All posts by Dr Sean Joseph

Sean Joseph Creighton, Ph.D., is the President of SOCHE, a regional association of colleges and universities dedicated to educating, employing, and engaging citizens. SOCHE coordinates programs for over 20 diverse members of higher learning with an annual economic impact of $3.3 billion, serving over 120,000 student and more than 36,000 employees. SOCHE received the Dayton Business Journal’s Non-Profit Business of the Year Award in 2012 and Innovation Index Award in 2015. Sean is currently in his second term as an elected member of the Board of Education for the Yellow Springs Public Schools, where he has been president, chaired the 2020 Strategic Plan, and served as the district’s legislative liaison. He also serves on advisory committees and boards for several local and national organizations, including Dayton Literary Peace Prize, International Leadership Association, TEDxDayton (license holder and co-chair), ThinkTV Public Broadcasting, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Community Partnership Leadership Council. Sean has published and presented extensively on higher education, collaboration, civic engagement, and talent retention. He is also a principle investigator for the Kettering Foundation on several research projects concerning the civic mission of higher education. A higher education advocate and voice for collaboration, he posts regularly at creightoncollaborative.com. Sean holds degrees from Marist College and New York University, and earned his PhD from Antioch University. He lives in the charming village of Yellow Springs with his wife, Leslee, and his five fun children, Liam, Maya, Quinn, Audrey, and Juliette. sean.creighton@soche.org @seancreighton

Sandbox Collaborative

Recently, I came across Sandbox Collaborative, which is housed at Southern New Hampshire University. The organization’s goal is to reimagine higher education, approaching this goal with an expertise in disruptive innovation and collaboration.

What I find most intriguing about Sandbox is that it operates within and is supported by the university. It is a self-described “internal consultancy and incubator of new and alternative business models of higher education….” This approach is a unique example of intra-collaboration and innovation embedded in the university.

As we at SOCHE embarks upon our 50th anniversary as a higher ed collaborative, we think intra-collaboration will become an increasingly important model and strategy for higher education to navigate its disruption. Hence, we have reached out to Michelle Weise, Executive Director of Sandbox, to join us for a future conference.

Stay tuned!

Smart Collaboration

As we kick off 2017, I am delighted to see Heidi Gardner’s book Smart Collaboration has entered the marketplace (and my iPad). The book claims to show “firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries.”

While Gardner’s book appears to have a bent toward professional service firms (e.g. legal), I’m looking forward to reading this deeply researched effort to discuss the importance of collaboration. Optimistically, I anticipate finding examples of collaboration that may serve as models for higher education, as well as the public sector. And, undoubtedly, I am thinking this book will shed light on existing gaps in the research and, consequently, perpetuate scholars-practitioners to wrestle further with the study of collaborative enterprise across all sectors.

Please look forward to a more thorough review of Smart Collaboration to come. Until then, happy collaborating to all in 2017!

A College President for the Public Good

Harry Boyte’s latest profile in the Huffington Post is on my bow-tie sporting colleague/mentor Paul Pribbenow, president of Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Paul exemplifies a college president who carries with him the vision of leading for the public good. One would think, as Paul notes, that the majority of college presidents are driven by this same notion, carrying the torch of American higher education that contributes to realizing significant public ends.

Unfortunately, many college leaders have lost touch with higher ed’s foundational roots of providing students with the civic knowledge and skills to become engaged citizens. Paul is not one of those leaders, obviously. He belongs to a group of outlier presidents who remain steadfast in their commitment to creating a learning environment that teaches how to contribute to the civic health of our society and democracy. Paul is committed to graduating the “citizen professional” – a mindset that values leadership for the public good and rebuilding the civic life of communities.

Paul Pribbenow’s profile is one in a series in the Huffington Post by Harry Boyte on college presidential leadership for the Kettering Foundation’s College Presidents and the Civic Purposes of Higher Education Project. Read more profiles and other musings by Harry.

 

Cin-Day Cyber Receives Federal Award

I’ve been meaning to share the good news here regarding the Cin-Day Cyber Corridor initiative I’ve written about earlier.  The greater Cincinnati-Dayton region is one of five recipients of a regional alliance grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Tecyberlogochnology (NIST). The five grants, as part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), total nearly $1 million are to take a community approach to addressing the nation’s shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees.

Working collaboratively with the Dayton Development Coalition, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education submitted a NIST proposal on behalf of a cyber alliance of lead partners in higher education, economic development, industry, government, and K-12 The alliance has been awarded $198,759 in project funding to advance partnerships that increase the pipeline of students pursuing cybersecurity careers, help more Americans attain the skills they need for well-paying jobs in cybersecurity, and support local economic development to stimulate job growth.

Congrats to all the partners in the alliance! This has been a hugely collaborative effort, and is just the beginning of a longterm focus on cyber education and workforce readiness for our region.

Read the full press release.

SOCHE Partners with Innovative Educators

soche_education_on_demand_960_370SOCHE launched a new program thanks to a partnership with the Denver-based company Innovative EducatorsSOCHE Education on Demand provides our members access to more than 100 professional development training courses, as well as access to unlimited live webinars.

We teamed up with Innovative Educators due to their expertise in providing online training for educators and the breadth of programming available for faculty, administrators, and staff. More so, their live webinars cover the most pressing topics in higher education that address:

  • At Risk Populations
  • Campus Safety
  • Organizational Development
  • Student Success
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Technology

This is a wonderful partnership for learning for faculty and staff at SOCHE member institutions!

Science and Collaboration Have No Borders

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I recently sat down with Jason Barkeloo, Founder and Chair of Open Therapeutics, at one of my favorite meeting spots, YSB. Barkeloo’s vision has resulted in an open collaboration company. They bring scientists together to share data and focus on developing technologies that will address global health issues. Specializing in synthetic biology, the company believes in “eliminating research silos, encouraging scientific peer-to-peer communication and stimulating collaboration in scientific research.”

Barkeloo wants to partner with SOCHE to aggressively bring student researchers into the mix. Not only will students gain access to advanced biomedical research, the goal of their involvement is multi-fold: 1) increase student research contributions to the open source network; 2) create global connections between new and seasoned scientists; 3) advance the mindset and culture of collaboration among the scientific community and its next generation leadership; 4) perpetuate research done for the global good and solving world health issues; and 5) the list holds the potential to go on and on.

Bravo, Jason and Open Therapeutics!

Cin-Day Cyber

A multi-stakeholder alliance is emerging in our region of the country under the name of Cin-Day Cyber. The alliance brings together K-12, higher education, industry, and government in a strategic effort to establish/enhance Cincinnati-Dayton’s reputation as a national leader in cybersecurity education, research and private and public partnerships. SOCHE is at the center of the alliance, providing administrative infrastructure to help Cin-Day Cyber reach its goals. From our vantage point, we are again witnessing firsthand how collaborative thinking emerges and forms based on the pull of workforce demand. Congrats to all the partners!

The Collaborative Way

Usually, I will read a book before posting about it. Well, not so in this case because the book has been vetted by Gwyneth Paltrow already. You can read an interview with one of the authors, Lloyd Fickett, of The Collaborative Way on Gwyneth’s lifestyle website goop. Then, let’s read the book, or what appears to be a succinct manual for collaboration, management, and leadership.

Enjoy!

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p.s. Thank you Leslee Creighton for sharing this interview with me!

Systemness

Systemness (to borrow Nancy Zimpher’s term) is without a doubt central to the sustainable future of higher education. While many states have higher ed systems and many universities have multiple campus locations that comprise a system, they are struggling with systems thinking. It is not a common mindset; in fact, quite the opposite mindset of the silo-based evolution of higher ed.

Recently, I’ve been wondering: what can higher education learn from other perspectives when it comes to system integration? What can we learn from the engineer’s mind on process and designthe-habits-of-systems-thinker?
What can we learn from biology and how the organ systems of the body work together? Or, from the structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets or the plot and power of Toni Morrison’s Beloved?

Very specifically, what can we learn from studying our comprehensive health care systems?

While we will keep vision, mission, and values as higher ed’s central operating system, the goal of deepening our understanding of other systems is to find transference: what functions and services work best when centralized and which are best left decentralized?

Ultimately, how do we strike a collaborative balance in higher ed that enables mission assurance, creates cost efficiencies, adds value to multi-campus operations, and yields positive outcomes for the student experience? And does all of these things guided by the everlasting motto of Students first!