Led by David Oxley, President of Pomona College, nearly 550 college and university presidents, to date, are signatories on the Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students. This statement sends a strong message to the president-elect and his incoming administration on the importance of DACA and “the critical benefits of this program for our students, and the highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities.”
Now is time for public and private higher ed leaders to be more vocal on policy issues that impact their students and campuses, and come together to form a civic coalition that protects students and their access to learning and, ultimately, prosperity.
Bravo presidents for using your voice in defense of education!
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.
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 Technology (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 launched a new program thanks to a partnership with the Denver-based company Innovative Educators. SOCHE 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
This is a wonderful partnership for learning for faculty and staff at SOCHE member institutions!
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 (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 design?
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!
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?
As 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!
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.
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!
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!