The Changing Landscape of Higher Education: Opportunities Disguised as Challenges
American higher education is undergoing dramatic and rapid change. For many, that change is seen as a threat. But for the optimists among us, the change represents enormous opportunity. For our students, change means more meaningful activities, greater levels of engagement, and higher levels of learning outcomes. For low-income students, first-generation students and students of color, the changes represent hope and possibility. For faculty, change represents new ways of working with colleagues that may be more stimulating and exciting. Change also represents new approaches to teaching that allow faculty deeper levels of engagement with students. For institutions, change represents opportunities to cast off old models and build a more sustainable institutional future. Change offers new possibilities for organization and structure. Change can create 21st century models of higher education, more responsive and adaptable than the legacy structures from the last century.
In our conference in Seattle, we will explore a number of ways that challenges can be viewed as opportunities. We will continue to focus, as we have for the last several years, on changing models of student success: predictive analytics, pathways, intrusive advising, etc. We’ll be reporting on the outcomes from our three year project, Re-Imagining the First Year (RFY), as well as providing reports from our Frontier Set (FS) work. We will also be looking at faculty issues and concerns such as shared governance, contingent faculty, new approaches to professional development, support for department chairs, etc. We’ll be considering other campus-wide issues such as free speech, sexual assault, collaboration with student affairs, and a variety of others.
We deliberately design a wide-ranging focus in our program to provide choices and variety that will appeal to our very mixed audience. We also plan a provost-only track within the program to offer opportunities for provosts to work with other provosts on issues of special interest to them.
We hope you will join us for a rich and substantive conference in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.
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