Presentation on theme: "The Future of the Academy– Societal Changes; Accreditation; Accountability APLG/FSA 2008: Strategies for a Complex World Jon Wergin Antioch University."— Presentation transcript:
The Future of the Academy– Societal Changes; Accreditation; Accountability APLG/FSA 2008: Strategies for a Complex World Jon Wergin Antioch University Jwergin@phd.antioch.edu
I. Societal changes Democratization of access Democratization of access Digital revolution Digital revolution Democratization of knowledge Democratization of knowledge Faculty demographics Faculty demographics
How are these affecting the academy? Shift in power from institutions to students Shift in power from institutions to students Generational differences Generational differences Challenges to legitimate knowledge Challenges to legitimate knowledge
Accounting PhD Program Information AAA/APLG/FSA Doctoral Education Committee (89 schools) 5. What qualities do you look for in students applying to your school? Intelligence/Academics13% Communication/Writing12 Specific skill sets11 Work ethic/Motivation11 Research potential10 Intellectual curiosity 9 (others less than 8%) (average of 3 qualities per school)
In the varied topography of professional practice, there is a high, hard ground overlooking a swamp. On the high ground, manageable problems lend themselves to solution through the use of research- based theory and technique. In the swampy lowlands, problems are messy and confusing and incapable of technical solution. The irony of this situation is that the problems of the high ground tend to be relatively unimportant to individuals or to society at large, however great their technical interest may be, while in the swamp lie the problems of greatest human concern…
… The practitioner is confronted with a choice. Shall he remain on the high ground where he can solve relatively unimportant problems according to his standards of rigor, or shall he descend to the swamp of important problems where he cannot be rigorous in any way he knows how to describe? - Donald Schon, Change Magazine, November/December 1995
II. Accountability The most advocated and least analyzed word in higher education. - Joseph Burke
Six demands of accountability for public agencies Serve public needs Serve public needs Use powers properly Use powers properly Work to achieve mission or priorities Work to achieve mission or priorities Account for resources used and outcomes created Account for resources used and outcomes created Report on performance publicly Report on performance publicly Ensure quality of programs Ensure quality of programs
Quality… You know what it is, yet you dont know what it is. - Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Characteristics of a Quality Academic Program A diverse and supportive academic community A culture of collective responsibility A commitment to excellence in teaching, student learning, and scholarship A culture of critical reflection Visionary leadership from faculty and chair Adequate resources for students and faculty
Accountability to whom, and for what? To whom: From the common good to individual gain To whom: From the common good to individual gain For what: From stewardship to learning outcomes For what: From stewardship to learning outcomes
Accountability for results is dangerous.
III. Accreditation: higher educations face of public accountability
Spellings Commission Access Access Cost and affordability Cost and affordability Financial aid Financial aid Learning Learning Transparency and accountability Transparency and accountability Innovation Innovation
We believe that improved accountability is vital to ensuring the success of all the other reforms we propose. Colleges and universities must become more transparent about cost, price, and other student success outcomes, and must willingly share this information with students and families… This information should be made available to students, and reported publicly in aggregate form to provide consumers and policymakers an accessible, understandable way to measure the relative effectiveness of different colleges and universities. - Spellings Commission final report, August 2006
Recent developments in accreditation Federal government turning up the heat on accreditors Federal government turning up the heat on accreditors Divergent responses by higher ed associations: Divergent responses by higher ed associations: College Portrait - NASULGC and AASCU - conduct and release results from standardized tests College Portrait - NASULGC and AASCU - conduct and release results from standardized tests New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability - AAC&U and CHEA New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability - AAC&U and CHEA
Quality standards must be set and met by institutions themselves and not by external agencies… [Institutions should] gather evidence about how well students in various programs are achieving learning goals across the curriculum and about the ability of graduates to succeed… New Leadership for Student Learning and Accountability: A Statement of Principles, Commitments to Action, January 2008.
Social changes + accountability + accreditation = ?
Social changes + Accountability + Accreditation = Heightened demand for access Heightened demand for access Flexibility in educational delivery Flexibility in educational delivery Intentional connection of academic programs with professional practice Intentional connection of academic programs with professional practice Collective reflection about quality Collective reflection about quality Clearer definition of learning and universities responsibility for it Clearer definition of learning and universities responsibility for it Inside-out assessment Inside-out assessment Greater public transparency Greater public transparency
How can accounting programs avoid reform without change? Ensure that environments of quality are in place. Ensure that environments of quality are in place. Base curricula on how people learn. Base curricula on how people learn. Avoid linear thinking. Avoid linear thinking. Challenge existing reward systems. Challenge existing reward systems. Recognize and balance inherent tensions. Recognize and balance inherent tensions. Responsiveness vs. responsibility Responsiveness vs. responsibility Individuality vs. collaboration Individuality vs. collaboration Vision vs. reality Vision vs. reality Valuing the past vs. being open to the future Valuing the past vs. being open to the future