January 11, 2022


by: admin


Tags: change, education, Higher


Categories: Special needs education

Why Can’t Increased Training Change?

From a former colleague: Why is the academic world so conservative, risk averse, closed-back, and deeply unwilling to make the changes necessary to serve students in today’s world while at the same time claiming to look for new models to meet the needs of our students in a rapidly changing world?

If the colleges had a New Year’s resolution it would be: “This year we will really change. We will take risks, develop a new model, and keep up with the world around us. ”This reads like an auditor proclaiming that he“ will no longer live by the rules, ”a historian who swears“ in to live in the present ”and the like. Why? Because the systems, traditions and practices that are so valued – and essential to change – are also the ones that often pose barriers. These include tenure (leadership), shared governance (process), community and tradition (buy-in), the financial model (resources) and oversight (accountability). The problem is not their existence, but their current employment.

Term of office (leadership). The American Association of University Professors issues an academic tenure statement. It outlines its purpose by partly saying, “Education and research benefit society, but society does not benefit when teachers and researchers are controlled by corporations, religious groups, interest groups, or the government.” While this is an essential and worthy principle , however, we have to question whose ideas and views are protected in the first place.

The American Association of University Women has some insightful statistics on the different terms of office of men, women and people of color. The problem with tenure (in terms of change) is not the tenure itself, but who the tenure is assigned to. Unless institutions can remove the barriers to employment for underrepresented groups; Hold permanent teachers accountable for discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace; and to combat implied tenure bias, there is little hope of bringing about the changes necessary to serve students in today’s world. A group with different perspectives and experiences sees the need for change as more urgent than a homogeneous, powerful and privileged group.

Joint governance (process). The AAUP statement to the government of colleges and universities states: “The statement is intended to encourage constructive collective thinking and action, both within the institutional structure and to protect its integrity from inappropriate interference.” But what if the inappropriate intrusion does that System itself and how does it protect the past in unforeseen ways? When was the last time your institution dealt with committee structures, roles and responsibilities as well as work processes? Every institution has to ask itself whether its campus uses shared governance in a targeted manner: “Is shared governance at our institution more of an over-constructed, filibuster-like system-loving debate than the result?” And “Do we spend valuable time and effort revising decisions that have already been made Policies and procedures have been regulated that were previously defined by joint governance? “

Community and tradition (buy-in). In the face of possible changes, how often has it been said, “If we do X, the alumni will get angry and won’t donate!” For an industry that believes so strongly in data, the credibility of these anecdotal-based statements is astonishing. The responsibility to do the best for the students rests with the faculty, staff, administration and the board of trustees. And with that responsibility comes the need to provide a compelling and data-driven rationale for change. Regardless of tradition, every institution must create a climate of change that values ​​innovation and improvement.

The financial model (resources). To bring about change, take risks and be agile, institutions need flexible capital – money to invest in new initiatives. Most institutions, however, lack the resources and constituents do not understand why this is the case. As Jon Marcus reported for the PBS News Hour in 2019, many Americans believe that state governments are highly supportive of state colleges and universities. The truth, however, is that government funding has declined by billions over the past decade.

As government revenues decline, annual costs related to unfunded government mandates and regulatory reporting and services, compensation and benefits (especially health insurance), and facility operating and maintenance costs continue to rise. A deeper insight into state funding for universities can be found in the reports of the Urban Institute. How can institutions reverse the corporatization of higher education that has been favored since the Reagan administration and ensure that taxes support a company that is so important to the future of the country?

Institutions budget for maintenance and capital improvements, but are we planning and raising funds for change? It would be advantageous for funding agencies to promote opportunities for donors to set up innovation and change funds. Institutions could also create guidelines for unrestricted legacies to become quasi-foundations to fund new programs.

Oversight (accountability). The sanctity of accountability rests on the foundation of higher education. For this reason we trust the work of our colleagues – the systems for checking statements (scientific or otherwise) are solid. But are the hurdles to developing new programs so numerous that it becomes a Herculean task to overcome them? In addition to institutional procedures and accreditation standards, there are system and state procedures. If you’ve never looked at your state’s process for changing or registering new programs, here are some websites that provide insights (Ohio, New York, Virginia). The number of years to develop new programs, obtain approvals, and secure resources to launch new programs is staggering. A major reform of these processes is necessary if the students are to be supervised more effectively.

The books on change management in higher education are abundant, and much more could and should be said. However, we should start with a critical look at the fundamental systems already in place, which could be better used to promote innovation and bring about change. Thank you for asking the question.


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