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Strategic Thinking in 2017 and Beyond Gage Paine and Alex Emmanuele

What’s your reaction when someone tells you it’s time to work on a strategic plan? For some, the mere mention of strategic planning will elicit a groan or a roll of the eyes and spur images of out of touch ‘objectives’ that don’t relate to the institutional needs at all. The truth is that the old-school way of strategic planning often doesn’t involve strategic thinking, or thinking differently at all! Planning and thinking ought to go beyond identifying strengths and weaknesses, and trying to fix immediate problems; strategic planning can be an opportunity to define what is important to a particular campus or department, a chance to get campus constituents talking to each other and a way to define what is important and time to imagine the future. Strategic thinking and planning are more important than ever and are skills for everyone not just the president and the cabinet.

Strategic thinking can even be applied to personal growth and development. In order to bring change to a division, organization, or institution, we have to first change our mindset from ‘what is’ to ‘what can be’. How can individual professionals create goals, create a plan of ‘action steps’, and measure success? What resources do you need to embark on this journey?

Join Gage Paine, Alex Emmanuele, and the rest of the K&A team this Wednesday, January 25th from 6-7pm ET to try out your own strategic thinking experiment! Follow @KeelingHigherEd and #KAedchat to join the conversation.

Dr. Morse to Present at Student Veterans of America Conference January 7, 2017 - 9:00am - 10:00am - Anaheim, California

Opportunity, Inequity and America’s Story: Connections to our Nation’s Veterans

From the SVA Conference webpage;
“Though scholarly inquiry has built a rich understanding of the intersections between lingering demographic and socioeconomic inequities and post secondary access, persistence, and attainment, the conversation has yet to encompass those with current or prior military service.

By examining points of similarity and difference among military-connected students, and drawing upon other facets of their holistic identities, the higher education community will have deeper insight on the challenges and successes of service members and veterans on our campuses.

In this session, Morse and Molina will present points of similarity and difference by race/ethnicity and gender on key factors tied to post-secondary access, affordability, and debt, and draw intersections to our nation’s broader struggle to address inequities that linger along demographic lines.

Further, Morse and Molina will offer considerations for practice and scholarly inquiry to support access and inclusion for our nation’s diverse military-connected students.”

Join Andrew Morse and Dani Molina on Saturday morning as they dig into policy and practice surrounding military-connected students. As always, @KeelingHigherEd and #KAedchat will provide highlights from their presentation.

Connecticut College launches new Strategic Plan K&A helped facilitate planning and implementation process in 2015/16

K&A is proud to have helped Connecticut College develop their new strategic plan, “Building on Strength”.

From the plan’s Appendix; “The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) and Keeling & Associates (K&A) together used multiple methods for gathering the observations, ideas, and suggestions of the Connecticut College community. Between September and January 2015, they helped facilitate more than 100 individual and small-group discussions on and off campus with nearly 450 faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Almost 1,200 comments were collected from four idea walls posted on campus. Well over 2,200 people in the extended community responded to our confidential online survey. Further ideas were collected from four open forums on campus, attended by almost 90 faculty, staff, and students.

During the spring 2016 semester, the SPC commenced the second phase, oriented around analysis and synthesis of the data gathered in the fall. in early January 2016, K&A delivered comprehensive reports summarizing the results from the fall’s information gathering. Additional small and large0group meetings were held with campus constituents and trustees to solicit feedback on the priorities that emerged. In March 2016, the SPC and K*&A came together with senior management in a retreat to reach consensus about overarching priorities, goals, and objectives. During April and May 2016, K&A worked with the committee to begin drafting the plan rationale, and members of the administration met individually with committee members to review and refine the goals. In early May, the SPC convened additional open forums to review the draft plan and consider additional community feedback.”

To see the plan in its entirety, as well as learn more about the process and Connecticut College’s experience, see their strategic planning website.

http://www.conncoll.edu/strategic-planning/

Dr. Richard Keeling to Participate in ACPA Commission Webinar Thursday, December 8th at 1pm ET

Two-Year College Student Affairs Practitioner’s Impact on the Completion Agenda

The Completion Agenda is the focus of many conversations surrounding current and future practice in higher education. This remains the case for community colleges who are being asked to produce graduates at higher rates and meet anticipated industry growth over the coming decades. In order to meet this demand, two-year colleges must enhance student learning, develop pathways for success, engage students for retention, and support student development. 48% of all undergraduate college students attend two-year institutions. However, much of the focus in higher education goes to four-year colleges and universities. This webinar will focus on the impact that the Completion Agenda is having on two-year colleges, as well as how student affairs professional in those settings are and can respond and support that agenda. Both research and practice will be presented during this conversation. Hosted by ACPA College Student Educators International’s Commission for Two-Year Colleges, this moderated panel discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Matthew Robison. Panelists include Dr. Richard Keeling, Dr. Tyjaun Lee, Dr. Mei-Yen Ireland, and Dr. Yancey Gulley.

The webinar will be recorded for upload to the ACPA Video On Demand platform. There are two additional webinars next spring that will focus on more specific practical application items for community college practitioners around the theme.

Join Dr Keeling on Thursday, December 8th, at 1pm ET for this webinar exploring the Completion Agenda in two-year colleges. @KeelingHigherEd will be live tweeting the webinar. Follow #KAedchat for this and other updates from the #changeforlearning community.
 

#KAedchat – FLSA Policy and Practice Monday, November 21st from 6:00-7:00pm ET

In late Spring 2016, the Department of Labor issued a final ruling on the highly anticipated update to overtime pay regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Final Rule significantly increased the salary an executive, administrative, or professional employee must earn to be exempt from receiving overtime compensation for work beyond the traditional 40 hours per week. Specifically, the Final Rule increased the salary level an employee must be paid as one component to overtime pay exemption from $23,660 per year to $913/week, or the equivalent of $47,476 annually.  

These changes represent good news for many hard working professionals in higher education whose compensation may be increased in response to the new rule. But these changes may disadvantage other staff members in important ways, and they portend fiscal and managerial challenges that leaders in higher education must address to comply with the new requirements, set to take effect on December 1. Indeed, college and university leaders nationwide have been hard at work calculating the fiscal implications of the Final Rule and examining labor law, regulation, and guidance to identify strategies to bring their campuses into compliance. Constrained by limited fiscal resources and staffing options, and coupled with a wide portfolio of work responsibilities, many institutional leaders are looking for support from their peers to help them navigate the combination of compliance, human resources, and fiscal dimensions inherent in implementation of the Final Rule.

Join our own Dr. Andrew Morse and the rest of the K&A Team this Monday, November 21st at 6pm ET as we share and learn about different approaches to FLSA regulation, and what the current and future political landscape will mean for policies like these.

K&A Participates in NASPA FLSA Overtime Rule Webinar Thursday, November 17th at 3:00 pm ET

In late Spring 2016, the Department of Labor issued a final ruling on the highly anticipated update to overtime pay regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Final Rule significantly increased the salary an executive, administrative, or professional employee must earn to be exempt from receiving overtime compensation for work beyond the traditional 40 hours per week. Specifically, the Final Rule increased the salary level an employee must be paid as one component to overtime pay exemption from $23,660 per year to $913/week, or the equivalent of $47,476 annually.  

These changes represent good news for many hard working professionals in higher education whose compensation may be increased in response to the new rule. But these changes may disadvantage other staff members in important ways, and they portend fiscal and managerial challenges that leaders in higher education must address to comply with the new requirements, set to take effect on December 1. Indeed, college and university leaders nationwide have been hard at work calculating the fiscal implications of the Final Rule and examining labor law, regulation, and guidance to identify strategies to bring their campuses into compliance. Constrained by limited fiscal resources and staffing options, and coupled with a wide portfolio of work responsibilities, many institutional leaders are looking for support from their peers to help them navigate the combination of compliance, human resources, and fiscal dimensions inherent in implementation of the Final Rule. Anticipating that their options for compliance may be even more constrained than will be true in other sectors, leaders in community colleges have called for a national discussion about the impact of FLSA in two-year institutions.   

NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, is hosting a live discussion on the FLSA Final Overtime Rule in community colleges. This will be an opportunity to hear from colleagues who have a deep understanding of the Final Rule, existing law and regulation, and the application of these policies in community colleges.

The panelists will include:
    •    Dr. Chemene Crawford, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management, El Centro College
    •    Dr. Bill Dial, Executive Director of Human Resources, Richland College
    •    Dr. Andrew Morse, Consultant and Project Director, Keeling and Associates, and former NASPA Director of Policy and Research

Join our own Dr. Andrew Morse and the rest of the panel this Thursday, November 17th at 3:00pm ET. To register for this event, follow this link. In the meantime, access a free resource guide Dr. Morse produced with Dr. Holly Asimou (ACUHO-I) that offers considerations, cautions, and strategies for complying with the FLSA Final Overtime Rule in student affairs.

K&A in Rentz’s Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education

Keeling & Associates proudly announces the publication of the 5th edition of Rentz’s Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education (Zhang N., Ed., Charles C. Thomas, 2016). Drs. Richard P. Keeling and Jennifer S. Dickson, Consultant and Director of Research, and Joseph DeSanto Jones, formerly a member of the K&A staff, contributed two chapters to the book.

Drs. Keeling and Dickson collaborated to frame an updated chapter on student health services. That chapter provides a comprehensive outline of best practices, organization, infrastructure, operations, programs and services, and resources in student health programs. Dr. Keeling’s on-campus experience leading complex health-related programs and services, and his leadership of comprehensive organizational and operational reviews of more than 115 campus health-related programs and services, provided the foundation for this chapter in both the fourth and fifth editions of Rentz.  The new chapter emphasizes the critical importance of the role and delivery of student health services within the context of the academic mission and in support of student learning and success.

Dr. Keeling worked with Mr. DeSanto Jones, who later became Director of Strategic Initiatives at NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, to prepare a new chapter focused on assessment in student affairs. It provides an in-depth introduction to the purposes, functions, methods, and outcomes of assessment, including both operational assessments (such as utilization and student satisfaction) and assessments of student learning.

This text can be purchased and viewed here.

The complete table of contents includes:

1. The Philosophical Heritage of Student Affairs (Carpenter, S, Dean, S, and Haber-Curran, P)
2. A Historical Perspective of Higher Education and Student Affairs: Transitions and Transformation (Hinton, K, Howard-Hamilton, M, and Rentz, A)
3. From Admissions to Enrollment Management (Ward, M and Hossler, D)
4. Academic Advising (White, ER and Steele, GE)
5. Career Services (Severy, L)
6. Counseling Centers (Zhang, N and McCoy, VA)
7. Student Conduct (Lowery, JW)
8. Multicultural Affairs and Special Support Services (Carodine, MKS, Snyder M, and Zhang, N)
9. Orientation (Overland, WI and Sarnicki, ML)
10. Residence Halls (Akens, C and Novak, J)
11. Student Life Programs (Whipple, EG, O’Neill, KB, and Wilson, ME)
12.  Fraternity and Sorority Life (Whipple, EG, O’Neill, KB, and Wilson, ME)
13. Collegiate Recreation (McFadden, CW and Molina, D)
14. Student Financial Aid Practice-A Changing Landscape (Bush, VB and O’Leary, EK)
15. Student Learning Assessment (Keeling, RP and Desanto Jones, J)
16. Student Health Services (Keeling, RP and Dickson, JS)
17. Imagining the Future for Student Affairs and the Student Affairs Educator (Shushok, Jr, F and Perillo, PA)

Remaining Active Professionally During Retirement Roger Sorochty, Ph.D.

Long before retiring (rearranging my priorities is probably more accurate) from a forty-two year career in higher education – most of which was spent in student affairs and serving as a vice president during more than half of that time – I knew that I wanted to continue to be active professionally.  So early in my retirement I continued to participate in accreditation visits, and as I write this I continue to serve on the editorial board of NASPA’s Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

A few years prior to retiring I learned of NASPA’s Executive Interim Placement program.  It sounded very interesting and like something that would be enjoyable.  So, I submitted my application.  As I write this, I’m about to complete my second placement and I can honestly say that both, while different, have been personally and professionally challenging and rewarding.

I served a number of institutions during my career so perhaps that helped me quickly adjust to going to these new places and the situations both of these placements presented.  In both situations, everyone with whom I worked was extremely welcoming and supportive.  And while one never knows quite what to expect until one is engaged in these positions, it was quickly apparent that I wasn’t there to be a “place holder” but rather someone who was given real responsibility for the programs and services that were in my area of responsibility.

In these positions I’ve prepared budgets, participated in the development of strategic plans and marketing plans, served on committees that prepared and submitted multi-million dollar grant applications, hired staff, and just about everything else one would expect of someone who was in the position “permanently” rather than as an Interim.  Neither of these positions was at the vice president level which was never a concern for me.  However, based on my experience, my advice was often sought on a wide range of issues and I was pleased to be able to give it.

I’ve focused on the professional aspect of these positions but of course there’s also a personal aspect to them.  In both of my situations, my wife remained home and we’d arrange to visit each other periodically.  In my placements I lived in apartments and had to get acquainted with new communities.  Some aspects of my life were put on hold or rescheduled like doctors’ appointments.  Then there are the day to day things that you don’t give much thought to at home but which have to be figured out like getting the car serviced, finding a church, a good restaurant, a place to get a haircut, etc..  However, with all of those things and more I found my new colleagues to be extremely helpful.  And to this day I remain in touch with some of them and expect that I always will.

So if you’re someone who wants to remain active professionally during “retirement” and are open to living somewhere you might not have lived before, I would highly recommend the Interim Executive Placement  program.  I’m confident that my work was appreciated by the two institutions which I had the pleasure to serve for a while and I know that I gained a great deal from each one, too.

 

Roger Sorochty, Ph.D.

When You Still Have More to Offer… Tony Campbell, Ph.D.

After 40 years in higher education, 27 as a Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO), and a change of Presidents, it was time for me to make a change. As such, I announced my retirement in July to be effective the end of August. My plan was to take some time off and then pursue a second career with a nonprofit program that serves low income, inner city youth as they complete high school and pursue higher education. Shortly after my announcement, (OK, literally the next day!) I received a call from Jan Walbert from Keeling Associates representing the NASPA Interim Executive program. I had placed my name with the NASPA program earlier in the summer but had not spoken with anyone prior to Jan’s call.  In a confidential and professional manner, Jan spoke with me about an interim opportunity at a University that had a large population of first generation students and where over 60% of the students were Pell eligible. As we talked, she asked me to consider whether this population would be similar to the population I sought to serve in the nonprofit community and asked that I consider becoming a candidate for the position. To make a long story short, on August 8, two weeks after my retirement announcement, I began an interim position as Vice President of Student Affairs at a Catholic University in Chicago. ( My wife told me that I really stink at retirement!)

The Interim position fit the needs of the University to fill a critical senior staff position that had suddenly opened and where their president had recently announced her decision to retire at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Strategically, the University needed to fill the leadership gap but did not want to make a senior staff decision for a new president. The interim opportunity also allowed me to continue to work without having to make a long term commitment.  To date, the move has turned out to be a wonderful decision for me and I believe, for the University. The senior staff, the faculty, the student affairs staff, and the students have welcomed me with a warm heart and a desire to move the institution forward as a team. I believe that my experience as a SSAO has allowed me to have a positive impact on the University. On a personal note, I have been reinvigorated by the opportunity and I look forward to coming to work each and every day. Working at a Catholic university has reacquainted me with the special sense of community and mission that is part of a religiously affiliated institution.  

I recommend an interim position to anyone who still feels they have something to offer and wants to have an impact on the world of Higher Education. Keeling & Associates and the NASPA Interim Program were very professional in helping me match my skills with this position and assisting me to explore the opportunity. Unlike other interim programs, you do not have to make a commitment to accept an offer prior to visiting the campus allowing you to assess the fit. Although there is no promise of a long-term relationship, it is always a possibility depending on the needs of the University and your desire to continue. For me, I have found the experience to be very positive.

Tony Campbell, Ph.D.

“Who You Going to Call?” – Addressing Executive Leadership Vacancies Levester Johnson, Ed.D.

Making the transition between institutions and senior student affairs officer (SSAO) roles comes with its fair share of “opportunities” (acknowledging how we avoid saying “challenges” professionally anymore while also embracing my top Strength Finder characteristic of “positivity”). Thus was my recent experience making the move from a small, private university to a large public over the past six months. The landscape within higher education is changing incredibly quickly — be it matters involving social justice to fiscal constraints — each day presents more complex tasks and initiatives to be accomplished. For me, this took place when I first walked into my office — developing an interim reporting structure while dealing with administrative-level vacancies

While several vacancies could be addressed by internal promotions to permanent or interim roles, one in particular involved the impending retirement of our director of Student Health Services within the first two months of my arrival. This combined with a desire to bide time for further reflection on the more permanent divisional structure and need to better understand the operation and direction of the health services department caused me to pause and seek an alternative approach to filling the director position. So, “Who You Going to Call?” The answer was quick and obvious based on my knowledge of NASPA resources and the Interim Executive Placement Services (IEPS) in partnership with Keeling & Associates (K&A). Through a few phone conversations and several follow up email messages, one of K&A’s senior associates was able to assist with the following:

  1. Clarify immediate and future needs for the department and division of student affairs in relation to the position.
  2. Identify the competencies and strengths which would determine the level of experience required to take on the role.
  3. Determine potential duration for the role.

Within three weeks, I was provided three viable candidates for consideration, held screening Skype interviews, brought two of those candidates for on-campus interviews and secured a highly qualified and seasoned practitioner having had experience at the director and senior student affairs officer level, and someone who was willing to start within a week of the campus interview. The dynamic environment within higher education requires senior student affairs officers to utilize innovative approaches to managing operations. Utilizing interim placement services can be added to SSAO’s options as they wonder about the next steps in both their career and in life.

 

Levester Johnson, Ed.D.