The Direct Network

Are Your Committee Meetings Effective or Prohibitive?

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jan 17, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Meetings can often feel like the enemy of progress. They can break up our days into odd chunks, prevent or interrupt deep work, and they can negatively effect workplace satisfaction. Despite downsides, meetings can also increase communication and collaboration, ideally producing a better end result. Committee meetings aren’t an exception. To ensure the time you commit to committee meetings is beneficial, it is important to periodically evaluate the reason for the committee and whether or not it is still serving its intended purpose.

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5 Ways You Need to Ensure Your Committees Are Vibrant and Productive

Posted by Lori Reese on Jan 11, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Are your committees truly committees? Are they environments that draw on dynamic discussion and teamwork to resolve tenacious institutional problems? Or are they dominated by a single talker, and undone by the glaze in other members’ eyes as they fidget and not-so-inconspicuously check the time. Are they vibrant fonts of creativity or cesspools of politics, gossip and dissent-for-its-own-sake? Most importantly, are they generating buy-in for new initiatives, or are they simply an academic ritual — a proforma waste of time?

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Virtually Confused: How to Talk Digital With Faculty

Posted by Lori Reese on Dec 13, 2017 5:30:00 AM

When faculty adopt low-cost digital options like inclusive access or alternative content, it serves the official school bookstore. Even if it doesn’t boost overall revenues, students are more likely to purchase the lower-priced texts on time. When students have required materials, their grades improve, retention increases and the school reaps the reward of a reliable revenue stream. There’s only one problem: too many faculty members aren’t aware of digital options. That places the onus on administrators to educate teachers.

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3 Ways You Need to Reach Faculty About Adoptions

Posted by Lori Reese on Oct 13, 2017 5:30:00 AM

In my first week at MBS, I told a colleague something about faculty book adoptions that stunned him. He was writing a blog about why it’s essential for administrators to ensure teachers get adoptions in early.

“Impossible,” I said.

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The Adjunct Disjunct

Posted by Lori Reese on Sep 28, 2017 5:30:00 AM

Although adjuncts save institutions money, these untenured teachers have become so prevalent on campuses many ask whether they represent a crisis for colleges and universities.

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Quality Counts: Why Faculty Need Streamlined OER

Posted by Lori Reese on Sep 5, 2017 5:30:00 AM

State legislators and administrators alike wonder why faculty aren’t clamoring to use Open Educational Resources. Though the academic community has been abuzz with talk of OER for years, research shows teachers have been slow to latch onto the trend.

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Transparency in Faculty Communication

Posted by Liz Schulte on Mar 2, 2017 5:30:00 AM

Many parts of a campus seem to exist on separate islands. Students have their own concerns: personal finances, courses and stress. Faculty and departments are worried about providing the best education possible, changes on the campus and getting the books they want. Administration has to consider everyone’s concerns on top of making difficult financial decisions that will keep the institution running. Often these different points of view seem to be opposed to one another on a basic level. That’s why transparency is key to preventing an “us vs. them” mentality.

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5 Common Problems That Kill Faculty Morale

Posted by Dean Asher on Apr 26, 2016 9:08:21 AM

If you want your term to go successfully, you want your faculty to remain happy. After all, faculty are there to help students learn, and they can do so more successfully if morale is high. But there are some issues that administrators with the best of intentions might be introducing that are deflating your faculty's confidence and enthusiasm for their work. To help deans, department heads and other administrators keep team spirit high in their programs, Rob Jenkins over at The Chronicle of Higher Education identified five of the top faculty morale-killers that he saw from his three decades in higher education. 

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Connect Faculty with Innovative Course Materials

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Mar 29, 2016 4:00:00 AM

The way students get their books has changed a lot in recent years. Many of those changes are the result of student desires  they crave a wider variety of content than ever, and are willing to look all over the place to get it. That means that schools and their faculty have had to work hard to keep up with the desires and demands of their students, and that the race to adapt probably won't slow down any time soon. So how can your school get ahead and work with faculty to make sure you're providing the latest, most cutting-edge content?

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Time Management Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Day

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Mar 10, 2016 11:03:27 AM

Time management is a crucial skill in almost any profession, but especially so in education. If an administrator is unorganized and constantly scrambling from one activity to another, it puts their colleagues and faculty members behind. The same can be said of a disorganized teacher's effect on their students. So for those of you that struggle with time management - most of us do, to some extent - we've found a nice, concise article from the Huffington Post that will hopefully impart some wisdom as to how you can improve these important skills.

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