SOCHE-Dayton Red Cross Partnership

SOCHE and the Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross are teaming up to increase the civic engagement and volunteerism of area college students. SOCHE and the Red Cross are committed to further strengthening the already good relationships campuses have with their communities.

With over 200,000 students at SOCHE member schools, this partnership taps into the student population to help build a stronger volunteer base for the Red Cross and the region.

The first event in the partnership will take place on October 13 during National Fire Prevention Week and includes engaging students and faculty in the Red Cross program Sound the Alarm.

Sound the Alarm is a home fire safety and smoke alarm installation program designed to save lives. Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives.

Students will have the opportunity to install smoke alarms and share fire safety information across neighborhoods in the Red Cross service area, which includes Greene, Montgomery, and Preble counties. Cory Paul, executive director of the Dayton Area Chapter of the Red Cross said, “Partnering with SOCHE is a great way to involve young people in initiatives that make a huge difference for our communities through volunteerism and collaboration. We have an opportunity to save a life, what could be better?”

Sean Creighton, SOCHE’s president, said, “Colleges and universities are committed to providing learning experiences to students through community engagement. This partnership is a good way to build persistent student engagement as we want Sound the Alarm to be the first of many events with the Red Cross and its many chapter across southwest Ohio.”

There will be volunteer shifts, 9am to 12pm and 12pm to 3pm. To register to participate in the October 13th Sound the Alarm event, visit: Sound the Alarm Volunteer

Forward Ohio!

For awhile, we have been saying that higher education needs to do a better job telling its story.  Last year, we went so far as to incorporate into SOCHE’s strategic roadmap the goal to “capture and communicate the value of higher education….” The day has finally come!

After talking with our colleagues at several other higher education associations in Ohio about a messaging campaign, one group took the lead to get us started and SOCHE is partnering on the effort as we know all colleges and universities–big and small, liberal arts, historically black, research,  land-grant, faith-based, religious-affiliated, technical, and the very important community colleges–this wonderful plethora of institutions will drive Ohio forward into a prosperous future.

Read the official announcement of the partnership:

SOCHE Joins Forward Ohio Initiative
Campaign launched to tout the value of higher education

DAYTON, Ohio (August 20, 2018) – The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) joins as a partner with the Inter-University Council (IUC) on Forward Ohio, an initiative to raise awareness of the value of colleges and universities and make higher education a key pillar in public policy discussion in Ohio. The initiative provides a counter-narrative to the negative publicity higher education has received nationally in recent years that has focused on exaggerated student debt without addressing return on investment.

Launched by the IUC last May, Forward Ohio is a statewide campaign that recognizes how Ohio’s institutions of higher education help shape the world in which our children and grandchildren attain the knowledge and skills required to reach their dreams, succeed in their chosen field and enjoy a more satisfying quality of life. Forward Ohio documents fulfilled aspirations – for our citizens, our state and our society. The campaign shines a light on ways in which Ohio colleges and universities drive economic growth, enable student success, expand career and job opportunities, and improve society through research and scientific breakthroughs. Dr. Sean Creighton, president of SOCHE said, “Our members are producing the quantity and quality of students needed for Ohio to be economically competitive. By joining Forward Ohio’s campaign, we will further tell the story of higher education’s value and impact on our region, as well as support the push to create public policies that increase investment in Ohio’s college students.”

SOCHE’s involvement will include sharing stories and data that underscore the value of SOCHE member colleges and universities with a specific emphasis on their collective impact on southwest Ohio. As well, SOCHE will work with IUC to leverage local media and other public opportunities to amplify the value and impact of Ohio’s college and universities on people, economies, and communities.

Bruce Johnson, president of the IUC welcomed SOCHE’s participation in Forward Ohio, saying, “Higher education is one of Ohio’s most important assets and IUC and SOCHE working together to better tell that story will help with the state’s ability to attract and retain jobs, which is key to Ohio’s economic future.”

More information on the campaign and how to become involved can be found at www.soche.org/forwardohio and www.forwardohio.org.

Formed in 1967, SOCHE 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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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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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.

OK Go and Pilobolus Collaboration

On the one-year anniversary of starting this blog, I wanted to share two videos from OK Go. One is the behind-the-scenes glimpse at a collaborative project with the modern dance troupe Pilobolus, 4f85f49535d95.imageand the second is the result. The videos illustrate maximizing creativity through collaboration, both on an individual and group level.

And what a fun outcome!

Behind the Scenes- Making of All Is Not Lost
The Result – All Is Not Lost

Happy Anniversary!

Collaboration for Impact

G’day, I came across this Australian organization, Collaboration for Impact, which “helps communities work better together to tackle their toughest problems.” Their website is a great resource for practitioners and scholars interested in collaboration, collective impactblogs, events, and other relevant and current information on collaborative thinking

And, if you happen to be in Melbourne this May, check out their annual conference.

collaboration

 

Collaboration Key to Cancer Cure

Taking a leadership role to find a cure to cancer, Vice President Biden is challenging scientists to collaborate. Biden acknowledged that research silos have stunted progress, and that collaboration among researchers and collaborative research specifically will be essential and the key to accelerating cures to cancer. The organization, Stand Up to Cancer, is leading an effort to promote innovation and collaboration, and is an excellent example of collaborative infrastructure being established to find innovative solutions to address a global health challenge.

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.

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!