Category Archives: Collaboration

DAGSI Merger Complete!

Very happy to announce the merger this week! We see mergers as part of SOCHE’s future plans to create synergistic collaboration.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact
Sean Creighton, President, SOCHE
(937) 258-8890

DAGSI Joins SOCHE in Merger

Two respected organizations become stronger through merger

DAYTON, Ohio (July 16, 2018) – The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) and Defense Associated Graduate Student Innovators (DAGSI) officially merged on July 1, resulting in a stronger workforce initiative that builds upon DAGSI and SOCHE’s dual efforts in developing the next generation of scientists to advance the research priorities of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and defense industry in Ohio.

The conversation between SOCHE and DAGSI at the board level began almost a year ago and started from a place of mutual interest. Kathleen Carlson, DAGSI board chair said, “I’m excited DAGSI will live on through SOCHE. DAGSI’s relationships throughout the state with its Ohio university partners and AFRL led to one-of-a kind research projects for hundreds of graduate students. Its work aligns perfectly with the mission of SOCHE and will grow and evolve under the new leadership.”

Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, SOCHE’s board chair and president of Clark State Community College said, “SOCHE adds tremendous value to the workforce by leveraging higher education talent in our region to ensure its prosperity. This is a win-win merger for both organizations, creating a synergy of resources under SOCHE’s workforce programs that will further develop the current and future generations of talent in Ohio.”

Funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education and AFRL, DAGSI’s statewide program has effectively supported graduate student researchers at Ohio colleges and universities. Since 2004, DAGSI awarded over 280 collaborative projects that have strengthened Ohio’s intellectual infrastructure in technology and engineering and shored up the state’s high-tech workforce. “The DAGSI program continues to exceed our objectives and is bringing tangible value to the Air Force,” said Mick Hitchcock, Technical Advisor, Small Business Directorate.

Now part of SOCHE’s workforce solutions led by Dr. Cassie Barlow, SOCHE Chief Operations Officer, DAGSI’s long-time established brand will be maintained for years to come with its newly refreshed name. “DAGSI is focused on supporting graduate students and faculty that bring novel thinking to current challenges in the area of aerospace and defense,” explained Dr. Barlow. “Since its inception, DAGSI has become a proven success with over 70% of students remaining employed in Ohio after graduation,” Barlow added.

Formed in 1967, SOCHE is guided by 23 college and universities members and has become the trusted and recognized regional leader for higher ed collaboration, working with colleges and universities to transform their communities and economies through the education, employment, and engagement of nearly 200,000 students in southwest Ohio. SOCHE is home to the Aerospace Professional Development Center (APDC), and Defense Associated Graduate Student Innovators (DAGSI), and SOCHEIntern, to name a few. For more information about SOCHE and all its products, visit http://www.soche.org/.

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TEDxDayton’s Fifth Anniversary

On October 20th, TEDxDayton will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Every step of the way, this community initiative has been driven by unmatched volunteerism and leadership. Individuals from diverse backgrounds and professions have joined together, building new connections, relationships, and synergy in the spirit of lifting up TED’s motto Ideas Worth Spreading. More than a fun day of stories and performances, TEDxDayton exemplifies effective citizen engagement, and has become a beloved community event for Dayton since its inception.

Thank you Chris Anderson and the team at TED. And many congratulations to all those who have been involved from day one up through year five and have been the Current in our community!

 

Time to Tell the Higher Story

Higher education continues to get beat up in the public eye. When will it respond?

During the presidential campaign season last year, candidates focused on the cost of higher education, student debt, making college affordable (or even free). No one talked about the value and impact of higher education. Now, a Pew study indicates 58% of Republicans think higher education is bad for America. This is a dangerous public opinion trend for our nation and our future.

Where’s the counter narrative?

Jim Tressel, president of Youngstown State University, delivered a strong message at the Ohio Department of Higher Education Efficiency Summit that higher education has done a poor job telling its story and illustrating its value and impact. President Tressel shared data points from a Lumina Foundation report to illustrate the impact of higher education. In comparing high school graduates to college graduates, individuals with bachelor’s degrees:

  1. Earn 56% more annually
  2. Earn an additional $625,000 in lifetime earnings
  3. Are 3.5 times less likely to be in poverty
  4. Are 2.2 times less likely to be unemployed
  5. Contribute $275,000 more in taxes
  6. Are 47% more likely to have health insurance through an employer
  7. Are 3.9 times less likely to smoke
  8. Have a life expectancy that is seven years longer
  9. Are 4.9 times less likely to go to prison
  10. Are 21% more likely to be married and 61% less likely to get divorced
  11. Are more involved in community, more likely to vote, own a home, contribute more to charity, volunteer, are much more likely to report being happy….and…
  12. Only 4.9% of the opioid deaths in Ohio in 2016 had a bachelor’s degree or higher (95% did not have a college degree)

These dozen data points are the tip of the iceberg. We know there are an infinite number of stories that illustrate higher ed’s value and the impact it has on people, economies,  communities, and America.

Now more than ever, we need a comprehensive campaign that provides the counter narrative; one that is influential and, ultimately, changes public opinion, ignites public trust, and prioritizes investing in higher education. Our colleges and universities are the best solution America has for a brighter future.

At SOCHE, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we plan to capture and communicate the value and impact of higher education. While we will focus on our region, we need a coalition of partners to campaign with us to change public opinion nationally, so Pew’s next study produces different results and policymakers trend
toward investment not divestment in higher education.

It’s time to tell the higher story!

Hyper-Collaboration

Recently, I had the chance to participate on a panel at Antioch College. They relaunched a program, a fond memory for many Antiochians, called Friday Forum. Our forum focused on the Financial Sustainability of Liberal Arts Colleges in the 21st Century.

The moderator asked me to reflect on the financial situation facing colleges and universities across southwest, Ohio. I apologized upfront for the gloomy picture I would initially have to paint: 1) declining state support for public universities coupled with increase in unfunded mandates; 2) extremely competitive, therefore expensive, environment for recruiting students; 3) tuition discount rates rising north of 50% on average (north of 75% for some; north of 90% for others) and climbing steadily; 3) more than 70% decline in applications from international students (for some campuses, their cash cow) due to the presidential race and election results; 4) escalating costs of infrastructure and general operations; and 5) poor decision making by boards and administrations.

These scenarios, and many others, are stressing already tight budgets at colleges and universities, and certainly contributing momentum to the disruption of its business model.

In the face of this reality, the value-proposition for collaboration is rising. However, we need to advance beyond your typical practice of collaboration; the time for hyper-collaboration has arrived.  While purchased goods and services saved campuses a few dollars in the past, these strategies are not enough to transform the business model. Higher education must transcend traditional cost savings methods by forging deep partnerships.

What does hyper-collaboration look like? It is a deep partnership that is resilient, substantial in cost savings or revenue generation, and mutually beneficial to all parties. It can include sharing faculty, facilities, and courses. It can include a research collaborative that garners significant external support. It can be the centralization of backend services. It could be a tuition management system for multiple campuses. It could be…whatever we can challenge ourselves to envision and implement!

In the case of Antioch, there is definite opportunity to partner with several nearby liberal arts colleges, as well as look for partnership opportunities with the Village of Yellow Springs, a uniquely charming and progressive community.

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!

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

open-therapeutics-logo
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!