administrators give them short shrift, with low pay and lack of benefits being the common complaints.


A small private college in the Boston suburbs is tackling the issue head-on by making adjunct issues a top priority, one of nine academic goals mentioned in its strategic plan. Lasell College’s “Vision 2017” plan says it aims to ensure competitive salaries for adjuncts, at the midpoint of a peer group. What this means is that administrators will compare adjunct salaries at Lasell with neighboring colleges and try to raise them. While such a goal isn't surprising at all when coming from a faculty group or an adjunct union, it's unusual for a campuswide strategic plan."

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Amazon.com: 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 | Scoop.it

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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Udacity and the future of online universities

Udacity and the future of online universities | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

You know that professor, Sebastian Thrum, who taught a Stanford class with 100,000+ students in it? He's left Stanford and started his own university: Udacity.

At Reuters Blog, Felix Salmon, is dissapointed:


"Stanford was willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building a new physical campus in New York City — but it isn’t willing, it seems, to help Thrun build a free virtual campus which could reach the whole world. That’s a dereliction of its educational duty. But where Stanford has failed, surely some other elite university will step in. Thrun is taking a bold step here. Let’s hope he soon gets the support, if not of Stanford, then of some other college. Like Harvard, or Yale, or Oxford, or Cambridge. They’re exclusive places now. But they don’t have to be, in the future."

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Essay on professorial Traits That Administrators Need to Drop | Inside Higher Ed

Useful reflections in this essay, although it does make one wonder why anyone would want to move from faculty to administration  :)


"Schedule: 'I love the freedom this job gives me to live a balanced life.' Many of those who go into academe do so in part because of the flexibility in schedule that it allows — at least for those who do not have mind-numbingly large numbers of courses to teach. Administrative schedules typically are, at best, 9 to 5, allowing much less flexibility, and further usually require one to show up for events on nights and on weekends.


Reporting Structure: 'No one tells me what to do!'Professors often do not view themselves as working for anyone in particular, other than, perhaps, themselves. They may view themselves as entrepreneurs who create new intellectual enterprises. Although they usually will be under a department chair or head, dean, and so forth, they usually do not view such people as 'bosses' but rather as people who best should stay out of their way (except when they require additional resources). In contrast, academic administrators have clearly defined supervisors, and if they fail to please their supervisors, they may quickly be in trouble or out of a job."

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The Faculty in Progress Programm (FIPP) at Maricopa Community College

The Faculty in Progress Programm (FIPP) at Maricopa Community College | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

This is a Community College Journal of Research and Practice article authored by "Trends in Higher Education II: Where Are We Headed?" symposium speaker Maria Harper-Marinick.

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Survey documents retirement worries of higher ed employees | Inside Higher Ed

If you're planning around faculty or staff who are nearing retirement age, you might plan on them not retiring as soon as you might have planned for:


"Fidelity also found that 46 percent of respondents reported that they will delay retirement past the age of 65 or will not retire at all. The survey attributes this to a bad economy and the need for continued income and health benefits, in addition to employees wanting to stay at an enjoyable job."

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Essay: U of All People tries to get strategic | Inside Higher Ed

Satire.

 

"Title: Something imposing, like “Gateway to Tomorrow”

 

Lead-in: U of All People was the first school to -- to what? To rack up a student retention rate of under 50 percent? We lead the way in Scantron testing. We look forward to (ending this meeting). Enough preamble. How about goals?

 

1. Global. Multinational. Extending the reach of something, embracing the 21st century. We’ve still got that satellite campus timeshare in Manchester, right? Work with that. Maybe predict an exchange program in Moldavia, or is it Moldova, by 2015. ...

 

3. Research. Right. Continuing a proud tradition of. Didn’t Dwayne Dwight in the chem department get a patent 10 years ago for something? Problem: how to light a fire under our nonproductive faculty. Which is almost all of them. By 2016, increase the number of published papers by 25 percent . Easy. 25 percent of nothing is still nothing."

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

Dean prioritization:


QUOTE


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.


END

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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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Who Will Bankroll Poetry? Fighting for the Humanities

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

"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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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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Universities are bringing Occupy into the classroom

Universities are bringing Occupy into the classroom | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

"The Occupy movement is starting to set up camp in university course catalogs, syllabuses and classrooms. There are new course offerings and a new focus in older ones."

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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.

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Essay calling for faculty offices to no longer be grouped by discipline | Inside Higher Ed

A faculty member turned administrator observes on how the location of faculty office space could better facilitate interaction across disciplinary lines. Why not?


"The lack of interaction among excellent scholars with similar interests raises some organizational questions with important implications: Why cluster faculty members into departmental ghettos any longer? Why not allow voluntary mixing and matching -- especially in cognate disciplines? Electronic communications via departmental listservs can provide the unit-specific information needed to keep the trains running on time, and the idea of promoting casual, often spontaneous interaction among scholars with similar research interests, but different methods is at once liberating and exhilarating."

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Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning: Lessons from Project Kaleidoscope | Change Magazine

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning: Lessons from Project Kaleidoscope | Change Magazine | SCUP Links | Scoop.it

More good work in the STEM disciplines from PKAL. In Change magazine, Adrianna Kezar and Susan Elrod report out from a PKAL project that engaged a good number of campuses working together to facilitate interdisciplinary learning. Interestingly, from this perspective it's not the the faculty that are standing in the way:


"If interdisciplinary work is to become part of the regular work of campuses, then it needs to be integrated into day-to-day processes besides promotion and tenure review, mentoring, faculty development, and the like. Fundraising, facilities planning, budgeting, program review, strategic planning, and accreditation are all areas in which the PKAL campuses encountered barriers that stalled their efforts.


Campus teams in the post-program survey cited a lack of appropriate administrative processes as one of the most important barriers. Some used strategic planning or accreditation as opportunities to bring up problems that they were encountering in realizing the promise of interdisciplinary learning."

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Leadership Crises Ahead | 'Dean Dad' Pointing Out Some Signs

In reaction to Chronicle editor Jeff Selingo’s piece on the graying of college presidents, and the reaction to it, Dean Dad takes a look at "graying" and its relationship to adjuncts.


"[W]e’re reaching the end of the “dump the costs on the next generation” strategy. If higher education is going to remain viable as a mass phenomenon -- I’m not talking about the elites here, since they’ll survive anyway -- it will have to start making choices. That means that we can expect more open conflict, less consensus, and a need for leaders who are willing to make choices. I just hope that the unthinking, ritualistic excoriation that Selingo’s piece generated isn’t indicative of how far we are from being able to start having honest conversations. If we don’t come to grips with the new normal, it will assuredly come to grips with us."

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Kudos from SCUP to Jane Wellman and the Delta Project on a Successful Run

The Delta Project is undergoing "planned obsolescense" and its responsibilities distributed between the US Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research (AIR).


SCUP constituents have all had their integrated planning effectiveness enhanced by Delta and Wellman's work over the past decades. Thank you.


"A national organization that has done more than any other to make higher education finances clearer and more accessible to legislators, higher education policy makers -- and, yes, journalists -- is reaching a state of "planned obsolescence," to be replaced by splitting its two missions between the U.S. Education Department's statistics branch and a nonprofit research group."

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#alt-academy: Alternative Academic Careers | No Longer "Failed Academics"

"That our culture for many years has labelled these people 'failed academics' is a failure of imagination."


Hear, hear! We have been saying this for years! Many valuable SCUP members have PhDs or other facultyy experience which enhances their contributions in the higher ed admionistrative arena. They are no longer failed academics, but people in viable careers which can sustain knowledge and scholarship in the humanities.


"On the "#alt-ac track" are: administrators with varied levels of responsibility for supporting the academic enterprise; instructional technologists and software developers who collaborate on scholarly projects; journalists, editors, and publishers; cultural heritage workers in a variety of roles and institutions; librarians, archivists, and other information professionals; entrepreneurs who partner on projects of value to scholars, program officers for funding agencies and humanities centers, and many more.


If they are to serve us well, para-academic institutions require a healthy influx of people who understand scholarship and teaching from the inside. That our culture for many years has labelled these people "failed academics" is a failure of imagination.


Those who gravitate toward #alt-ac positions during or after completing graduate study are often driven to set things in motion in the academic environment, and to set things right. Couple the attractive #alt-ac mission of building systems (social, scholarly, administrative, technical) with an exceptionally sorry academic job market, and it becomes clear that more and more graduate students, post-docs, junior faculty, and underemployed lecturers will be stepping off the straight and narrow path to tenure."

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