Category Archives: Partnership

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.

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!

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!