The Direct Network

Is the Tenure System Good for Education?

Posted by Lori Reese on Mar 8, 2018 5:30:00 AM

The academic world is rife with speculation that the time-honored tenure system may be reaching its end. Many scholars and educators regard this as a tragic result of hiring trends that put former CEOs and corporate execs at the helm of major universities. To outsiders, the tenure system — which guarantees lifelong employment — can seem charmingly antiquated at best. At worst, it interferes with an institution’s ability to maintain solvency, serve students and recruit young, ambitious scholars. Why not discard tenure altogether? The question goes right to the heart of your school’s beliefs about the purpose institutions of higher education serve.

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Three Types of Student Support That Increase Retention

Posted by Liz Schulte on Feb 21, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Students’ experiences shape their view of your school. Whether the student has a negative experience with a faculty member, has to navigate a website that isn’t intuitive or is inconvenienced with a less than satisfactory trip to the campus store, these circumstances have the ability to influence their overall opinion about the school. A series of good encounters can demonstrate that your institution cares about his or her success, rather than sending him or her to that hard to reach, at-risk category.

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Why Are Faculty Often at War With Administrators?

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 13, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Let’s say you’ve formed a committee to discuss your school’s transition from a brick-and-mortar college store to an online course material distributor. You’ve looked at the numbers. You’ve done your due diligence. It’s obvious to you the new bookstore will serve students better and further academic success — things that should matter to faculty. Yet, the academics on your committee are recalcitrant. They’re constantly throwing out verbal grenades that undermine efficient decision-making. What’s going on?

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3 Ways You Need to Reach Faculty About Adoptions

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 8, 2018 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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What Happens When Teachers Are Tech Leaders?

Posted by Lori Reese on Feb 1, 2018 5:30:00 AM

These teachers stand out — and raise eyebrows. They integrate the latest technologies into their classrooms. They have popular Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs. They score lucrative speaking gigs at conferences on educational leadership. These are the  high-profile classroom teachers that companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon court with freebies —  everything from gift cards to iPads and free access to premium classroom software — and they are igniting debate about corporate-infused pedagogy. Should you encourage your teachers to seize such opportunities or forbid them from fraternizing with Silicon Valley elites?

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Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions

Posted by Lori Reese on Jan 22, 2018 5:30:00 AM

Would you like to know how and why faculty treat textbooks the way they do? According to our report, “Winning Faculty Allies in the Struggle for Affordable Course Material Solutions,” many teachers are emperors of their classrooms: They select their books with a keen interest in maintaining academic freedom — and they don’t expect input from others.

Find out how faculty choices affect the cost of education and how your administration can win allies in reducing course material costs in this exclusive report.

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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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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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