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Connections to Society: Creating a Shared Future Utah Faculty Development Institute 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Connections to Society: Creating a Shared Future Utah Faculty Development Institute 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Connections to Society: Creating a Shared Future Utah Faculty Development Institute 2014

2 Where are we are headed? The context of higher education is changing The culture of higher education is also changing Responding to changing societal needs and expectations: The nature and role of engagement To educate our students To enhance the impact of scholarship To respond to Wicked Problems To build healthier communities

3 The Context of Higher Education is Changing What will be expected of our graduates and how we must prepare them for life and work. Patterns of participation and success demographic shifts Production and use of knowledge Interactions across disciplines Impact of technology Transitions in the professoriate and in leadership throughout.

4 How society is responding to these pressures Government: Policies to increase completion rates, reduce time to degree, improve ease of transfer Traditional IHE: Increased attention to educational outcomes, student success and assessments, partnerships, new pedagogies, improving remedial/developmental education New Providers: online delivery, competency- based degree options, expansion of for-profits in niche markets, online badges to document skills.

5 Connections to Society: Creating Shared Futures What issues are you and your institution facing and how are you responding to those challenges and opportunities? What is your blend of curriculum and pedagogy, forms of scholarship, collaborations internal and external? Local Regional or statewide National International

6 Connections to Society Creating Shared Futures “Organizations and their environments are engaged in a pattern of co-creation, where each produces the other.” “Organizations are very much products of visions, ideas, norms and beliefs” and “are made through the actions of the individuals, groups and units that populate them.” Gareth Morgan (1998) Images of Organization. The Executive Edition. Sage Publications

7 Today is Already Tomorrow The Culture of the Academy is changing We have entered a decade of major change in academic culture, values, priorities, methods and operations. The choices we make now will influence our capacity to contribute to the quality of life in our towns and cities, our states, our nation and the world for many decades to come. To play our role in shaping the future, we will depend more and more upon collaboration and resource sharing and the co-creation of knowledge. That means engaged scholarship, learning and teaching will be a component of every institutional portfolio but its role will vary.

8 One Answer is Engagement. What was the Question?

9 The Question is: How can we best respond to changing societal needs and expectations? Academic structure and new approaches to faculty work New approaches to the curriculum and the student experience Capacity for integration, coherence, collaboration Support structures and technical assistance Community partnerships of various kinds New forms of accountability and analysis of impact: social returns, economic returns

10 What is community engagement? Community Engagement is a method, a way of doing teaching, learning and research that draws upon the knowledge, experiences and interests of both the internal campus community and the broader community outside academia. Working together, campus and community members exchange knowledge, answer critical questions and apply their learning to a range of significant problems and opportunities both on campus and beyond.

11 The Carnegie Definition Community engagement is the “collaboration (among) institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

12 What is Civic Engagement? Community Engagement – the overarching term encompassing all aspects of an institutional agenda of interaction with communities Civic Engagement – A specific form of Community Engagement that focuses on the development of civic and social responsibility in students and the civic actions and roles of the institution

13 Defining Features of Community Engagement Partnership (work “with” communities) Mutually beneficial outcomes Addresses a community-identified need Through an intellectual activity of importance Reciprocity Enhances community capacity Enhances student learning and/or research studies Knowledge exchange relationship 2-way, co-creation Valued deliverables for the academy and for the community

14 Especially Tricky Terms Mutually beneficial means all parties have articulated expected benefits and understand and support the expected benefits sought by others. Reciprocity speaks to a sense of “fairness” in the exchange of knowledge, level of effort and involvement in the work, assumption of risks and benefits, interpretation of outcomes and use of the knowledge gained.

15 Engagement comes in many forms. For instance… Engaged Teaching and Learning -community-based learning -service learning -global learning -civic learning Engaged Research/Scholarship -community-based research -public issue research -translational research -interdisciplinary research

16 A culture of engagement is becoming an essential approach to building resilience To enhance our relevance and connections to large societal issues To educate our students To create capacity to find workable solutions to local and global problems To gain access to critical resources for learning and knowledge production To thrive in a changing environment

17 Core concepts of engagement Who names the problems/asks questions? Who identifies and evaluates options? Who shares resources to advance the work? Who cares about the choices made? Who bears the risk and who enjoys the benefits? Who interprets the results and defines success?

18 What does a culture of engagement look like? Innovative and relevant educational programs, research and information resources that draw on the region. New academic structures and approaches to faculty and student work. Scholarship that arises from and contributes to efforts to promote human well-being in a healthy environment. Partnerships that address social, economic and environmental issues at home and abroad ranging from single studies and projects to long-term collaborations, depending on the focus and goals of the relationships.

19 What does a culture of engagement look like? Integration of efforts across the institution and a focus on integration, coherence and progressively more challenging expectations and assignments. Culture of engagement throughout the university with recognition, support structures and technical assistance. Resources to invest in the future through engagement with people throughout the local community, the state, the region and beyond, as appropriate to mission.

20 Applications of Engagement To educate our students To enhance the impact of scholarship To respond to Wicked Problems To build healthier communities

21 To Educate How can we align educational outcomes, practices and policies with the demands of today’s world? What key areas of skill and knowledge should all students develop in college? What can we expect of a college graduate at each degree level, AA, BA/BS/MA/MS?

22 To Educate What should students aim to achieve in their major at each degree level? How do we know what our students are learning and how can students demonstrate their achievements? What can we do to facilitate transfer and mobility while ensuring increasing achievement at each stage of an education? ….while preparing our students to deal with real-world problems?

23 To enhance the impact of scholarship Changing Faculty Roles and Responsibilities 20 th century: One standard/measure of faculty performance (grants, publications) and one measure of student achievement (mastery of content) 21 st century: One standard framework for measuring faculty intellectual quality and impact of diverse work and new approaches to what we expect of a college graduate, all based on diversity of skills, interests, ambitions and backgrounds with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. adapted from Holland 2014

24 We are becoming more integrated in our approach to learning and scholarship Research is more collaborative and networked because of the broad distribution of knowledge and data Universities are increasing their collaboration across disciplines and professional fields and building infrastructure to support these working relationships

25 Indicators of Quality for All Scholarly Work Clear Goals Preparation and mastery of relevant knowledge and scholarship Appropriate methodologies Significance of results Effective dissemination and communication through appropriate channels Consistently ethical conduct Glassick et al (1997) Scholarship Assessed

26 The Nature of Knowledge The Growth of Hyper-complexity “Since the time of Democritus, scientists have been busy dividing reality into increasingly smaller bits, leaving us today with atoms and quarks, proteins and genes…But the simplest legacy of this history of division is an exponential explosion of combinatorial possibilities. For as the list of constituent parts has multiplied, so too have their possible interactions, making the boundaries drawn around scientific disciplines increasingly porous.” Michael Segal, Nautilus, February 2014, Mergers and Acquisitions

27 To respond to Wicked Problems  The problem involves many stakeholders with different values and priorities.  The issue’s roots are complex and tangled.  The problem is difficult to come to grips with and changes with every attempt to address it.  No one knows how to solve the problem and there is nothing to indicate the right answer.  Every wicked problem is a symptom of another difficult problem. from Camillus 2008, HBR

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29 Responding to Millennial Problems Research is more collaborative and networked because of the broad distribution of knowledge and data Universities are increasing their collaboration across disciplines and other sources of expertise and building infrastructure to support these working relationships Linking learning, research and engagement increases knowledge production, and attracts diverse sources of funding support Students must learn how to live and work in a world of hyper-complexity. adapted from Barbara Holland, 2012

30 The Changing University Community New Behaviors in the Face of Complexity Learning differently Working together differently Defining success and measuring outcomes differently Drawing on different perspectives to address WICKED PROBLEMS

31 To build healthier communities A sustainable community is economically environmentally and socially healthy and resilient. An engaged citizenry meets challenge through integrated solutions rather than fragmented approaches that meet one of these goals at the expense of others while taking a long-term perspective focused well beyond the current budget or election cycle. Institute for Sustainable Communities, Montpelier, VT

32 So, You Want to Get Engaged. Now What? Explore the campus, community and state context. What are the challenging questions? Align your ideas with campus and community priorities and concerns. Build Your Plan: Select a good first project. Identify Allies and Resources. Remember that change is a scholarly act. Create a compelling narrative/story backed up by evidence.

33 Getting Started What issue will you choose as a vehicle for promoting a culture of engagement? To educate your students To enhance the impact of scholarship To respond to Wicked Problems both local and global To build healthier communities Some combination of these?

34 Creating a Culture of Engagement: Words to the Wise  Most of the time, institutional leaders are thinking about what to do, rather than how to do it.  Fostering a culture of engagement requires significant institutional change. Be patient.  At the end of the day, the personal, political and culture aspects of change in your own context will make or break your efforts.  Think like a Master Gardener: Only select items from the catalog of choices that will grow in your campus climate. Be sure the soil is suitable for what you want to grow. Amend the soil as needed and take your time.  Don’t worry if some of your efforts do not thrive. You may learn more from those efforts than from a smooth success.

35 Keep in mind that, in the end… Engaged Universities are more likely to thrive! Focused mix of interdisciplinary expertise Extensive and collaborative knowledge partnerships with other universities, sectors, communities, nations Involvement in community-based research/teaching methods – engagement with “the Big Questions” and “Wicked Questions”

36 Keep in mind that, in the end… Engaged Universities are more likely to thrive! Educational success among a socially inclusive student population Innovative (technology-based and experiential) teaching methods that enhance student learning and completion Excellence is created by the measurable impact of the above actions on quality of local and global life, culture, health, economic stability, and environment

37 Judith A. Ramaley


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