On Mixed Marriages: Building Community Between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs
This article first appeared in Academic Leader on November 1, 2018. © Magna Publications. All rights reserved. My partner and I often joke that we have a mixed marriage. Our joking is not exclusively because one of us is Black and the other is White. It is not because one…
Four Strategies to Improve Faculty Buy-In for Online Education
As an online administrator, I can tell you that it feels like we have been talking about ways to improve faculty buy-in for online education for the past 10 to 15 years. And we have. While online courses and degree programs are becoming more accepted and mainstream at many institutions,…
Follow-up Budget Questions for New Chairs: Flexibility, Carry Over, and Incentives, Part II
Incentives in the Budgeting System After the first two questions posed in a previous article on budgeting and finance, namely identifying the sources of academic income and how the department’s budget is established, have been answered, the new chair should quickly align the answers to see if the department’s budget…
Follow-up Budget Questions for New Chairs: Flexibility, Carry Over, and Incentives
To provide some basic budgeting and finance information to new chairs with little or no experience in this area, in my June article I recommended some questions for them to ask their dean prior to or at the outset of their terms as chairs. The questions on the sources of…
Creating Dialogue in the Interest of Social Justice on Campus
In a polarized national climate, free speech and First Amendment protections have drawn increasing attention on college campuses. With the advent of open white nationalism, expressions of white supremacy, and the potential for hate speech, campuses have sought to protect student safety and guard against the harassment of minoritized students….
Why and How We Should Choose Civility in Academic Workplaces
A positive and productive departmental climate can often seem like love. We might admire it from afar and wish we had that luck, although we can learn to cope by developing a hobby, lowering our expectations, or cultivating other relationships. We might blame our current unhappiness on our own mates…
Developing Critical Cross-cultural Communicative Competence in Academic Leaders
According to Chun and Evans (2018), continued white hegemonic practices in university and college administration and faculty have failed to develop a representative institutional culture and organizational structure that is responsive to the needs of diverse students and faculty. The purpose of this article is to discuss this issue, relate…
Can Innovation Be Taught?
As budgets tighten at colleges and universities, academic leaders are repeatedly urged to be more entrepreneurial in their approaches. “It’s time to think outside the box,” we’re told. “Be creative. Be daring. Be innovative.” But what do you do if you’re not a naturally innovative person? Or how can you be creative if the people who work in your area rarely seem to display much creativity? In short, can innovation be taught? And even if it is taught, can it be learned?
Higher Education: Exporting Middle-Class Dreams
Many countries are currently considering diversifying their higher education systems by modeling U.S. community college-like institutional designs. Vietnam and China, along with other nations, are intrigued by, curious about, yet somewhat suspicious of American community colleges—especially in terms of their relationship to universities and higher learning.
Even if It’s Not Broken, It Can Still Be Improved: Reorganizing for Effective Alignment
When systems and processes are misaligned and do not function effectively or efficiently for students, faculty, or staff, the need for reorganization of academic affairs is obvious. But it’s a daunting task. Broach the topic in a meeting, and you’ll immediately detect a rise in the level of stress in the room. And when word spreads, even people in units not directly affected by the proposed reorganization often will become apprehensive as well. This reaction poses a dilemma: how can institutions handle alignment and unit reorganization without inducing unnecessary stress or anxiety?
Shying away from the task is not a viable option. It would mean missing an opportunity for transformational change in operations. Consider the following issues that can drive the need for reorganization within academic affairs, and the possible consequences if these go unaddressed: