A College President for the Public Good

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.

 

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

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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!

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!

The Collaborative Way

Usually, I will read a book before posting about it. Well, not so in this case because the book has been vetted by Gwyneth Paltrow already. You can read an interview with one of the authors, Lloyd Fickett, of The Collaborative Way on Gwyneth’s lifestyle website goop. Then, let’s read the book, or what appears to be a succinct manual for collaboration, management, and leadership.

Enjoy!

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p.s. Thank you Leslee Creighton for sharing this interview with me!

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!

 

Collaboration Mindset Inventory

No matter where I go, collaboration is on my mind. Recently, I attended the ILA Board Retreat in Atlanta (site for the 2016 ILA Global Conference), and had the privilege of participating in the Global Mindset Inventory thanks to Dr. Mansour Javidan (a colleague on the ILA board). Developed by the Global Mindset Institute, this assessment tool helps “determine a global leader’s ability to better influence individuals, groups and organizations unlike themselves.”

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I left Atlanta wondering how cool it would be to develop the Collaboration Mindset Inventory,  which would help “determine a leader’s ability to better influence individuals and groups and organizations through collaboration.”

Like the GMI, the CMI would measure collaborative thinking in the areas of intellectual, psychological, and social capital. The assessment would result in a map of a leader’s current thinking, as well as suggestions for personal and professional development.

What next? I’m going to continue to bug Mansour about the GMI and what we can learn from it that would transfer to the CMI. As well, we will find out what else is already out there in terms of collaboration assessment (SOCHE is neighbors with the Chally Group 🙂

Stay tuned!

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!

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!