Category Archives: Higher Education

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!

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!

Systemness

Systemness (to borrow Nancy Zimpher’s term) is without a doubt central to the sustainable future for 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 the organ systems of the body? Or, from the structure of Shakespeare’s sonnets or Toni Morrison’s Beloved?

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

Keeping 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? Students first!

 

Robert Reich’s Right

Robert Reich described a leader as …someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term. Recently, I’ve seen this sentence cited in a few books, signature lines of colleagues, an online game about redistricting, and websites that collect cool and/or brainy quotes. The sentiment seems timely as collaboration and innovation, from my vantage point, are two of the most commonly used words by leaders nowadays. Last week, I attended an annual meeting in which the main theme was “collaboration + innovation for the future.” 

Okay, if we’re on the same page about desired qualities in our leaders, now what?

UntitledAs an academic, I’m thinking higher ed needs to expand its scholarship and curriculum on collaborative and innovative leadership. As a practitioner, I’d add there’s a desperate need to elevate (and teach) proven processes and practices that get leaders to a place of collaboration and innovation within and between organizations and between and within leaders and followers. As a global citizen, I sit here wishing for a future shaped by collaborative leaders that step back and engage/challenge citizens to work together to find innovative systemic solutions to society’s most long-standing and disruptive challenges.

Clearly, Reich is right!

Deep Academic and Administrative Collaborations

Often, I am asked if there are other organizations like SOCHE. The answer is, “Yes, in fact, there are many different types of consortia in higher education with unique missions and goals.” Going a step further, there is the Association for Collaborative Leadership, which serves as a consortium of consortia. ACL is “an educational, research and professional organization dedicated to developing leadership capabilities and advancing higher education collaboration.”

I have attended numerous ACL conferences over the years and discovered great value in the networking with other executives, rich content of the presenters, and the valuable research shared. In addition to the annual professional engagements, ACL provides research, resources, and tools to help advance and evaluate effective collaborations. I recommend you see for yourself their research on Deep Academic and Administrative Collaborations, which is a working document and updated regularly.

The future of higher education will be shaped by deep and sustained inter- and intra-institutional partnerships. This ACL resource will serve campuses as a good guide for best and common practices.

ILA Board of Trustees

I’m excited to join the board of the International Leadership Association. Off to Barcelona for their 2015 global conference and my board orientation. The ILA promotes a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practices for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide. The organization’s reach has grown substantially over the years; it has become the premier nonprofit for leaders and leadership across all domains. Becoming part of ILA’s governing body is an honor. I look forward to working collaboratively with my board colleagues and the ILA team. Barcelona, here I come!

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Center of Excellence in Collaboration

Recently, I’ve been obsessing over the idea of SOCHE launching the Center of Excellence in Collaboration, as part of its 50th anniversary. SOCHE already facilitates collaboration every day, week, month, year, and has since 1967. SOCHE already serves as the collaborative infrastructure for higher education in our region. Collaboration is SOCHE’s heart and soul, and why it has received accolades and awards for leading inter-institutional collaboration.

This is all fine and dandy. But it is not enough….

Now is the time to challenge SOCHE and its future by studying the art and science of collaboration to the nth degree. A desired outcome of a rigorous undertaking will be for SOCHE to launch the world-class CoE in Collaboration–providing leadership, best practices, research, support, training, expertise, evaluation, technology, and conditions and culture for inter- and intra-institutional collaboration.

People and organizations accept commonly the importance of collaboration in today’s environment. There are books, articles, blog spots that promote collaboration and collaborative innovation. We’ve understood for centuries the combined effect of creative forces is far more impactful than that of individual attempts. Knowing this, we must take the next step, building upon collaboration’s recognized status as a strategy for success and elevate collaboration to a field of academic study and practice.

SOCHE will (collaboratively) do this!

 

College Presidents as Public Philosophers

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Kettering Foundation’s Deliberative Democracy Exchange and participated in the work session College Presidents and the Civic Purposes of Higher Education. What a great group of personable, thoughtful, engaging presidents, whose campuses reflected the diversity of American higher education. The two-day session challenged the presidents to reflect on revitalizing democratic narrative, expanding public understandings of democracy beyond elections, politicians, and formal government, and becoming deeply woven into the life of their communities and regions. More so, KF challenged us to restore the role of the president to one of public philosopher – such a vital role, missing from our national dialogue. Where are the college president pundits?

I understand why KF continues to bring the civic purpose of higher education topic to the forefront. I, too, think it is imperative that college and university presidents ensure their campus ecosystem challenges students to develop a deep sense of civic purpose. There’s no better place than on a college campus to instill in student development and learning the acquired knowledge and skills to be effective citizens and, ultimately, the protectors and leaders of democracy. More so, as anchor institutions in communities, higher education is perfectly positioned to build educational, economic, and civic partnerships.  Imagine the positive influence on humanity if 21st century college students graduated with a heightened commitment to local, national, and global social justice.

While the presidents in the KF work session wished to restore civic purpose to their pulpit or the president to the civic pulpit, a reality emerged that speaking out on civic issues can be detrimental for some presidents, especially those at public institutions in conservative states. When did improving health and human welfare, ensuring community prosperity, and educating citizens on the value of deliberative democracy become partisan?

Nonetheless, it is unfortunate to think that a president’s job security might be threatened if he or she increased speaking publicly on civic issues. I’m hopeful a situation as such is an anomaly instead of a common fear of presidents. And I am driven by wishful thinking that we will see an uptick in presidents who are inspired by the KF challenge and, therefore, speak often on the civic purpose of higher education – like Rassoul Dastmozd, President of Saint Paul College, did recently in the Huffington Post, Civic Engagement and Our Responsibility in Higher Education – a public philosopher is born!

Innovation Award

SOCHE received a Dayton Business Journal Innovation Index Award last night, along with one of its founding members, Sinclair Community College. The vital role of collaborative partnerships clearly stood out in the remarks of the honorees, as well as the recognition that innovative organizations have collaboration in their DNA.  It is through collaboration they are able to extend their reach, programs, and impact.

Congrats to all the honorees for their commitment to collaboration.