The Integrator Chris W. Gallagher, College Made Whole: Integrative Learning for a Divided World (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019). Chris Gallagher begins College Made Whole by observing that “colleges and universities are not designed to promote integrative learning.” (xiii) Integrative learners are those with the ability to “connect and synthesize ideas, knowledge, and skills across … Continue reading University Design by David J. Staley
By Dr. Kristine Barnett On my campus, the last few months have been marked by orange cones and yellow caution tape. Dumpsters have covered parking spots. The soundtrack to our work week is bulldozers and trucks. The campus is undergoing a bit of a facelift, with buildings being demolished or significantly renovated. We are sprucing … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window: Supporting Change.
When Bruce Springsteen took to the stage at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA last week, it wasn't just a concert; it was a masterclass in engagement. For over three hours, 'The Boss' had an entire stadium—including me--hanging on to every chord, every lyric, every story. As an educator watching this performance unfold, I couldn’t help … Continue reading Born to Teach: What Educators Can Learn from Bruce Springsteen by Melissa Morriss-Olson
By Dr. Kristine Barnett Out of Office This installation of The Provost’s Window is delayed, as I took a much-needed vacation. Originally planned for July 2020, this trip was punted more than a few times. It was worth the wait. During my travels, I reflected on how important it is to get out of … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window: Out of Office.
By Dr. Kristine Barnett Every provost I know is good at juggling. On some days, you are juggling soft round balls. Others find you juggling projects and priorities that are anything but soft. It takes good leadership to keep these things smoothly moving along. And it helps to have a well-functioning team to share the … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window-A Leader in Every Seat
As a long-time academic, this time of year always feels like the silly season. Is your desk piling up with last-minute requests? Are you on the receiving end of wide-ranging complaints and grievances? Is campus conflict rearing its ugly head? This time of year can unmoor even the most seasoned academic leaders. It’s likely that … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window-RX For Leaders: Adjust Your Crown and Keep Walking
By Dr. Kristine Barnett Scanning for Leadership Traits – What Are You Looking For? When I interview candidates for academic positions, I ask them to describe their leadership styles and how they will lead from the positions they are in. A candidate I was interviewing recently turned the tables and asked me “What are you … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window-Looking for Impactful Leaders
Knowledge Towns David J. Staley and Dominic D.J. Endicott, Knowledge Towns: Colleges and Universities as Talent Magnets (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023) I have spent the last six months as a consultant with a team developing the campus master plan for a small regional university nestled in Appalachia. The university shares many characteristics of other … Continue reading University Design | David J. Staley
By Dr. Kristine Barnett I remember my first big workplace doozie, when I was a young pup of 25 working in corporate communications for a major health insurer. To my horror, I realized I had approved printing more than 250,000 copies of a postcard that listed a customer service number of 1-800-XXX-XXXX. The 7 x’s … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window: The Value of Mistake-Making
Universities as Geostrategic Assets William C. Kirby, Empire of Ideas: Creating the Modern University from Germany to America to China (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2022). My inbox fills each week with reports about the demise of higher education in the United States. These take various forms: the surveys of Americans who feel … Continue reading University Design | David J. Staley
By Dr. Kristine Barnett Chances are, you didn’t get into your leadership position without some help. Maybe you benefitted from a formal mentoring relationship, or maybe you had some informal mentors. Perhaps you are mentoring others. When we are tested, we often turn to the wisdom of our mentors and counselors. I’ve had mentors from … Continue reading Through the Provost’s Window: The Wisdom of Mentors
Calm in a Crisis by Dr. Kristine Barnett Chances are, you’ve faced a campus crisis. In fact, it’s possible that some of us are dealing with one right now or have one brewing and we just don’t know it. Whether classified as minor, major, or catastrophic, crises of all magnitudes are unavoidable for the higher … Continue reading The Provost’s Window: Crisis Management 101
University Design | David J. Staley Paul Anand, Happiness Explained: What Human Flourishing Is and What We Can Do to Promote It (Oxford University Press, 2016). Rather than “what do you want to do?” with your degree, I have taken to asking my students “what do you want to become?” I want to disassociate in … Continue reading The College of Human Flourishing
If news reports are any indication, much of higher education is in a freefall. According to the recent Fitch Ratings 2023 Outlook Report, higher education is in a ‘deteriorating state’ due to inflationary costs, labor pressures, and mixed enrollment results. The latest projection is considerably bleaker than the 2021 outlook, especially for colleges in the … Continue reading Leadership Matters. Now More than Ever.
Strengthening Your Culture IQ Peter Drucker, the renowned management consultant, said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker’s quote reminds us that institutional culture can be a more forceful influence than a great strategy. Leaders need to quickly and accurately read the culture to understand the intangibles of campus life. Of course, there is “culture,” and … Continue reading The Provost’s Window: Views on Academic Leadership
University Design | David J. Staley Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder and Sin Yi Cheung, The Death of Human Capital? Its Failed Promise and How to Renew It in an Age of Disruption (Oxford University Press, 2020) Richard A. Detweiler, The Evidence Liberal Arts Needs: Lives of Consequence, Inquiry and Accomplishment (MIT Press, 2021) Wendy Fischman … Continue reading The Fall of Human Capital, and the Rise of “Capital of the Mind”
Kristine Barnett, Ed.D is a career-long educator and academic administrator who often has a unique perspective on all aspects of academic leadership. Dr. Barnett has cobbled together a career at a variety of institutions that have afforded her several different scenic vistas. For the most part, her leadership has been focused on small, private, liberal … Continue reading The Provost’s Window: Views on Academic Leadership
University Design | David J. Staley la paperson, A Third University is Possible (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017) Clyde W. Barrow, The Entrepreneurial Intellectual in the Corporate University (Palgrave Pivot, 2018) John Andrew Rice was the designer and founder of Black Mountain College, the arts-centered liberal arts college that thrived from 1933-1957. Black Mountain … Continue reading The Entrepreneurial University
University Design | David J. Staley Glyn Davis, The Australian Idea of a University (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2017). Of all the problems facing the higher education sector today, the lack of differentiation may be the root cause of many of them. Too many colleges and universities look like every other college and university, offering … Continue reading FOLD: “Fear of Looking Different”
Why does a potential student choose one school over another? Economists and management scholars and practitioners suggest it comes down to the value proposition or in other words, the value that students and their families attribute to your institution. Building on the quote from Warren Buffett, “Price is what you pay, value is what … Continue reading What is a Value Proposition and Why Does it Matter for Your Institution? By James Wilson III, PhD
A few days ago, I had coffee with a recent graduate of Ohio State. An engineering major, he now works for a big Silicon Valley tech firm. He said that what got him his job was not his major or his grade point as much as the side projects he engaged in while at Ohio … Continue reading Side Hustle College by David J. Staley
One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the transition to remote work. Many knowledge workers have discovered that given the permission to "work from anywhere" they may seek out places with affordable housing, lower cost of living and better quality of life. Some small towns, secondary cities and rural areas have found themselves in a position … Continue reading The University as Public Utility by David J. Staley
I was recently invited to formally state my teaching philosophy, a useful exercise for any educator to practice every so often. I wrote that “I am committed to ensuring that undergraduate students are prepared to enter into a world of dynamic change, and to lead and thrive in such a complex world.” Rather than training … Continue reading An Education for Dynamic Change by David J. Staley
There is a newly emerging field I would like to christen “university design:” an approach, a methodology for thinking about the future of higher education. First, some definitions. One definition for the word design means “to give form.” Thus, when we are talking about industrial design, that means to give form to objects. Graphic design … Continue reading University Design Mindset: An Essential Skill for University Leaders by David J. Staley, Ph.D.
Some of the readers of my book Alternative Universities, while excited at the idea of enterprise-level innovation in higher education, tell me in the same breath that it would be difficult to actually start any of these universities. It’s an interesting thought experiment, these readers insist, but regional accreditors would never sign off on models … Continue reading Innovation and Accreditation by David J. Staley
This autumn, my institution, The Ohio State University, welcomed the largest number of students ever to its Columbus campus: over 61,000 students. For at least the last century, and certainly since the 1950s, Ohio State has been one of the largest campuses in the country. But today, even the size of Ohio State pales before … Continue reading Higher Education at Scale by David J. Staley
If you could start a university today from scratch, what would you create? Most of us will never be offered this inviting opportunity. Stephen Lehmkuhle was so fortunate, recounting his efforts as the founding chancellor of the University of Minnesota at Rochester in his memoir Campus With Purpose: Building a Mission-Driven Campus. Aside from being … Continue reading Redesigning the University by David J. Staley
I was leafing through a Forbes magazine in 2019 while on a flight and came upon an extraordinary advertisement. Featured prominently was a young woman in a college-style sweatshirt, which in block letters bore not the name of her university but rather the figure $67,928. “Why did she borrow $67,928 for tuition?” the advertisement asks. … Continue reading Who should pay for job training? David J. Staley Ph.D.
One of the speculative designs in my book Alternative Universities was titled “Polymath University.” This would be an institution where, as a condition for graduation, a student must major in three disparate disciplines. So, rather than majoring in History, English and Philosophy or Accounting, Finance and Actuarial Science—each cognate disciplines to the others—a student would … Continue reading A University for Polymaths By David J. Staley
This article is excerpted from a recent IngenioUs podcast episode with Greenfield Community College President, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez. Click here to listen to the full-length episode. Where did your professional journey begin and what initially drew you into higher education? YSF: I have to say it's a little bit of pragmatism and a few incredible … Continue reading Lessons on Leading and Living with Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez
In this era of heightened disruption and challenge facing nearly all of higher education, we hear—increasingly—the call for innovation. Innovation is viewed as the golden ring that, once caught, will carry institutions through to a brighter future. And yet, many of these calls view innovation narrowly, often through the lens of technological tools and approaches. … Continue reading Is It Time to Redefine Innovation?
This article is excerpted from a recent IngenioUs podcast episode with Ease Learning CEO, Laurie Pulido. Click here to listen to the full-length episode. Can you tell us about your professional journey, the work you're now doing at Ease Learning, and where the inspiration to start your company came from? LP: Every time somebody asks me that … Continue reading The Future of Online Learning with Ease Learning CEO, Laurie Pulido
We welcome David J. Staley, Ph.D. as guest author for this week’s IngenioUs blog. To hear more of Dr. Staley’s insights about the future of universities, check out this IngenioUs podcast conversation: https://anchor.fm/chelip/episodes/Imagining-the-University-of-the-Future-with-Dr–David-J–Staley-ejiuu9 Karl Jaspers began his 1946 book The Idea of the University with these words: The university is a community of scholars and students … Continue reading The University and Truth by David J. Staley
By Rick Bailey A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the disruption of 2020 has forced the development of new capacities, capabilities and constructs in higher ed. I compared the process to learning to write with your secondary hand. It’s difficult to write with your left hand if you’ve been writing with your right … Continue reading Higher Ed’s Path to a Post-Post-COVID Life
By Rick Bailey As an industry, higher education has been generally perceived as a huge ship that moved at a very slow pace. Nimbleness wasn’t a word we associated with higher ed; we thought change was nearly impossible. Whether it was processes or people who weighed institutions down, higher ed seemed not to be able … Continue reading Becoming Ambidextrous
By Dr. Melissa Morriss-Olson During season one of our podcast, IngenioUs, we ended each episode by asking our guests to tell us what is on their radar as they look to the future. I was inspired and encouraged by what I heard. I was also struck by the 5 common themes that emerged across all … Continue reading Looking Ahead to 2021 and Beyond: What’s On Your Radar?
We welcome David J. Staley, Ph.D. as guest author for this week’s IngenioUs blog. To hear more of Dr. Staley’s insights about the future of universities, check out this IngenioUs podcast conversation: https://anchor.fm/chelip/episodes/Imagining-the-University-of-the-Future-with-Dr--David-J--Staley-ejiuu9 This is a cover from Roswell Park’s 1841 book Pantology: Or a Systematic Survey of Human Knowledge. “The present work,” he began … Continue reading “Epistemological Culling” and the Future of Universities by David J. Staley
This article is excerpted from a recent IngenioUs podcast episode with Kaplan University Partners President, Brandon Busteed. Click here to listen to the full-length episode. In 2018 you were named to your current position as president of Kaplan University Partners. Can you tell us about the work you're doing at Kaplan and what Kaplan's trying … Continue reading Talking About Higher Ed’s Biggest Issues: An Interview with Brandon Busteed
This week we welcome guest blogger Dr. Jeremiah Nelson. Dr. Jeremiah Nelson teaches Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice in Higher Education in Bay Path’s Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies (HELOS) doctoral program. He serves as Director of MBA Enrollment Management at Wake Forest University School of Business and President of NAGAP, the Association for Graduate … Continue reading Reflections of an Adjunct
Change is difficult. We become socialized in how “we” do things, and it’s hard to let go of ways of working, especially if the new ways are still under development. Such is the case for higher education as we adapt to teaching and learning during a pandemic. Crises have a way of forcing us to … Continue reading Transforming Organizations Through Bold Strokes and Emerging Strides
This week we are excited to welcome Ken Anselment as our guest blogger at IngenioUs. Ken is the Dan Saracino Chair of Enrollment Management at RHB and the Vice President for Enrollment and Communications at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. RHB helps great causes succeed by designing strategies to maximize student lifetime value, a manifestation … Continue reading When Will We Return to Normal?
By Dr. William Massy We are pleased to welcome higher education financing and strategy consultant, Dr. William Massy as our guest blogger this week. Dr. Massy has been active as a professor, author, consultant, and university administrator for more than forty years. He holds emeritus professor status at Stanford University where he also served in a number of administrative roles including … Continue reading Money Problems? Look to Your Academic Portfolios.
Leading in the midst of any kind of sustained crisis is risky business. Most crises involve at least two distinct phases. And the work needing to be done in each is distinctly different. For example, during the crisis phase (which is essentially what many colleges and universities have been experiencing since March) our priority is … Continue reading Pandemic Inspired Leadership Lessons #2: Practice Adaptive Leadership
Ten Ways to Know What Students Want We are pleased to welcome Gray Associates CEO and Founder, Robert Gray Atkins as our guest blogger this week. To hear more of his insights about data-informed decision making, check out this week’s episode of the IngenioUs podcast here. Since the end of the Great Recession, higher education … Continue reading The Path Towards Academic Program Profitability
By Guest Blogger: Jeremiah Nelson, Ph.D. Dr. Jeremiah Nelson teaches Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practice in Higher Education in Bay Path's Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Studies (HELOS) doctoral program. He serves as Director of MBA Enrollment Management at Wake Forest University School of Business and President of NAGAP, the Association for Graduate Enrollment Management. A … Continue reading The Paradox of Innovation Management
If history is any indication, crises spur innovation. For example, the great Renaissance was borne out of the Black Death, a time in which a third of Europe’s population died. Historians have written that the horrors of the Black Death disease eventually led to a period of creative adaptation and the development of medical science … Continue reading Pandemic Inspired Leadership Lessons: #1 Plan Now for a Post-Pandemic Future
According to recent studies, there is a shortage of qualified academic leaders willing to step up into senior leadership roles on college campuses these days. Even more alarming are the reports about the uptick in ever more short-lived senior leader stints. For many top leaders, a desire to exercise one’s creative juices--to have an impact--is … Continue reading Overcoming Obstacles to Innovation and Change and How to Respond
In my last post, I introduced some ideas for cultivating the synergy that fosters creative thinking and new ideas. Particularly in academic organizations, we sometimes block our potential for creative thinking by not challenging those ‘unwritten rules’ or ‘sacred traditions’ that keep us tethered to outmoded beliefs and ways of doing things that no longer … Continue reading Cultivating Creativity when Times are Tough—Part II
In last week’s post, I talked about the importance of nurturing an ‘innovative mindset’, especially when times are tough and the pressures to hunker down are overwhelming. And yet, from my own personal experience, I know that this is anything but easy. On the average college campus, there are any number of barriers at play … Continue reading Cultivating Creativity when Times are Tough—Part I
Creative thinking skills are more important than ever if we are to deal with the vast and complex array of challenges facing nearly all colleges and universities. In my own research on successful college management practices, one of the most enduring characteristics of resilient institutions is an ‘innovative mindset.’ Especially when times are tough—like right … Continue reading 5 Destructive Myths about Innovation