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Published
May 18, 2021

Book Review: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education

Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change

From Volume 49 Number 3 | April–June 2021

Abstract: Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change
by Mary Landon Darden
Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham, MD: 2021
202 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4758-5494-7

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Published
January 11, 2021

Breaking Barriers

A Collaborative Approach to Problem-Solving Created a Culture of Campus Innovation

The University of West Georgia, toward dismantling silo thinking and promoting a sense of ownership within the workplace, formed a cross-divisional group: The Barriers Team. It was part of an initiative to recognize and encourage employee engagement, develop operational efficiencies and effectiveness, and eliminate obstructions to staff success.

From Volume 49 Number 2 | January–March 2021

Abstract: This article outlines the process by which a public university sought to develop and grow a culture of problem-solving and innovation at a time when the institution was undergoing a number of transitions. By developing a Barriers Team, the institution brought together a group of individuals representing all aspects of the university and charged the members with tackling barriers to success. The authors outline how they used the institution’s strategic plan as a starting point, and then describe the steps, provide examples, and reflect on the long-range viability of the approach.

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Using Positive Turbulence for Planning and Change

As higher education leaders, we must take charge of our destinies and shape our industry by harnessing the forces of positive change using innovative, intentional approaches.

From Volume 46 Number 4 | July–September 2018

Abstract: Today we find our institutions barraged by the forces of change, and dutifully we respond. Over time, however, we end up molding our institutions to these forces to our own peril, and now U.S. higher education is on the ropes, so to speak. We believe education leaders should take hold of our destinies and shape our industry not by the forces of lackluster government policy, self-serving press and media, and for-profit mega corporations, but to serve true learning and personal growth. There are many tools we can use to lead change. This article introduces the concept of Positive Turbulence, an intentional, disruptive approach for positive change, to the education industry.

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Disrupting Poor Curricular Processes

A Three-Prong Model Approach with Reflections and Suggestions for Institutional Change

A large-scale change process, such as a curricular process revision, can be made easier by following a proven approach and understanding the potential hazards and challenges involved.

From Volume 46 Number 4 | July–September 2018

Abstract: This article applies the three stages of change (mobilization, implementation, and institutionalization) to the academic curricular process change that occurred during the 2014–2015 academic year at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Reflecting on the manner in which this major initiative was conceptualized and executed has revealed an inadvertent yet seamless application of Curry’s (1992) organizational change model. Throughout each stage of this organizational change, some inherent principles were maintained while balancing the required condensed timeline for completion. These principles included consistent and transparent consultation with many branches of the university community and revision of proposed processes based on feedback from community members. The goal of the authors in sharing the change process at IUP is to provide potential insights for others on recognizing a need for organizational process revision. The authors highlight the actions taken at IUP, offer recommendations, and identify potential hazards to institutions contemplating organizational change.

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How Incremental Success Slows Transformative Change and Integrated Planning Achieves It

Our critics simply may not be satisfied that we are doing our part to control costs and extend access until they have seen transformative change.

From Volume 44 Number 2 | January–March 2016

Abstract: Higher education institutions are under pressure to make transformative changes aimed at improving key areas of performance: access, affordability, price, and productivity to name a few. Institutions have responded with budget cuts and efficiency gains with incremental success. Yet paradoxically the very success they have achieved has also impeded the transformative change their stakeholders seek.

Many theories exist to support adaptive change in higher education. A single foundational theory of organizational change in industrial enterprises explains the paradox and illustrates how incremental success slows transformative change. Structural contingency theory, introduced by Alfred Chandler in 1962, encapsulates a number of higher education change theories, further grounding practitioners as they assist institutions in adapting to changing conditions and informing their planning efforts.

To achieve transformative change requires a model of integrated planning to synthesize unit improvements into institutional change greater than the sum of its parts. This article presents structural contingency theory to explicate the change process and introduces institutional portfolio management as an operational model of integrated planning. It speaks to an audience of practitioners seeking pragmatic solutions to very real and present problems.

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Systemness

A Case Study

This article traces the launch of a substantial reorganization of public higher education in Connecticut through the lens of “systemness”. The case study details the dynamics and challenges of implementing “Transform CSCU 2020” in a period of turbulence and change with a concluding focus on lessons learned.

From Volume 44 Number 1 | October–December 2015

Abstract: State institutions of higher education in Connecticut are experiencing a dramatic and unprecedented period of change: the consolidation of four universities and 13 community colleges into Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) and the creation of a new administrative structure. This article charts the early stages of this process, presenting events as they unfolded during Governor Dannel Malloy’s first term beginning in January 2011, through his November 2014 reelection, until his state budget was passed in June 2015.

Advocates of systemness in higher education are challenged to balance the promise of centralized leadership and localized prerogative in designing and implementing policy. Systemness offers the promise of synergy and innovation within and across the system guided by common purpose and vision.

This article discusses five specific implementation processes and challenges: a systemwide credit transfer articulation program; Southern Connecticut State University’s early Transform CSCU 2020 initiatives; an ongoing effort throughout CSCU to develop a systemwide identity; the potential impact of budget constraints on systemness; and difficulties selecting and developing administrators and leaders.

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A Developmental Perspective on Planning

Traditional planning fails to consider the complex, unpredictable ways that institutions change and develop.

From Volume 26 Number 4 | Summer 1998

Abstract: Contends that most planners make assumptions about planning and about human and institutional ability to change, and that these assumptions necessarily impact the outcome of strategic planning efforts. Examines the functions served in planning comprehensive institutional change, and suggests that planning failures reflect too great a focus on technique and outcome. Applies the analogy of human development to illustrate the organizational life cycle, with an exploration of institutional "identity issues" – the physical, social, and psychological aspects, as well as the institution’s sense of self.

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