Tag Archives: faculty

League for Innovations 2015, Day 4

Some Closing Thoughts

As I begin thinking about shuttles and flights home and reconciling charges, I notice small things out of the corner of my eye–things that should appeal to The Suburban Professor and his sociological leanings

The social stratification is clear.  The presidents and vps in their well tailored suits are easy to spot, as they adopt various strategies to maintain buffers–mobile phone calls, eyes fixed to the distance, quick glances at name tags.

Of course there are the exceptions, which make the pattern all the more clear.  The president from one of our campuses stopped a small group of faculty to chat and laugh outside of the gift shop.  Even her dress reflects her approach: a down vest and slacks instead of the ubiquitous severe navy, black, grey business suit adopted by women in admin.

The faculty are easy to spot–whether they are wearing a pair of heavy informal khakis or dressed in a neat tweed or rocking a pair of Crocs over colorful wool socks, they are a group.  Something about the persona they adopt reflects their independence, an independence that offers as many pitfalls as it does pay outs.

The silos, though, that I have heard discussed are not limited to disciplines, departments, or divisions.  The silos include our academics, admin, faculty, and staff.

I remember how hard Dr. Totten, my old old old Thomist prof battled the notion of compartmentalizing.  Perhaps I am homesick and snarky.  Tired of weighing whether I can sneak that donut charge past my wife’s eagle eye.  But the compartments, the silos, stand out.   And they trouble me.

League for Innovations 2015, Day 3

Civitas, Part 2

Needed dinner before posting the follow up.  If you are in Boston and if you like burgers, you have to visit 5 Napkins Burgers.

Back to the topic.

The talk shifted to targeting students during heavy registration.  The insight based on data is an adage among experienced chairs: late registrations have higher attrition rates.

The question remains, though.  What other information could you gather on these later registration students to increase success?  Gather is not the right word.  According to everyone, it is there: we have it.

Instead of dropping these late arrivals into one of two bucket, look at them as individuals to shape schedules (class times, class meetings, and instructors) and courses.  We have the information to tailor our courses, our curriculum, to meet the specific needs of specific students in real time.

The Civitas rep listed the broad ranging data sources available to the company and the college. He shifted back to risk information and actionable information–identifying various actions that can be based on the data. Again, though, the ‘outreach strategies’ he listed as examples are all after the fact.  They are not preemptive strikes.

And of course in steps Valencia-“anyone can learn anything.”  “You shift the conversation to the conditions of learning.” There it is.  Valencia has created a culture of innovation that calls for encourages participation in all levels of the college.