Faculty and Staff Often Don’t Trust One Another. How Do We Fix That? — from chronicle.com by Jenae Cohn
Three ways to bridge divisions as academe prepares for the post-pandemic era.

Excerpts:

One of the few welcome outcomes of Covid-19, and higher education’s rapid move to remote instruction, is that many faculty members are more aware than ever of who the staff members are and what we do.

As Lee Skallerup Bessette wrote in October, staff members — anyone working on a college campus who is not a professor or an administrator — have been on the front lines during the pandemic: “We are the face that faculty members see when they have questions, concerns, or struggles with the technology they have been asked to use. We are the face that students see when they have questions, concerns, or struggles related to distance learning or on-campus policies and procedures.”

Yet however much academics and administrators have been turning to us for help now, they still rarely involve and entrust staff members with campus decision-making around teaching, curriculum development, and research.

It behooves every college and university to consider what authentic collaboration between the staff and the faculty might look like. How? Here are three concrete steps in that direction.
.
Step 1: Offer incentives for faculty-staff partnerships.
Step 2: Rethink hierarchical traditions.
Step 3: Create shared experiences. 

From DSC:
Although I was an Adjunct Professor for over 5 years and have worked alongside faculty members for 20 years, the majority of my work and efforts have mainly been on the staff side of the house. So I appreciate The Chronicle hosting this article and I thank Jenae for writing it. It’s an important topic.

If traditional institutions of higher education are going to survive, there needs to be much broader governance, a much greater use of teams to create and deliver learning experiences, and a much stronger culture of innovating and experimenting with new ideas. At the end of the day, I think that the following two things will be the deciding factors on whether a particular institution survives, merges, shrinks, or closes its doors altogether:

  • The culture of a particular institution
  • Whether that institution has visionary leadership or not (and not just being data-driven…which comes up short again and again)

Also see:

 

The art of the pivot — from chieflearningofficer.com by Jay Campbell and Doug Glener
Try these four tactics the next time you have to change direction.

Excerpt:

The ”first pancake” metaphor — a test to see if the batter and heat are just right — is an example of framing. The results are informative, but not pretty. Framing an experiment as a first pancake lowers the stress and pressure while simultaneously making the experiment fun and playful. Leaders who successfully frame a situation can shift people’s attitudes about even the most intimidating changes.

Supporting healthier minds through learning and development — from chieflearningofficer.com by Elizabeth Loutfi
L&D teams have helped to alleviate some of the stress and anxieties people are feeling as their organizations grapple with pandemic-related changes and challenges.

Meet the CLO Advisory Board: Bob Mosher — from chieflearningofficer.com by Elizabeth Loutfi
Meet longtime CLO advisory board member Bob Mosher, CEO and chief learning evangelist for APPLY Synergies.

CLO: What lessons did you learn back in 2020 that you’ve taken with you into 2021?
For me, it’s the art of listening. As educators, we’re supposed to have answers and we’re supposed to be the owners of content and the developers of programs. We get help from the business, but we’re very locked in our ways. Understandably so, but all of our ways were thrown out last year. My instinct, and many, was to rush to solution, rush to help. That was fairly humbling for me. It was a year to reflect and sit back and examine my commitment to things over doing the right thing. It taught me that — which L&D should do well anyway, but when you get senior like me and you’ve done it a bunch of times — you guess people’s right answer, or think you can. Because there was no normal and we weren’t making courses like we always used to, it was a year of reflection and listening for me to kind of rekindle that skill.

5 ways to foster a learning culture — from chieflearningofficer.com by Jonathan Finkelstein
By placing importance on growth at all levels of the organization, you can foster a learning culture that serves your people and helps your business grow.

 

By Putting Tensions on Stage, Colleges Aim to Change Campus Culture — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

That’s the creative solution more colleges are turning to as they try to make their cultures more inclusive for people who find themselves marginalized within academia. Programs for applied theater at institutions including University of Michigan, University of New Hampshire, University of Virginia and Florida International University bring to life higher ed troubles and tensions through original sketches, shows and the occasional musical number.

An applied theater sketch is like a pane of glass. For some viewers, it’s a mirror that reflects their personal experiences. For others, it’s a window into the lives of their colleagues and students. And for everyone willing to engage, it’s a magnifying lens that enlarges the details of daily interaction for clearer inspection.

From DSC:
I say we expand this line of thought even more: Here’s another idea/approach to leveraging the talents of Theatre Majors throughout higher education.

A new world of creative, engaging, active learning could open up if those involved with the Theatre Department could work collaboratively with students/faculty members from other disciplines. And in the end, the learning experiences and content developed would be highly engaging — and perhaps even profitable for the institutions themselves!

 


Also from edsurge.com:

Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials – 2021 Report — from credentialengine.org

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Learners, educators and policymakers understand that high school completion and education beyond high school are critical to thrive in the workforce. However, until recently an inventory of the number or type of secondary and post-secondary credential opportunities in the United States did not exist. This is the third annual report from Credential Engine that attempts to count all these credentials. The report identifies 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S. in 16 detailed credential categories across four types of credential providers…

 

“Maybe if I write it in a letter?” — from additudemag.com by Allison Leigh Solomon
Our children are easy to write off as disrespectful, lazy, and even hopeless. They are none of those things, but they will challenge you. And if you take up that challenge — and recognize the incredible potential for growth just waiting to burst out — you may just be a part of something magical.

Excerpt:

But here is what I want you to know about these children:

  • Life is not easy for them; they struggle day in and day out.
  • They know what they are doing is wrong, but most times they simply can’t stop themselves.
  • They really want to please you, but they are not very good at reading body language or knowing when enough is enough.
  • They lack confidence and need constant positive reinforcement to know that they are on the right track.
  • They are not willingly being disruptive or misbehaving.
  • Life is challenging for them and what they need the most is understanding, patience, encouragement, and acceptance.
 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

Whistleblowers: Software Bug Keeping Hundreds Of Inmates In Arizona Prisons Beyond Release Dates— from kjzz.org

Excerpt:

According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.

KJZZ is not naming the whistleblowers because they fear retaliation. The employees said they have been raising the issue internally for more than a year, but prison administrators have not acted to fix the software bug. The sources said Chief Information Officer Holly Greene and Deputy Director Joe Profiri have been aware of the problem since 2019.

The Arizona Department of Corrections confirmed there is a problem with the software.

 

Reimagining the Future of Legal Regulatory Reform (emphasis below from DSC)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM EST

The American legal system has been designed by lawyers for lawyers, on the assumption that parties with legal needs will be represented by lawyers. But in more than 76 percent of civil cases in state courts today, at least one of the parties is unrepresented by counsel. The result is a system that is not adequately serving tens of millions of people every year. In response, the regulations that govern legal services are starting to shift in ways that have the potential to transform the legal system so that it better serves the public. Arizona and Utah are leaders in this regulatory reform movement. In this virtual webinar, participants describe the conditions that are driving change, explain Arizona’s and Utah’s innovations, and share their visions for the future of legal services regulation.

For more information, please visit futureofthelegalprofession.org

 

Inclusivity Begins with Overcoming Bias — from scholarlyteacher.com by Spencer Benson

Excerpt:

On an individual level, we need to be mindful that small things that may seem inconsequential to us may have detrimental impacts on others. Numerous articles and resources are readily available detailing best practices for creating more inclusive environments for students. Small things that can help to foster a sense of belonging and inclusiveness include the following:

  • being intentional in selecting course content that reflects diverse people and voices,
  • ensuring that resources and materials reflect individuals from underrepresented groups,
  • sharing gender pronouns,
  • learning preferred names and asking students to correct mispronunciation,
  • having students do a short online biographic sketch,
  • using small group learning,
  • giving students agency in assessments and grading, and
  • using mid-term and end-of-term student surveys.
 

It’s Time to Take College Student Hunger and Homelessness Seriously — from edsurge.com by Jireh Deng, Nicole Delgado, Rashida Crutchfield and Stephanie Ibarra

Excerpt:

Students cooking ramen noodle packets in the dorm microwave have come to symbolize what is deemed to be the universal college experience. However, that image demeans the dire situation of students experiencing food and housing insecurity in higher education.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Through advocacy on campuses and in communities and ongoing state and federal investment in the real cost of higher education—including housing, food and other supports—we can and should make a firm commitment to students who are doing everything they can to become economically self-sufficient.

 

AI in the Legal Industry: 3 Impacts and 3 Obstacles — from exigent-group.com

Excerpt:

In this article, we’ll talk about three current impacts AI has had on the legal industry as well as three obstacles it needs to overcome before we see widespread adoption.

Consider JPMorgan’s Contract Intelligence (COIN) software. Rather than rely on lawyers to pour over their commercial loan contracts, the banking giant now uses COIN to review these documents for risk, accuracy and eligibility. Not only does this save JPMorgan 360,000 hours per year in contract review, it also results in fewer errors. One can also look to major law firms like DLA Piper, which now regularly rely on AI for M&A due diligence. At Exigent, we’ve had first-hand experience using AI to support document analysis for our clients as well.

2. Legal departments need to build cross-functional expertise
…bringing greater diversity into the legal department is essential if the efficiencies promised by AI in the legal industry are to be realized.

Fortunately, some legal departments have begun to bring data scientists on board in addition to lawyers. And the industry is beginning to open up to hybrid roles, like legal technologists, legal knowledge engineers, legal analysts and other cross-functional experts. It’s clear that a greater diversity of skills are in the legal department’s future; it’s just a matter of how smoothly the transition goes.

 

Celebrating Black History Month — from blog.edmentum.com

Excerpt:

February is Black History Month, a time to learn about, reflect on, celebrate and honor the pivotal role Black Americans have played in U.S. history.

Throughout the month, we’ll take time to learn about Black culture and spotlight some incredible Edmentors, educators, and students each week who are working to make a difference in the lives of kids all over the world. You’ll hear from some fantastic Edmentors about what inspires them and gain insight into the ways in which Black culture, identity, and perspectives help Edmentum succeed as an organization.

 

Michigan residents over 25 without degrees can now apply for tuition-free community college, skills training — from mlive.com by Lauren Gibbons

Excerpt:

Michigan residents 25 and older who don’t have a college degree can now apply for funding to cover community college tuition costs or skilled trades training scholarships.

The initiative, known as the Michigan Reconnect program, is being funded initially by a $30 million appropriation in the state budget that had bipartisan backing from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-majority legislature.

 

 

91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month — from fastcompany.com by Joe Berkowitz
For Black History Month, here’s a streaming guide to historical fiction, biopics, documentaries, and sitcoms, made by and about Black Americans.

91 movies and TV shows to stream for Black History Month

 

Musical Mentors Collaborative Announces Requiem-20
The resulting compendium is a tribute to the pandemic world we live in today

Philadelphia, PA — January 19, 2021 — Musical Mentors Collaborative (“MMC”), which provides free private music instruction and instruments to students who would not otherwise have access, presents Requiem-20, a collaborative, multimedia, multi-genre reflection on the ineffable loss of life in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Featuring music by young but brilliant early-career composers, this project offered these artists a chance to help culture make meaning in a time of seeming creative impossibility. Produced in cooperation with Musical Mentors Collaborative and performed by MMC’s Teaching Fellows, this project represents a coalescence, a meeting place for creative artists to express and process the difficulties of this time.

“With the looming loss of millions of lives to Coronavirus, 11 composers and 23 artists have come together to form a musical collaborative work called, Requiem-20, a modern day Requiem in response to Covid-19. During this pandemic and with the lack of so many live performances, composers, especially young composers are feeling that their musical voices are not able to be displayed as normal and are looking for ways to stay connected and be relevant to the world right now.

This is their musical reaction to all the loss that is experienced during this time. A requiem not just for the loss of so many lives, but also for the loss of everyday life as we knew it, the loss of so many things that we had, the loss of getting to do things we love and see the people we love, the loss of so many jobs and livelihoods, the loss of so much continues and is expressed here in this montage and continuous melange of 11 short expressions that is interwoven to formulate Requiem-20,” says Says Daniel Matsukawa, principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, professor at the Curtis Institute of Music, and the creator of this project.

Given the continuing loss of so many musicians’ jobs and livelihoods, we hope that the feelings and stories conveyed through Requiem-20 give you faith that artistic expression lives on as robustly as ever. We also hope that this project may prompt other musicians to compose and add to the concept, thus creating their own musical tribute in response to the current pandemic-filled world.

“Musical Mentors Collaborative encourages creativity through connection, and employs the ingenuity of economically displaced musicians to create connections in communities with the least access to music’s undisputed benefits. This project furthers our mission of connecting artists and young people with this crucial resource in this troubled time,” said Teddy Poll, Artistic and Educational Director of MMC. “We are excited to share Requiem-20 and for the public.”

Requiem-20, as well as more detailed information about the piece, can be seen/heard here: www.requiem-20.com.

 

AALS Hosts First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting

AALS Hosts First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting — from am.aals.org

Excerpt:

More than 5,100 law school faculty, deans, professional staff, and sponsors gathered virtually, January 5-9 at the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting.

Over five days, the meeting included moderated panels, interactive discussions, and networking events. The programs closely reflected the most pressing issues of the day, including sessions related to the pandemic’s impact on civil rights, disability law, the economy, executive powers, eviction, voting, and workers’ rights, among other topics. There were also several sessions on how the pandemic has affected law schools, especially as it relates to online and hybrid teaching.

The theme of the meeting was “The Power of Words,” selected by 2020 AALS President Darby Dickerson, Dean and Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School.

“Words matter and how we use words matter,” Dickerson said during a welcome video introducing the meeting. “Words are powerful tools. They can inspire social movements, evoke emotions, and create allegiances. They can help and they can heal, but like many tools, words can also be wielded as weapons to hurt and hinder and to mislead and manipulate.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian