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Aligning Resources with Goals

Aligning Resources with Goals

Columbia College Chicago
on Oct 27, 2014

CONVERSATION CLOSED

Higher Education is an expensive and resource intensive enterprise. At Columbia College Chicago we have high aspirations for educational excellence and student success. Like other colleges and universities we also have competing demands for resources- money, space, people and time. How do we best align our resources with our goals?

In these conversations we will engage the Columbia College Chicago community in considering how we might nurture a collective culture to make the best use of our resources.

A Subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee developed the ten questions that will be posed one at a time in this discussion forum from Oct. 30 to Dec. 8. You can see the members of this Subcommittee listed as moderators for this discussion. They will each periodically assume this role. 

The moderator’s role is to facilitate the discussion by adding relevant information (e.g. data, connections to resources, clarifications), providing some additional deep-dive questions to spur more discussion, and assuring a conversational environment that is consistent with the principles of the Civic Commons platform. 

The moderator is not responsible for summarizing anyone’s comments or making any decisions based on the comments provided. All comments will be collected, aggregated and incorporated into the final strategic plan. 

Moderators (4)

Participants (97) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-22T14:52:26+00:00
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Recent Activity

Jan Chindlund
on Apr 06, 2015
"Emory, good points. One way Alum can connect with each other is through the "Alumni on 5"..."
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Interesting idea indeed! Thanks"
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Thanks David: Coulkd you please explain your rational in more details?"
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Interesting idea but, from experience, integrating working professionals in a class dominated by..."
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Thanks Greg, and yes. The chalenge is, how do we finance this?"
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Thanks Jan: You're right, but stricking the right balance between standardisation and..."
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"Thanks Margie: Isn't that the role of the Provost, who is in effect our COO?"
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015
"This is a great idea! I'd love to see what CAAN has in mind for this"
Paul Teruel
on Dec 08, 2014
"A good example of how an experiential course can allign resources and goals for the mutual..."
Katharine Hamerton
on Dec 08, 2014
"The current system of remunerating full-time tenure-stream faculty creates disincentives to the..."
Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 08, 2014
"I received the following information via email: My name is Emory Brown and I am the Chairman of..."
Margie Nicholson
on Dec 08, 2014
"THe College could benefit from having a Chief Operating Officer to oversee operations and insure..."
Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 08, 2014
"This and all the other strategic plan conversations will close tonight at 11:59pm. Conversations..."
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014
"Yes, April Levy mentioned CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) as a..."
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014
"Recently the "furniture" line items on our budgets were combined into one fund managed by the..."
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014
"I commented above as well - but this might be relevant: ..."
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014
"This is a kind of damning way for Columbia College to appear in a media-reference: ..."
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014
"I woud echo this and include the Dance Center as well.  On first glance, these may seem like..."
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014
"In some ways the Dance Center has tried to become this model that Kubilay outlines - it has..."
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014
"Another idea might be to pitch summer classes specifically to high school (or other) teachers and..."
Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014
"I'm not sure if this has been raised, but the Civic Commons seems very focused on students and..."
Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014
"This is a great comment - big organizations frequently lack the ability to spread data and..."
Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014
"I concur that this is a significant issue that may even be hindering the faculty's willingness to..."
Michelle Gates
on Dec 07, 2014
"    Kubilacy- thank you for your comments and good ideas. I am sure the provost will be..."
Michelle Gates
on Dec 07, 2014
"  Dave- thank you for sharing these ideas.  We will look forward to further discussions on..."
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014
"I totally agree with Howard "We need an Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs."."
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014
"Why hasn't it been asked why every department and school has their own resources that aren't..."
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014
"Adding to this discussion is the concern that many faculty who have been hired in the last 10..."
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014
"I mentioned some of this on the enrollment forum but there's lots of au pairs in the chicagoland..."
Kubilay Uner
on Dec 06, 2014
"This is a thought I brought up at the meeting on November 13 at the Music School building, but I..."
Paul Teruel
on Dec 08, 2014 - 11:56 pm

A good example of how an experiential course can allign resources and goals for the mutual benefit of all parties involved in the partnership is the Teaching Practicum, developed by Brian Shaw. For the past ten years, the Theatre department has partnered with schools and community-based organizations to provide the Teaching Practicum course, a foundational course for beginning Teaching Artists. Partners have included Association House of Chicago, Free Street Theatre, and most recently Perspectives Charter School. Partners provided teachers, students, and space to conduct half of the classes off site. The course was featured in the attached casebook, Art/Vision/Voice.

"This course aims to give students a solid understanding of teaching artistry and its many forms. Students learn to balance the art of teaching theater with the art of creating an ensemble in order to achieve the goals of youth development. It is a space where Columbia students learn to utilize what they know about their art form, and mold it to address the personal and artistic needs of young students. On-site class time also addresses lesson planning models, program planning and management, and youth management."

Columbia students:

  • Experience an arts programming cycle; learn how to create lesson plans that are structured yet flexible.
  • Learn the fundamentals of teaching artistry, both theoretical and practical
  • Examine and articulate the connection between their artistic practice and their teaching practice.

Depending on funding, a certain amount of students from this couse are selected for a paid teaching artists assistant position in one of CCAPs community-based partners summer programs.

 
Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 08, 2014 - 11:13 pm

I received the following information via email:

My name is Emory Brown and I am the Chairman of the Marketing & Media Committee for CAAN Chicago. We as a group would like to submit a proposal we have to create an Alumni Resource Center.  We have affectionately named it the "We CAAN Center" and would like to have our idea submitted for the "Aligning Resources With Goals" and "Community Engagement" conversations.We believe that a "We CAAN Center" is the place needed to light a new light in alumni who may have lost their way due to life's ups and downs and lack of resources. A place where our artists can continue to contribute to the development of others and themselves while helping Columbia launch the best and brightest ideas in the world of arts. Feel free to contact us if you or the Strategic Planning Team have any questions in regards to the "We CAAN Center." I've cc'd Margi Cole, President of CAAN Chicago, Marty Kane, Vice President of CAAN Chicago and Joan Hammel, President of ​​CAAN National on this e-mail as well. Looking forward to the future of Columbia College Chicago. Have a great week. Regards, Emory BrownChairman Marketing & Media CommitteeCAAN Chicagoebrown318@gmail.com

 

Responses(2)

Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

This is a great idea! I'd love to see what CAAN has in mind for this

 
Jan Chindlund
on Apr 06, 2015

Emory, good points. One way Alum can connect with each other is through the "Alumni on 5" exhibits (2x year) coordinated by the Alumni Office and the Library. The exhibits are on our 5th floor (624 S. Michigan). The opening reception welcomes all Alumni. Next one is May 1. http://events.colum.edu/event/alumni_on_5_spring_exhibition_151#.VSKtaeFQSu8

The Library can offer space for your meetings and our career materials may be useful as well. Alumni with an Alumni Card may borrow materials.

 
Expand This Thread
Margie Nicholson
on Dec 08, 2014 - 10:30 pm

THe College could benefit from having a Chief Operating Officer to oversee operations and insure that resources are managed more effectively and efficiently within and across departments and schools. It would be useful to have the COO oversee the implementation of policies and procedures within and across departments and schools to insure that they are equitably and effectively established and implemented. This person could also be responsible for evaluating College support services and for deploying administrative assistance and resources, as needed. For example. if a department closes before adjunct faculty members can arrive to prepare for and teach their evening classes, check their mailboxes, and copy materials for use in class, couldn't the College provide space, mailboxes and a copier in a centralized location to support the work of our adjuncts?

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Thanks Margie:

Isn't that the role of the Provost, who is in effect our COO?

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 08, 2014 - 7:55 pm

This and all the other strategic plan conversations will close tonight at 11:59pm. Conversations and the comments made within them can still be viewed after this time, but any comments made after 11:59pm will not be included in the final report. Thank you for all your great participation!

 
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Recently the "furniture" line items on our budgets were combined into one fund managed by the Campus Environment architect. Purchasing will be standardized, quality purchases will be made, and look and feel of furnishings managed. Sounds like a great idea. Looking forward to seeing how well it works. Wondering if technology purchases might be vetted in the same way in the future.

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Thanks Jan:

You're right, but stricking the right balance between standardisation and specialisation is not easy.

 
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Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014 - 11:52 pm

I'm not sure if this has been raised, but the Civic Commons seems very focused on students and student experiences. There doesn't seem to be much discussion of what faculty contirbute and how we can leverage even more impressive scholarly and creative contributions from our faculty, yet that is a key reason that students attend a school. In my 12 years at CCC, I've been consistently underwhelmed by the support available to faculty who desire to push their work to the highest national and international levels of exposure and engagement.  There is little funding for research and creative endeavor ($4,000 grants are nice but rarely cover much of the expense of projects in many fields).  There has been almost no guidance or assistance to faculty applying for grants and fellowships. The sabbatical system doesn't seem to push many faculty to produce work of extremely high caliber in part because only a semester is covered and there is no support or little encoruagement on the part of the administration for faculty to aply for outside grants. Many of us have done these things on our own, but the institution as a whole could better align resources (grant-writing support, access to databases, larger internal grants ro seed projects, etc) and also be more agressive in promoting and encouraging faculty to be more ambitious with their creative output. Certainly, as alluded to below, one way to encoruage that is to offer genuine merit raises to faculty who desire to produce work of wide renown or that helps to make a name for the college. This has singificant beneifts to the students, who get to experience that work firsthand and may hep pilot innovative ideas in the classroom environment.  In the most general sense, I hope the college could inspire its faculty to be more ambitious, to take greater risks, and for that to serve as an important role model for our students.  

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Thanks Greg, and yes. The chalenge is, how do we finance this?

 
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Kubilay Uner
on Dec 06, 2014 - 6:03 pm

One untapped resource that was brought up in a meeting in the Graduate Policy Council are working Chicago professionals who are interested in deepening  knowledge or skills without completing an entire degree program. Could we figure out a way for them to easily buy access to classes "a la carte", and/or offer reduced certificate programs? Once they fulfill prerequisites for a specific class, we as faculty should be able to seemlessly integrate them into the process. In fact, the presence of older working professionals could have very useful side benefits for the younger full-time students.

 

Responses(2)

Michelle Gates
on Dec 07, 2014

 

 

Kubilacy- thank you for your comments and good ideas. I am sure the provost will be interested in further discussion on ideas that help us connect our academic content with these groups and individuals who we can readily serve. We would be interested in other ideas along this line of thinking.

 

 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Interesting idea but, from experience, integrating working professionals in a class dominated by college age students can present some chalenges. Any thoughts on how to address this?

We might want to start with grad programs, which might be more appropriate for this.

 
Expand This Thread
David Gerding
on Dec 05, 2014 - 12:49 pm

(Last post had table format that didn't stick... trying again)

Here’s the latest iteration of a redesigned Columbia.  Achieving the management efficiency of two schools presents a real opportunity to effectively integrate liberal arts and science faculty across curricula.

 

Something like...

**School of Narrative Arts & Sciences**

Cinema Art & Science

Theatre

Television

Journalism

Radio

Creative Writing

English

Humanities

History

** School of Professional Arts & Sciences **

Art & Design  /  Interdisciplinary Arts

Dance

Fashion Studies

Music

Photography

Business & Entrepreneurship

Advertising & Public Relations

Social Sciences

Science & Mathematics

Interactive Arts & Media

Education

Creative Arts Therapies

ASL-English Interpretation

 

Responses(2)

Michelle Gates
on Dec 07, 2014

 

Dave- thank you for sharing these ideas.  We will look forward to further discussions on ideas to improve our organizational structure to better serve our students while at the same time being more efficient with resources. This is a great direction of thinking and I wonder if others have ideas to add?

 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Thanks David:

Coulkd you please explain your rational in more details?

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Klein
on Dec 04, 2014 - 12:59 pm

To add to Ritch Barnes comment of providing, more competitive summer rate classes is a great idea!

 

I would add; Build a special summer curriculum. This could include special projects, collaborating with industry or professionals. Many student's go home, or find work elsewhere to build-up funds for their fall and spring semester tuition. Are there ways to create incentives, special summer courses (not full-load), that helps a student develop a different facet of their education that they normally can not achive during the standard school year. 

Students are currently dealing with so many cost and time constraints, full-time schedules, and in many cases full to near full work schedules.  This does not give students  the opportunity to explore or develop other components necessary to be effective in current industry and culture. The adminstration needs to consider some 'creative accounting' toward new types of courses and professional collaboration. 

 

Responses(1)

Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014

Another idea might be to pitch summer classes specifically to high school (or other) teachers and instructors.  An audience for example for the Dance Center might be dance instructors from studios, arts high schools, and other schools who want to refresh their knowledge and gain insight into how to teach dance to particular ages. It could position us as a leader for pedagogy in this area when we're already known for our presenting season and relationship to the professional field.  And, these are a target audience for us for recruitment.  This is a niche group that currently may not be served well by the higher-education field.

 
Expand This Thread
Lynn Levy
on Dec 04, 2014 - 12:13 pm

We need to do more effective community outreach to area high schools (Jones College Prep) and community colleges, by letting promising students experience Columbia for a day. For example, "Columbia's Photographer for a Day." Prospective students should experience working with professional equipment in a creative environment. Let these students sit in on a photography class. Parents should be included in the facilities tours, as they are making the investment. It is very likely that these students will become Columbia students after graduation. Similar efforts in academic programs across the college could be implemented.

In addition, Columbia College Columbia should have T-shirts, hats, jackets, and other merchandise with the College name and an academic major appearing on them. Columbia should own the licensing. Columbia bumper stickers are great advertising at a low cost. They should be given out to each family that attends our Open Houses.

 

 

 

Responses(1)

Michelle Gates
on Dec 04, 2014

These are great ideas. Thank you for your suggestions.

 
Expand This Thread
Ritch Barnes
on Dec 03, 2014 - 6:59 pm

On the question of how CCC can align our resources of money, space, people and time with its goals; a few things come to mind.  The first thing that comes to my mind is the untapped and unexplored amount of money the college allows to go out the door every summer.  As a College Advisor, most of the traffic I see during the end of fall and the entire semester of spring are students enquiring about transfer credits; and where they can attend to get the credits they need with less expense.  Naturally, I assist them.  However, it's clear that there is a large  number of students spending money at community colleges that CCC could retain.  Why not have summer tuition that matches, or competes with community colleges?  Students who live out of state get to take classes at a reasonable rate, and spend the summer in Chicago.  The dorms make a profit because out of state students need housing.  Adjunct faculty who wish to teach have more opportunities.  Students in the tri-state area who might be interested in Columbia get to see what we have to offer--they may continue on to become degree seeking--and the college can make up tutition in the volume of students attending.  Everybody wins!

 

Responses(2)

Michelle Gates
on Dec 03, 2014

Great comments and ideas that we should explore to retain students in summer and J term and attract new.

 

 
Michelle Gates
on Dec 03, 2014

Great comments and ideas that we should explore to retain students in summer and J term and attract new

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 03, 2014 - 6:51 pm

Untapped Opportunities For Growing Resources: How do we fully leverage our urban location and favor strategic alliances over direct investment?

 

Responses(4)

David Flatley
on Dec 05, 2014

I agree that more nationally engaged/known figures on our Board of Trustees would be a good thing. 

From direct experience, we know that national funders are a hard nut to crack.  CCAP has received support in the past (speaking about private funders at the moment) from Rockefeller, Lila Wallace, Nathan Cummings, and msot recently Hearst (among others).  We are poised to tap into more but some additional strategic integration and support from the institutoin at large would be of great help.

Here locally, to the question, I have a couple thoughts to add: 1) CPS (Chicao Public Schools) is a complex partner, and one that we have cultivated well over the years.  We are poised in that landscape, however, to perhaps take that relationship and alliance to a new place, which could bring in new revenue streams via training and support to teachers and other education professionals who need capacities we can help them build. 

And 2) Expanded philanthropic support.  This is tricky in some respects.  CCAP, for instance, already taps into the major players who give to arts education providers because they believe in our work and they understand/believe we have an important place in the Chicago ecosytem.  And of course other entities within the college receive support from some of these funders.  So, tricky...in the sense that we need to strategically tap into new sources/pools of money that do not cannibalize our existing work.  I think that an expanded vision around civically engaged/experiential learning and how this is infused across the institution...if built correctly...could merit some funder consideration around expanded (or in some cases, new) support. 

3) Finally, I believe that we may be able to build some kind of technical assistance type arm to our work that could bring fee for service dollars in/new revenue, and this ties back into #1 above, but could be expanded to other local and/or national alliances/partners beyond CPS.

 
Norman Alexandroff
on Dec 06, 2014

I raised this idea in relation to optimizing enrollment, but it seems equally relevant to the issue of growing resources. The idea is to create more rigorous and focused opportunities for 12-17 year-olds, locally and nationally, to study the arts and media at Columbia College over the summer.  This not only provides an opportunity to build strong relationships with our target audiences for future enrollment, it also offers a revenue stream for the college now, particularly since it uses our residential space.

The general concept is to rebrand/reposition to High School Summer Institute to be a series of two- and four-week summer camps in each discipline. Instead of a “High School Summer Institute,” we need something to fire the imagination of aspiring young artists, like the “Columbia College Rock ‘n Roll Boot Camp,” or the Columbia College Dance Boot Camp, Graphic Design Boot Camp, Film Boot Camp, or Game Design Boot Camp.

A preliminary feasibility study developed in partnership with the Music Department demonstrated that there was sufficient demand in the marketplace for a Rock Camp that would have generated a $30,000 profit in the first year, and also filled beds in the UCC. There are two existing Columbia College partnerships that we can look to that demonstrate the viability of this concept, including the Fernando Jones Blues Camp, and Pop Academie in Germany. While there are plenty of rock camps in the market, none appear to be affiliated with a major college (most seem to be run out of some guys living room). Additionally, other colleges successfully use debate camps, and other core subject areas to bring young people to campus over the summer, who in turn develop positive experiences with the university that informs their thinking about college. We need to provide opportunities for young people to share and participate in our dynamic creative community when their dreams are just coming into focus.

 

 
Kubilay Uner
on Dec 06, 2014

This is a thought I brought up at the meeting on November 13 at the Music School building, but I wanted to put it here on the commons site as well.  It is a very long-range notion, and as of this moment yet rather “unbaked”, although I’m currently trying to flesh it out more thoroughly.

What if the traditional academic art school model was abandoned altogether? 

There is a certain inefficiency and even counter-productivity inherent in our current model when we look at three core responsibilities of art schools: To educate and train our students, to integrate with the working (art) world outside the school, and to involve the community at large. The first is our core mission, the second is necessary to remain relevant and up-to-date in our offerings and to ease the transition into the working world for our graduates, and the third is necessary to make sure the arts remain relevant to society as a whole.

Our current model makes integrating with the working world and with the community at large quite challenging, something we all of course try and overcome with numerous work-arounds and activities.  But such an interaction is not built-in to our day-to-day by default, it requires constant tending.  As far as the core mission is concerned, the current model is extremely costly, and that cost is of course mostly borne by the students, with all the negative outcomes we know.

Online education may offer some relief, but virtualization is a dangerous road - there is no reason to believe that a digitized online education would escape the fate of digitized online music or film. An art school’s unique value proposition, the one that cannot be replicated elsewhere, is the direct personal interaction with a real artist, and we should make sure we protect that, using virtualization only to complement the personal experience.

The positive side of that same coin is the value of physical co-location. Co-working spaces, tech campuses, film studio campuses etc. are becoming more successful, not less - even in the tech world, physical presence on a tech campus or in a tech community is valuable enough to make companies pay the rents in silicon valley.

So what if the art school of the future looked like a tech campus? Working companies would occupy a large portion of the physical space, dedicated classrooms and teaching facilities would be interspersed, as would be facilities that could be used by the community at large - concert halls, exhibit spaces etc.

The art school administration would be part landlord, part school administration, part facilitator and “traffic cop” for the interactions between the constituencies.

Of course the student experience would look nothing like it does in a degree program today - it wouldn’t be a four-year full-time immersion into learning only, but likely look a lot more like German apprenticeships, with entry-level work and schooling fully integrated into the workweek. Professionals also would be unlikely to ever fully abandon being students themselves, but rather regularly avail themselves of opportunities to widen and deepen their knowledge and skills.

There would probably also be a more fluid definition of faculty, with the various members occupying some position on a continuum between teaching and working in the field in one of the numerous facilities occupying the campus.

I am aware this is but a napkin-sketch, and have no idea what a natural progression from the status quo to this model would look like, but I am currently working on a more fully-formed plan to see if any of this makes sense at all.

 
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014

In some ways the Dance Center has tried to become this model that Kubilay outlines - it has become known nationally as the main presenter for dance in Chicago and a leading one for the midwest region. Originally the Dance Center offered classes not only for aspiring dance college students but for professionals in the city so that students were immediately immersed within a professional environment.  Eventually the need for higher tuition dollar paying students overcome this, but the centrality of residencies by leading artists in the field as always been an incredible aspect to our program.  It is why and how the college has recruited the level of faculty we have represented at the Dance Center.  It may seem like an expensive undertaking to present dance artists, but it truly integrates the department with the field and has put Columbia College on the map nationally in the dance field in a way that the school is not otherwise known.  But, this concept could be pushed further by using the public programs as a learning space for students in terms of apprenticeships even more - this could include the myriad of tasks to produce performances behind the scenes. But, this takes staff time and money.

 
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Pangratios Papacosta
on Dec 01, 2014 - 12:22 pm

Columbia College Chicago needs to utilize the tremendous untapped resource in the philanthropy of great benefactors in the Arts and media who live in major cities across the USA. It is so sad that they do not know us.  One way of addressing this challenge is to add to our Board of Trustees  people of influence and contacts in the Arts and Media who live in  cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, New York, Miami etc. Such trustees can be our ambassadors to these cities and they can  use their influence and contacts to make the first introductions of potential benefactors to our President Dr. Kim.  Our students and our faculty come from all the states thus making our college a National - rather than just a local institution.  Shouldn't our Board of Trustees also have that same "national" feature in its make up?   

 

Responses(4)

Chet Kamin
on Dec 01, 2014

Good thoughts.  Any other ideas on this topic, from anyone?

 
Michelle Gates
on Dec 02, 2014

Thank you for raising this important issue. Your thoughts on leveraging our untapped resources resonates equally well within the Chicago area and nationally/ internationally. What other ideas are there on how we can we access and leverage these untapped other areas?

 
Michelle Gates
on Dec 02, 2014

Thank you for raising this important issue. Your thoughts on leveraging our untapped resources resonates equally well within the Chicago area and nationally/ internationally. What other ideas are there on how we can we access and leverage these untapped other areas?

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Mar 26, 2015

Interesting idea indeed! Thanks

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 30, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Untapped Opportunities For Growing Resources: What mission related opportunities exist for Columbia College Chicago for revenue growth that we should explore?

 

Responses(2)

Michelle Gates
on Dec 02, 2014

This is a great topic for open and out of the box ideas and we welcome your comments and ideas!

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014

I mentioned some of this on the enrollment forum but there's lots of au pairs in the chicagoland area.  National Lewis has a specific program http://www.nl.edu/aupair/, but UIC has been renting space to another one which does travel classes with a short in-class component. (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs116/1101507129325/archive/1119331334826.html)

 
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Jennie Fauls
on Nov 25, 2014 - 8:53 am

Full-time staff who teach are a resource whose access to teaching was recently taken away. The latest part-time faculty contract stipulated that staff who, in many cases, were hired because of their teaching experience and strength, must be de-prioritized in favor of adjunct faculty when course staffing occurs.

Dodging the 'pfac versus staff who teach' conflict, I'm more concerned about the lost resource for students. The college had initially made an effort to hire staff whose strong teaching would be an asset to students. We work hard for you all day long, know you well, are connected to the community and invested in the college, and we're very pleased to stay at night and teach courses, too. Now we're not allowed.

Actively removing staff who teach from the faculty rosters was a mistake. Without getting into the blame game, I hope that the Civic Commons is a proper place to state for the record that this important resource was allowed to be thrown away and was not fought for.

It was a political concession to pfac pressure and they deserve their progress. But it took something wonderful away from the college's resource base and from its students.

 

Responses(3)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 25, 2014

Thanks for sharing your concerns, Jennie. THis is indeed the right forum to do so.

 
Chet Kamin
on Nov 26, 2014

Paula's question is a good one. Many of us would agree that there are peripheral and costly initiatives that could compromise focus on the college's core misssion. At the same time, none of us would like to think that the particular initiative we have given heart and soul to might be considered peripheral. It would be great to generate some comment on whether objective criteria can be developed. Consider taking a few minutes over the holiday weekend to contribute to this discussion.

 
Eric Bailey
on Dec 01, 2014

I agree with many things in Jennie's post. I'd also like to add that staff who teach bring valuable insight into how courses connect with department learning objectives/outcomes and curriculum. This directly impacts course content and enriches the student experience.

 
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Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 23, 2014 - 7:54 pm

Evaluating College Resources As A Whole: How do we focus on the college’s core mission and divest from peripheral and costly initiatives?

 

Responses(2)

Paula Brien
on Nov 25, 2014

I'm interested in this question, but what is being labeled as "peripheral and costly initiatives" of the college?

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 28, 2014

Thanks Paula:

That’s the whole question: each of us might have a slightly different sense of priorities, but can we define a broad consensus on what’s essential and what is not? Are we first and foremost a teaching institution, or a cultural one? What do you think?

 

 
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Keith Kostecka
on Nov 23, 2014 - 5:15 pm

When is the institution going to reward faculty who get tenure?  I understand that at other colleges and universities, such faculty receive a raise in pay.  Not yet at our school.  Why?

In addition, I am curious if the administration realizes that a good number of Associate Professors will not apply for the rank of Professor.  There is no reward at least from what I know for these individuals.  Again, why?

I am committed to excellence for our students, staff, part-time and full-time faculty.  Is our administration also so committed to such excellence?

 

 

 

 

Responses(4)

Howard Sandroff
on Nov 24, 2014

Keith you are absolutely correct.  When I was "promoted" to Professor there wasn't even a token raise, nothing, not one red cent.  It wasn't worth all the effort and in fact there is no distiction whatsoever between the Associate Professor and the Professor.  The establishment of rank has netted the faculty nothing and I don't see any change on the horizon especially since the issue is clouded and obfuscated by endless and redundant discussions of "merit raises".  We already have a merit pay system, its called faculty rank we don't do much with the merit and we do NOTHING about the pay.

 
Michelle Gates
on Dec 04, 2014

 

Keith- these points are well taken. I believe the provost is now aware of the issues you raise and we will be seeking ways to address reward for faculty and staff for promotion and performance.

 

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014

Adding to this discussion is the concern that many faculty who have been hired in the last 10 years have about salaries.  Many of us have had more years of frozen salaries than not.  We are salary compressed and the lack of consistent raises (not everyone got them) when rank doesn't help.

 
Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014

I concur that this is a significant issue that may even be hindering the faculty's willingness to be innovative and take risks in their own scholarship and creative practice. Without the appropriate compensation in salary, there's much less incentive to work hard at producing nationally and internationally recognized scholarship or other creative endeavors.  

 
Expand This Thread
Derek Fawcett
on Nov 21, 2014 - 10:43 pm

(On the topic of raising revenue), the Music Department (and any other department) could bring in a lot of revenue (and possibly open the door for renovations) by selling the naming rights of the Music Center and/or Sherwood.  There are plenty of famous Chicago musicians and music philanthropists that would surely love to have their names attached to our vibrant community.  Is this avenue being pursued?  Has it ever be pursued, and/or could it be pursued in the future?

 

Responses(2)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 23, 2014

Hello Derek: it's a great idea and, to my knowledge, hasn't bee actively pursued.

 
Amy Wilson
on Nov 25, 2014

The college does have a few spaces that were named as a result of a major gift, and this is a great area to continue to pursue in terms of fundraising opportunities. Please feel free to email me (I work in Development) if you have specific recommendations for individuals who would have the financial resources and interest in making that kind of transformative gift! 

 
Expand This Thread
Justin Sinkovich
on Nov 21, 2014 - 3:01 pm

Hey all. I've been reading through this forum and have been so inspired by such a wealth of knowledge and thought.  Clearly everyone as always is very passionate about CCC and our students.  What seems to be critical is utlizing both internal and external data to make many decisions, and not making them based on anecdotal information. So much robust data already exists through Royal Dawson and his time, and in many other places... and it is incredibly valuable. I think some of the data related to specific departments and programs may be lacking or decentralized making it difficult to make complex decisions and planning. I am very happy that the college is focusing on IT, because this big data is not easy to collect. Beyond having the data, it is crucial to regularly share it, and often explain it, with all of the stakeholders throughout our institution.

 

Responses(5)

Joe Bogdan
on Nov 21, 2014

I agree with you, Justin; and I would expand on what you said so that the concept includes process and procedure as a whole.  I have found that conventional process and procedure are often lacking in our environment, and that leads to inefficiencies @best.  A good example of the lack of process and procedure that led to no only inefficiency, but also reduced the value that we provide to our student population, is the Moodle "upgrade" earlier this year that took down the system on the verge of the semester's commencement.  Clearly without conventional process or procedure!  When one thinks of process and procedure, one often looks to the Finance arm of the organization.  Michelle Gates, I believe that the Moodle fiasco to which I refer predated you, but I'm interested in your view on process and procedure, and how we might use it to improve efficiencies and, in the process, better spend the money we have.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 21, 2014

Thanks Justin!

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 23, 2014

Thanks Joe: the timing (or lack of) of the said Moodle upgrade was most unfortunate. The fact that IT saw fit to launch it two weeks before classes start was uncomprehensible. This begs for a realignement between line and support functions, throughout our college.

 
Paula Brien
on Nov 25, 2014

Justin: Why is it imporatnt to share data with all the stakeholders -- top to bottom? How can this be done? Do we all have access to data now?

 
Greg Foster-Rice
on Dec 07, 2014

This is a great comment - big organizations frequently lack the ability to spread data and information laterally throughout the organization, which is certainly the case here at Columbia.  I wish we could take greater advantage of data in all manner of our operations. I was just asking whether the faculty had access to the GPAs and other data for incoming students so we could target our recruitment and committment efforts on the most promising already accepted applicants who had not yet committed...but I was told that information was not yet available.  This is a shame because it means we may not be aligning one resource (faculty time in calling these accepted applicants) with the students who are best fit and the most capable of following through with their degree.  

 
Expand This Thread
J Dennis  Rich
on Nov 21, 2014 - 12:48 pm

So far this has been an interesting discussion about resources.  I want to try to add a dimension to the resource discussion.  I believe that historically, one of our greatest resources has been our name and reputation.  That reputation, as one of the top institutions to study the arts, media, and communication in a liberal arts context brought us a plethora of students.  Today, we are faced with financial challenges, resulting in part from declining enrollment.  I believe that we need to invest in our message and to reestablish our unique position in higher education.  I think our commitment to teaching and yes, training students to work in communication and the arts was our historic message and that we need to focus on that again.  Granted times are different and student needs have evolved as has the college, but I think that if can again show how Columbia College Chicago is best equipped to offer students learning opportunities in our fields, we will attract new resources, earn greater support from the funding community, and have a criterion for evaluating whether any particular program, activity, or action is appropriate to our vision.  

 

Responses(6)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 21, 2014

Thanks Dennis. It indeed seems that we have somewhat lost our brand. How do we rebuild it?

 
J Dennis  Rich
on Nov 21, 2014

I think rebuilding the brand will take some time.  I think the new website helps, but I also think we need to be aggreessive about communicating with advisors in high schools and junior colleges,  and we need to promote activities that show how we are leading the field such as AEMMP businesses, our involvement in SWxSW, and through our faculty presenting in venues where we can make a new impression.  I will continue to think on this

 
Jaime de'Medici
on Nov 22, 2014

I agree with Dennis here. Emphasizing components of the college like AEMMP, SXSW, the Semester In (LA/London/etc.) programs, Manifest, Biggest Mouth...if we can showcase these exceptional elements that help Columbia stand out, it will strengthen the brand, as well as appeal to incoming and transfer students.

Another component to consider - and I know this has been brought up elsewhere, as well as is being actively worked on in the Outreach commmittee - is showcasing alumni. There are so many Columbia alumni that have gone on to accomplish remarkable work following their time at the college. If we can make that a bigger part of the school's story, it, again, increases the college's draw for incoming and transfer students, who will themselves want to be part of that story.

 
Keith Kostecka
on Nov 23, 2014

I agree with Dennis that we need time to rebuild our reputation but I think that this needs also to include a college-wide effort to accentuate our positives to all media and that this effort needs to be consistent and aggressive. 

Also, can we start to advertise our greatness in such venues as print media and on TV?  This is long, long overdue.

 

 

 
Paula Brien
on Nov 25, 2014

Dennis: Columbia would also have to do this in a market where many other schools and educational enterprises are now offering arts and media education and training. We're not the only kid on the block anymore...and the block is getting very crowded.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 26, 2014

Thank Paula: clearly competition has increased. Keith, it seems to me that advertising on TV would be prohibitive in terms of cost. Do you know of an institution comparable to ours which do it successfully? Please let us know.

 

 
Expand This Thread
David Jones
on Nov 20, 2014 - 12:28 pm

Columbia College has the Undergraduate print shop, The Center for Book and Paper Arts and Anchor Graphics.  It is known that Columbia College one of the best equipped facilities in the Area. Vistors marvel at our facilities and would hopefully want to pursue their education in such a marvelous environment. 

That said,  our facilities are underutilized -  part of the answer may be in realigning the facilities so they work in consort with each other- they become a unified whole.  But also invite other instituions  to utilize our facilities. What are the reasons-  lack of cross curricular porosity. Students from one department are not able to gain access to classes.  CRoss listing classes - Encourage collaboration -  create pathways and incentives for these kinds of activities.

two recent examples  - two Graduate Students, one from UIC and the other from Northwestern University contacted us and asked about working in our facilities. Why? In the flurry of institutions throwing out print programs at both the graduate and undergraduate level, students from those institutions are denied opportunities to expand their experiential learning. We are in positon to offer both facilities and programming  to these students, but some cross institution agreements would need to happen. 

 If there is more collaboration amongst schools, then departments will not feel the need to recreate technical marvelous areas to meet the needs of their students. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses(3)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Thanks David. Sharing resources between departments and building curricular bridges makes sense, and yet we do very little of it. In you view, how could we incentivize our colleagues to do so?

 

 
Jason Stephens
on Nov 21, 2014

David, achieving collaboration in this case probably requires outreach on your part.  For example, as someone not familiar with the print indusyry, I a) didn't know such facilities existed and b) don't know how I'd incoroporate them into the course work I teach, although I'm sure such an opportunity does exist.  A couple of years ago librarian April Levy reached out to me, and we have since built a great collaborative relationship that incorporates the resources they have to offer into all of my courses. It might be worthwhile to exmaine how they've had success in building such collaborations to model something similar from.

 
Justin Sinkovich
on Nov 21, 2014

Hey all.  Completely agreed here.  We have identified collaboration as a critical priority, and have made some strides to offer incentives to faculty for collaborating.   With resources being such a critical concern at this time.  We should formalize a model where sharing of resources is formulaically rewarded based on how it is impacting efficiency and quality in operations and pedagogy. 

 
Expand This Thread
Pangratios Papacosta
on Nov 20, 2014 - 10:49 am

We must not shy away from exploring the potential benefit of Co-Op partnerships with sister institutions in Chicago. We can consider "Bulk" buying benefits for all kinds of expenses that all insititutions have in common. (Electricity, Insurance, Furnitute and office supplies, Security personnell, Internet and Phone, etc.) This idea is currenly being explored by numerous intitutions in the USA. I believe that Columbia College Chicago should take the leadership in exploring this possibility.  Such a workable partnership can save us (and our partner institutions) $ millions each year. I raised this idea to the Board of Trustees few years ago but it was never taken up. A couple of trustees responded that these other institutions are our competitors and we cannot partner with them. i reject that as shortsighted. This type of partnership  will not stop us from being competitive and independent academically.  Instead a successful partnership can reduce everyone's cost by a significan dollar amount each year.  

 

Responses(5)

Ron Elling
on Nov 20, 2014

I worked at another college that was a member of several "co-ops". (In saying that I don't know how many, if any, Columbia is a member of.)  We frequently used them, in my case at the time, for technology purchases.  We should also actively explore "leasing".  I'm aware of leasing options whose total cost is actually LOWER than the purchase cost.  University Leasing - which has numerous clients among our sister colleges - is one such option.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Thanks Ron. Leasing is also a way to deal with technological obsolescence.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Thanks Pan. There are many examples of companies which pull their purchasing efforts yet compete when it come to their final product. Columbia does it already with the dorms (joined project with Roosevelt and De Paul, I think) and should expend this type of collaboration. I also think we could partner with partner with operators in our field (theatres, sound stages, recording studios…) before investing in new facilities. Any other ideas on this front?

 
April Levy
on Nov 22, 2014

Columbia College Library participates in a statewide consortium of academic libraries called CARLI that enables the CCC community to borrow materials from 80 libraries in Illinois through the I-Share system, and to benefit from shared licensing of electronic databases at reduced prices. The colleges and universities that participate are both public and private. This is a model that could be expanded to include more types of purchases and license agreements!

 
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014

Yes, April Levy mentioned CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) as a cooperative arrangement for sharing resources. Our library is a governing member and we actively participate in resource sharing, professional development, and valuable collaborative committee work furthering the acquisition and use of digital, print, and media resources.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 19, 2014 - 6:13 pm

Are there any questions we haven’t asked that you wish we had asked?

 

Responses(9)

Jessica Jacobs
on Nov 20, 2014

I would be curious to know what people think about resources allocated to alumni communications and engagement. In our department, we have been discussing ways to develop more meaningful relationships with our alumni and connecting them to our current students.

 
Ron Elling
on Nov 20, 2014

This may have been addressed in the voluminous conversations that have ensued to date, but I haven't discerned this specific issue which is what can be called "job sharing" or, I prefer to think of it as a "talent pool".  We have hundreds of gifted faculty and staff and by "gifted" I mean that they are truly expert in some knowlege or process that, if shared, can benefit others within the College who are trying to implement something and, often, reinventing the wheel.  Now, admittedly, most people are NOT sitting around with nothing to do, but, is it possible (alluding to another contributor's comments about Information Technology) that if we developed and universally shared a "skill bank", so to speak, then, someone, anyone, wanting to learn how to do something could search the skill bank and make contact with one or more COLLEAGUES that may already possess the knowledge, skills or processes needing to be developed?  I for one, have skills with financial management and database development/management that I would be happy to share with other departments.  At a more granular level, I'm pretty good with Excel and Word.  Can anyone utilize these skills in what "free" time I have and, if so, how would they know that I have these skills?  Can we implement a College-wide skill bank that makes available - but does not require - faculty and staff to contribute to colleagues the knowledge and skills they already possess?

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Thanks Jessica: could you please expand? How would you go about achieving this?

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Ron; I really like the idea of skill bank.The PR department had developped some sort of a database listing the expertise area of faculty members for interview purposes. We certainly could use this as a template for the skill bank.

The Business & Entrepreneurship Dept. could DEFINITELY use the skills you listed!

 
Jessica Jacobs
on Nov 20, 2014

We are in the beginning discussions of this right now, but some ideas include an alumni/student mentoring program as well as more robust, current databases of alumni with contact/company information. To fully develop ideas like these, we would need some resources regarding staffing as well as possible events, panels, workshops, etc.

I also agree with Ron. In many institutions this is called a "faculty expert guide", and it is prominently featured so that both internal AND external audiences can access it. (Leads to inquiries from external media, etc.)

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 22, 2014

Love the idea of a skill bank. I can see so many uses for such a database. E.g. There are so many college-wide committees that could find the right individuals using the skill bank.

Also, I agree with Jessica to focus on developing meaningful relationships with our alumni. This should be done on both college and department levels.

 
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 24, 2014

Why hasn't this question been asked?  "How can we improve faculty input into the administrative process that enhances the existing lines of communication giving each member of the faculty direct access to the provosts office via a faculty appointed colleague?"

We have no Dean of the Faculty, or a similar position in the Provost's office and therefore have no easy entre' to the upper administration.  Yes there is the Faculty Senate and normal channels through our chair and dean, but it too is wrapped up in the upper bureaucracy.  During academic years 12/13 and 13/14 we (the faculty) benefited from the presence of an Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.  Len in 12/13 and Hope during 13/14.  During both years I had opportunity for direct interaction with both and it was a very positive and constructive method to bring a concern to the administration.  After all I can't quite pick up the phone and call Stan, I'm sure I would have to go through a gauntlet of associates and assistants and it would be doubtful if I could ever get through.  Yet, when i had an issue I just picked up the phone and called Hope and she responded in a very constructive manner as did Len who was active putting together the faculty for tenure, promotion and appointment issues.  For at least those two years we (the faculty) had direct access to an administrator with an academic apoointment, ie  one of us.

The Students thrive when the College thrives and it thrives when the Faculty is engaged and thriving.  If ever there was benefit to shared governance, our Faculty Senate is tha evidence of that benefit.  Yet, it is a deliberative body that deals effectively with broad issues, not individual concerns.  We need an Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.

 

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014

Why hasn't it been asked why every department and school has their own resources that aren't shared.  It is my understanding that every major lets their own students check out equipment.  But students who are not in that major can't check out the equipment.  I wonder about the level of duplication of resources this has caused.  Could students have access to a single cage (likely with multiple locations) where they could check things out.  I would assume that there may be still class requirements for some items.  But I think any Columbia student or faculty who needs access to a video camera, mic, and lights should be able to get them.

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Dec 07, 2014

I totally agree with Howard "We need an Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.".

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 19, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Evaluating College Resources As A Whole: Do we adequately consider not only the financial costs of activities and initiatives but also the costs of physical space and a time diverted from other priorities? Do we adequately consider trade-offs between competing initiatives?

 

Responses(1)

David Purcell
on Nov 21, 2014

This is an excellent question - I feel that the "context" of each priority (and how it contributes to our "mission" is a key consideration. And, on that note, how do we define what is considered "competing" (and not necessarily an initiative which is supportive/in alignement with our "mission" and/or an inherent part of our "mission?"

And, for example, there could be a variety of initiatives that could serve to complement, not compete. For example, attention to applied, entrpreneurial and business acumen, does not compete with artistic (educational) endeavors, but actually serves to enhance such experiences.

 
Expand This Thread
Paulette Whitfield
on Nov 19, 2014 - 12:24 pm

The ultimate goal is to prepare students for successful careers which means the ability of students to develop a cluster of related skills sets.  Colleges, not Columbia specifically, are organized to deliver skills sets by department rather than by career objectives.  Consequently, resources are allocated accordingly.  If the skill sets of faculty as well as the technology was not restricted by "department ownership", but viewed as a total pool of resources, I think the college could run more efficiently and profitably.

 

Responses(10)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks paulette: very interesting perspective. Could you please identify some of these clusters?

 
Ron Elling
on Nov 20, 2014

I'm not in agreement with the statement that our ultimate goal is to prepare students for successful careers - that's the job of for-profits/technical and community colleges.  Our goal is to help students develop the attitude, resourcefulness, creativity, critical thinking and communication skills that will enable them to succeed in whatever they choose to do.

 
Anne Libera
on Nov 20, 2014

I would agree with Paulette - I coordinate the new degree in Comedy which is nominally in Theater but the "skill set" is writing and performance across media (a perfect "cluster" example). Even with the best will in the world to collaborate across departments in the world, "department ownership" makes collaboration exceptionally difficult. 

 
Jennie Fauls
on Nov 20, 2014

I also agree with Paulette. Students who want to focus on writing experience some real obstacles and confusion discerning differences and connections between Creative Writing (CW/Fiction), Professional Writing (EN), Screenwriting (Cinema), Playwriting (Theatre), etc. Give all writing teachers a shared resource environment and ways to advise and inform students about opportunities. This ties in with the question somewhere in the Commons about interdisciplinary studies. (and connects to Advising in terms of students who shift their majors, add minors, etc.)

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 20, 2014

Ron, many of our degrees have a professional orientation. Wouldn’t you agree that employment should be a desirable outcome for our students? 

 
Eric Bailey
on Nov 21, 2014

If we haven't prepared our students for successful careers we have failed them. Many of our gradautes will work multiple jobs to suppport their creative passion and pay their bills. Assuming they will get career skills post graduation isn't realistic. We should make sure they have been exposed to skill sets that will make them successful in any career they end up in.

 
Paulette Whitfield
on Nov 21, 2014

I am responding to Philippe's request to identify clusters.  I'm also in agreement with Jennie and Anne.  I would start to identify the cluster of skill sets as follows:

1.  Communicators - communication in written form, or via oral communication, to the general public, community, audience or fan base.  Communicators need access to graphic designers and printers to enhance their ability to communicate effectively.  

2.  Performers - Musicians, dancers, actors, photographers, fashion designers who all need access to technology and graphic designers to showcase their ability

3.  Managers -   the ability to manage and track  the success of these professionals requires critical thinking and access to the technology and software that is foundational to decision-making.

4.  Cultural Engagement - providing a cultural and historic background to ethnic diversity in America, the ability to speak different languages and the ability to cross cultures with sensitivity will be critical as the US becomes increasingly diverse.

These are my initial thoughts.  But consider all the resources Columbia has already at its disposal:  software, technology and academic expertise.  Continuing to educate via the "department" paradigm will be detrimental as the age of online learning and students opting out of college become the norm.  

 
Joe Bogdan
on Nov 21, 2014

I do agree w/you, Paulette.  The "ownership" issue results in duplicative and underutilized resources, and reductions in accountability.

 
Jaime de'Medici
on Nov 22, 2014

Eric Bailey: "We should make sure (our students) have been exposed to skill sets that will make them successful in any career they end up in."

I agree with this. Ensuring that Columbia students/graduates have an adaptable skill set is essential to their success in their professional careers/any jobs. If they are taught how to adapt to/evolve with changing job markets/technological advances/downsizing/restructuring/etc. - all the potentially disruptive elements of the "real world" - their chances of success and longevity in the professional job market is greatly increased.

 
J Dennis  Rich
on Nov 23, 2014

While agree fully with Paulette about reviewing department"ownership," I think we need to be careful about what we regard as duplicative.  Business and Entrepreneurship and HHSS both offer economics courses, but the approach to the sujbect is quite different and I do not believe that the separate approaches could be synthesized into a single course.  I also think if we review skill sets we need to preserve some traditional skills (critical thinking, effective communication) and make sure we add contemporary skill sets including techno-literacy and aesthetic literacy.

 
Expand This Thread
Chet Kamin
From the Moderator: Chet Kamin
on Nov 18, 2014 - 7:53 pm

Good thoughts from both Chris and Margot. Could we interest others in commenting on what can be done to align individual and organization goals? Are there ways to encourage eah of us to seek individual success through group success? 

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Incentivising thriftyness would be a way to go. our current budget model doesn't do it at all.

 
Expand This Thread
Chris Olofson
on Nov 17, 2014 - 11:20 am

The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia is a central asset that both serves a critical educational function and that bridges Columbia to the broader community (i.e., MoCP is a key part of Columbia's public face). MoCP has a very strong track record for compelling programming and making wise use of its resources. Hopefully, MoCP will be an integral component of Columbia's future plans and successes. 

 

Responses(3)

Jessica Jacobs
on Nov 20, 2014

I agree, Chris. I think this also highlights the need to include other types of "value" when assessing budgets and priorities, specifically the external/community relations value of a program or entity. When I tell people I work at Columbia, they often reference their awareness of the MoCP and its wonderful programming and events.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 21, 2014

How can we 'factor in" these external elements. any ideas?

 
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014

I woud echo this and include the Dance Center as well.  On first glance, these may seem like 'periperhal' to the student experience or direct learning - but seen another way they are the very places students can connect their learning to the professional world and these venues are an entry point to the school. My only knowledge of Columbia College Chicago prior to moving to Chicago was The Dance Center and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, both of which are known nationally in their respective fields and independently of Columbia College Chicago. 

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 16, 2014 - 8:04 pm

Funding Success And Innovation: How do we develop clear incentives to align individual and organizational goals?

 

Responses(2)

Margot Wallace
on Nov 17, 2014

Good databases of visitors is essential to increased philanthropy. Anyone who has attended an event should sign the digital book, be thanked immediatley after the visit, followed-up with regularly, and targeted for ongoing initiatives. 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks Margot, and yes. A few years ago, the College ago invested in a sofisticated CRM system called Tessitura. The idea was precisely to use it to capture data on our visitors. To date, i believe that only the Dance series utilises it. We could easily extend it to all events at Columbia.

 
Expand This Thread
Chet Kamin
From the Moderator: Chet Kamin
on Nov 13, 2014 - 10:11 pm

Natasha, it's great that you brought up the  need for creative paths to increased philanthropic giving. More discussion of that is plainly needed. The topic of growing resources will appear here in a few days, giving another occasion to for others to comment.

 
Natasha  EGAN
on Nov 13, 2014 - 6:56 pm

In the open forum today, increasing philanthropy was not mentioned, reflecting that in CCC’s history philanthropy has been weak.  The discussion was more about revenue streams coming from tuition only. The college should make an increased effort towards endowing positions and programs and thinking about creative ways to raise funds outside of the traditional modes.  Shop Columbia is a great model.  Also, in regards to community engagement—there is room to grow corporate, foundation and government support through strong partnerships.  Strong sustainable partnerships that engage with potential students, give internships/experience/work for current students and alumni, and collaborate with our faculty and staff, can enhance Columbia’s recognition, reputation, enrollment, retention and funding.

 
Chet Kamin
From the Moderator: Chet Kamin
on Nov 13, 2014 - 6:46 pm

It's good to note that toay's live forum has generated comments here. Does anyone else have thoughts based on the robust discussion at today's forum?

 
Dana Connell
on Nov 13, 2014 - 5:05 pm

Eliza's comments about right size and making difficult decisions are right on.  Industries change - we need to plan for what's next not what we have always done.  Our students want to engage in the "doing" of their disciplines which is what made CCC strong.  We need to plan our academic businesses based on future projections.  If we see growth in "x" then we need to plan it while also planning areas in decline appropriately.  The pie is only so big.

 

Responses(1)

Michelle Gates
on Nov 16, 2014

What metrics and measures would you suggest to evaluate what the right size is for our institution?

 
Expand This Thread
Dana Connell
on Nov 13, 2014 - 4:30 pm

Q in forum

First, as Bill Frederking noted - we need to know the cost of education by academic unit.  Each unit has a different cost associated with their program.  Next, the budget is built based on enrollment combined with unit costs by student.  When the budgets are more realistic vs. "what we did last year" then each unit can be planned with a budget that is tied to enrollment.  The budget should be visible and discussed on a monthly or quarterly basis with all.  Each unit should know how they are performing to plan.  The academic unit budgets should roll to a total by school.  Reward is then given for performance.  For example, a school can only achieve their plans when all of the units work together and share resources.  If one unit is trending up - the resources shift to them and if trending down resources shift down.  When the school achieves plan then everyone in the school is rewarded on some level.  I worked through a cultural shift like this in corporate retail when we moved from "my" business to "our" business and making "us" successful so "we" can meet the needs or our STUDENTS. 

 

Responses(3)

Michelle Gates
on Nov 16, 2014

Thanks to Dana Connell and Bill Frederking for both sets of comments on right sizing and the cost of programs. Both warrant much deeper discussion and analysis. Having the analytics and information to support decisions is key and something we will want to focus on institutionally as we shape future thinking on resource models.

 
John Upchurch
on Nov 17, 2014

A document titled "Cost Accounting for the Instructional Departments" was released during the (dare I mention it?) Prioritization project a few years back. That described the metrics determining unit cost/revenue as:

  • revenue per credit hour
  • direct (i.e. departmental) costs per credit hour
  • physical plant costs per credit hour
  • academic administrative costs per credit hour

There's more to the document than that, but those are the high level data points. I'm unaware as to whether that equation is still being used or if it was just to frame the discussions during that process (if so, some of us may have still have the file in their archives). It would be a place to start, anyway.

I'm a little nervous about linking the budgets of academic departments too closely to annual performance. For example, a new program when starting up might need the boost that an established program could do without--or a bad year could compuond itself through cuts. There are also some programs that are vastly more resource intensive than others or departments that make use of other areas' facilities which muddies the water a bit.

Generally, I think if we've decided to run a program/service/project that it should receive the necessary resources to be successful. That does not mean a blank check nor does it mean that those resources—be they space, staffing, funding, equipment etc.—should be exclusive to any one program… just that it be enough. The costs need to be fully explored before launching a new initiative, of course. Determining what falls in the "needs" column vs. the "wants" column can be difficult, too.

The trick, as Dana notes, is to work together and coordinate efforts. In that, there is the potential to free up some human/financial/physical resources that could be used to support other areas--treating those needs, inasmuch as possible, as common concerns. We have a lot of creative problem solvers. It may just be a matter of defining the problem at the right scale...

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks John:

Sharing this information was very useful indeed during Prioritization. We should plan to re circulate it regularly. yes, ROI per department should be assessed according to the nature of the major - to some extend.

 
Expand This Thread
Jennifer  Loeb
on Nov 13, 2014 - 11:48 am

I think we would all be thrilled to get back to a time where we even get a COLA. We staff haven't seen one in the five years I've been here.  I believe Merritt increases if reinstituted, should be above the COLA and based on objectives goals set and reached. There should be parity among the departments though so that no one department is able to give any one of their faculty or employees more than another department. Yes, Lily, I agree we should all be working hard and doing our best, and I think most of us are, but we are human and being rewarded monitarily is great incentive.  Or to put it another way, not to get rewarded monitarily is a dissinsentive after a while.  We are all evaluated, whether by students, or peers, or bosses. As staff, we are evaluated every year, but whether we exceed expectations or meet expectations or need improvement, we all get the same (or as has been the case recent years, don't get any) increase.  A merritt increase is gracious way to  show both faculty and staff that their extra efforts haven't gone unnoticed and are truly appreciated.

 

Responses(4)

Eric Bailey
on Nov 19, 2014

I agree Jennifer. Merit raises would be gravy on top of COLA. Hopefully the current job study will help adjust the salaries we receive and possilby reflect similiar positions in other institutions. We still need to outline what type of bench marks would be used for merit raises and I'm not sure how we do that. Would there be different types? Possibly administrative effeciences, something tied to curriculum, student success, innovative projects, etc.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks Eric. Would you have any recommendations regarding what these benchmarks should be?

 
Eric Bailey
on Nov 20, 2014

Individual (staff) merit raises could be tied to their annual performance review and based on what the institution considers most valuable in employees: Did they exceed identified goals? Did they exceed job expectations? Individual (academic) merit raises could be tied to the criteria Soo La submitted or based on works published or presented. Maybe departments could be rewarded for fiscal and academic success: Student Recruitment Increases, Academic Innovation, Student Graduation Rate, Student Retention Rate

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 20, 2014

Dovetailing with comments made by Eric and Jennifer, I'd like to introduce a white paper developed by the Faculty Senate, in 2012-13 by Richard Woodbury and Brian Shaw when they were serving on the Senate's Faculty Affairs and Financial Affairs committees.  The paper calls for the development of transparent policies through which adjustments to compensation could be made.  The range of issues addressed in the paper includes merit raises, pathways to retirement, and the inflation of faculty salaries by outliers--most of whom previously held administrative positions.  The recommendations in this paper has the broad support of the Faculty Senate.  

I believe COLA and transparent policies concerning merit pay--for faculty and staff--are signposts of a healthy institution and demonstrate an institution's investment in its human resources.  

Unfortunately, I believe that many faculty assess the lag in addressing salary issues--as evidenced by a lack of transparent policies and a reluctance to publish salary bands--as evidence of a culture wherein one band of colleagues is pitted against another in competition.  I think this distracts us from the culture of One Columbia that many of us on the Senate are working diligently to foster.  

 
Expand This Thread
Chet Kamin
From the Moderator: Chet Kamin
on Nov 13, 2014 - 10:54 am

Kathie

 

That's an excellent comment. I have attended a number of Story Week events over the years and they are special. Let's generalize. Do you or other commenters have thoughts about how to identify programs that further the college's goals? What criteria should we use to identify these programs?

 

Responses(1)

Randall  Albers
on Dec 05, 2014
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I am coming into this excellent discussion a bit late, but as Founding Producer of Story Week, I feel compelled to make just a few points that respond to Chet's question about the criteria to be employed in evaluating the worth of such programs generally in the college.

A series of questions comes to mind, all of which focus on the value of such programs:

• How does the mission of the program flow from and enhance the mission of the college?  

• What are the specific curricular connections? What about this program extends or deepens the learning of the students?

• What role does the program play in recruitment?

• How does the program help position the college to wider audiences, including national and international audiences?

• Are funds for this program used efficiently, effectively, and ethically?  

• What potential exists for grants and sponsorships to help offset costs?

• What is the potential for developing collaborative partnerships with other arts, media, and business institutions in the city and beyond?

• Might the program be used to connect with alumni and potential outside donors? If so, how?

These are just a few of the most central questions that we have continually tried to answer with Story Week.  Certainly, others could be raised. 

Just a few years ago, Story Week was identified as one of Columbia's "signature" events—or so I was told by the head of Institutional Advancement and others in the college administration. Yet full support from IA was always difficult to achieve, and since those days, funding has been trimmed further and further—that is, even before the most recent, crippling cuts in staff and budget.  

Programs such as Story Week that have advanced the mission; enhanced the education of the students; raised the college's profile locally, nationally, and internationally; fostered the perception that Columbia is the place to be for the creative arts; served as a strong recruiting vehicle; enabled connections to the wider community through partnerships and collaborations; won substantial outside funding support; served as a vehicle for numerous students and faculty to get their work published and performed; and provided a possible encouragement for alumni and outside donors to support the college (Story Week has established itself, according to a recent survey, as the number one reason that fiction writing alums feel connected to the school after graduation) should be seen as a model for the rest of the college and should be rewarded with enhanced support for the benefit of the institution as a whole.

To Margo's and Philippe's points about monetizing, let me just say that we have tried to keep the populist feel of the festival, in keeping with the democratic and progressive principles of the mission. That we have continued to advertise it as free and open to the public has played some positive role in achieving grant support from certain agencies.  Perhaps even more to the point, as we attempt to recruit in what has become an increasingly competitive creative writing field, getting the attention of prospective students though substantive high-profile events is crucial. Those who eventually enroll in undergrad or grad programs (whether in Creative Writing, B&E, or any of our other academic areas) more than pay for the festival. And donors who are impressed with Columbia because of quality programming that reflects the mission may well help pay the way for such programs, too.  "Monetizing," in other words, has to be seen as something more than simply charging for events.

That said, I would be in favor of creating a few events specifically aimed at fundraising throughout the year. However, they take resource support, and as we have waded through a recent history of transitional administrators, such support has been in short supply.  We would hope that a new administration would encourage new thinking about the value of so-called external programming (not, as we see, ever solely "external" but aimed first and foremost at the education of our students) and offer stronger support as well as expect the necessary accountability.

 

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Expand This Thread
Kathie Bergquist
on Nov 13, 2014 - 10:27 am

The Story Week Festival of Writers was the second largest literary festival in Illinois, outside of Printers Row. Each year, Story Week brought major literary power forces (Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates) to campus to participate in readings and conversations that were free to the whole student population and the general public. In the past few years, the budget for Story Week has been decimated and the festival is only a shadow if its former self. Considering Story Week's profile in the Chicago cultural landscape, and its role with student development, community  outreach, and recruitment, I think Story Week is exactly what the school should be funding, and supporting institutionally. Story Week brought a great deal of prestige, interest, and attention to Columbia College Chicago. Now, the meager budget is such that the program is only a shadow of its greatest potential. That these cuts occur as we are tryong to create a brand for th enew Department of creative Writing seems like a missed opportunity to make a bold statement about CCC's commitment to the academic creative writing programs, to say the least. Story Week put our Creative Writing programs on the national radar. Without continued, and increased support, we can barely make it onto the local radar. As an aside, I think that the former VP of Institutional Advancement did not value literature, and that was evident in his deep lack of understanding about the value of the program, and its reach. I hope that landscape has changed, as Story Week is absolutely fundamental to the goals of institutional advancement. Furthermore, there is already a great infrastructure in place to produce a major national literary festival; all we need is appropriate institutional support.

 

Responses(6)

Margot Wallace
on Nov 17, 2014

Story Week is an example of a signature property that could be monetized. Note that we are not just a college campus anymore, but the center of a residential neighborhood characterized by that desirable market segment, higher-income, arts-oriented, ticket-buying consumers. Same strategy applies to Dance Theatre and, of course, MoCP.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks Margot: How should we go about monetizing it?

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks Kathi: I have attended some of the Story Week events in the past, and was impressed. Let me introduce the notion of opportunity cost. Knowing that the ressources of the college are finite, would funding such an event be more important than, say, recruit additional faculty for the new Creative Writing department?

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 19, 2014

An interesting question, Philippe, however the Department of Creative Writing is not really in need of additional faculty right now. Our enrollments have decreased dramatically in the past two years because of a variety of missed opportunities and missteps that are too numerous here to mention. And instead of one super professor (whom we don't need right now anyway) we can have more than a dozen writers and other publishing professionals be accessible to our students. Story Week has been a matchmaker for students and agents, it has been a venue for students to meet editors and have opportunities for publishing, internships and jobs come of it. It puts us in the public's sights for months; it is a recruitment tool that has brought us new students over the years.

I do want to say in response to Kathie, though, that Story Week's lack of support is not just on the part of the higher administration. The department itself, with the exception of most of the Fiction Writing faculty, has not been particularly supportive of this venture, and does not seem to understand the importance of this highly impressive and anticipated Chicago literary event.

 
Kathie Bergquist
on Nov 22, 2014

One of the benefits of Story Week, in my opinion, is that it is free and open to the public. As far as what criteria should be used to determine th evalue of individual programs, I'd consider these:

-What is the benefit to our students?

-Does it create community connections?

-Does it effectively promote and showcase our programs and our work?

-Does it serve the larger geographical/cultural community?

-Is it accessible, financially and otherwise, to the Columbia College and greater Chicago community?

-What is the big-picture cultural value of the program.

To the first question, each Story Week event we hold is essentially, for our students, the opportunity to take a master class with a leader in the field. They get access and insight that students from any creative writing program in the country would swoon over.

Many, through voluntering, also get first hand exerience in the logistics of managing such an event.

Furthermore, in the past, many students have had th eopportunity to meet one-on-one with visiting writers, agends, and editors in provate consultation about their work.

Story Week also serves and engages the greater Chicago community, through free events that are open to the public. This includes past partnerships with diverse community arts organizations, such as one supported by the Chicago Community Trust, with Guild Literary Complex, that brought Story Week events to Chicago's Humboldt Park community, and another partnership with the Ragdale Foundation, supported by the Rubin trust, that connected Story Week with the north suburbs. Story Week also had a partnership with WBEZ, who archived podcasts of programming to make available to anyone at anytime -- each stamped, of course, with Columbia College Chicago branding.

Story Week was able to pursue these opportunities because they had a managing director, a grant writer, and a publicist worked into thier budget. Suffice to say the budget was severly cut and now the entire week-long program of events is overseen by a few fulltime faculty (while they still engage in their fulltime faculty meeting and courseload obligations), some grad student workers, and volunteers -- none of whom have the time or resources to make the cultivate the types of meaningful community partnerships Story Week has created in the past.

As I said in my first comment, Story Week, in it's 18th year, I think, had established itself as the second largest literary festival in the state of Illinois, and as one of the largest free literary festivals in the country. Story Week is a fantastic way to build brand recognition for the new Department of Creative Writing, which, frankly,  could use some resorative work after a rather rocky transition that I can only assume caused many prospective students to look elsewhere. We are positioned to be the largest Creative Writing program in the country. Story Week, with adequate resources,  can show the world what that means.

 
Kathie Bergquist
on Nov 22, 2014

(Sorry for typos. I guess that's the benefit of composing in Word and then copy/pasting).

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 12, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Funding Success And Innovation: How do we best allocate resources to programs that fulfill the college’s mission?

 

Responses(7)

Insook Choi
on Nov 12, 2014

First: Ascertain what programs do fulfill the college's mission in terms of student success. Next: Examine what changes are required in those programs that could bring the college closer to success, in spite of serious financial problems. The discussion on class sizing alone is not going to address this. Then: Revisit any college-wide assumption that most programs conducting creative practices cannot be cost effective. There are many ways to ensure creative practices are cost effective with technology. Ask, “What technology shall we invest to deliver desirable learning experience?” rather than “How to teach better with technology?” Asking the right questions enables us to discover shortest paths from resource allocation to student success.

 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 13, 2014

Thanks Insook: All great questions to ask!

 
David Valadez
on Nov 13, 2014

I would agree, and the first is one of the most complex.  In looking to determine what fulfills our mission, how do we define the success.  I have heard others speaking about preparedness which is hard to quantify.  The first step is graduation, but then being able to measure how we prepared our students for the next step is difficult for those who don't have predefined career paths as we are not looking to be a "trade school".

That being said, moving to the second step we need to be careful of the "in spite of serious financial problems".  We do need a process that will allow us to subsidize some of these mission programs that may not be structured in a way to be able to cover all of their costs, however we run the risk and need to be careful.  As rough as this next statement may sound it is imperative that we don't do too much mission that it ends up hurting our sustainability as an institution.  We need to ba able to balance those that meet our mission goals and are profitable with those that are not. 

This should lead us to look at what is a more standardized way to look at our fiscal processes and a baseline for comparisons, so that we can then take the next step to be able to recalibrate and make decisions about which of our mission programs that are not independently stable financially we can afford to support, particularly if we want to find ways to grow these.  The more of these programs we do the less we can financially focus on each.

 
Arti Sandhu
on Nov 13, 2014

I agree - the criteria for what fullfills the college mission/s. Some many fullfill one, some may fullfill a number of sub-missions. However, shouldn't all programs at Columbia allign to some/one of its missions?

 
Jason Stephens
on Nov 21, 2014

Are we only concerned with the explicit mission?  I suspect the implicit mission that most students and parents have when deciding on whether to attend an educational institution is "will it help me get a job?"  In that respect, I think it would be beneficial to allocate resources toward building relationships with potential future employers, assessing the jobs of the future (and how Columbia's education might fit into that future), and aligning costs with future potential compensations.  We, of course, benefit in the long term because employed students build the colelge's reputation, and will be more likely to be future donors back to the institution if they feel the cost of their education was worth the rewards.

 
David Purcell
on Nov 21, 2014

Those are some excellent points. With regard to Columbia's Mission "...educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times,” we have a responsibility to our students to help (and educate) them in approaching their focus and applied way to best prepare them for the realities of working in the creative industries. In addition to allocating resources in areas of Columbia’s arts specialties/offerings, we need to look at what resources (technology, skill-sets and knowledge (for example business and applied perspectives) are going to help them to bridge their interests to a career.

In addition to providing excellent education on their "core" focus, our students at Columbia should be exposed to (and develop) applied knowledge and skills that can allow, help and encourage them to become active practitioners in their fields. It's great that Columbia is a space for artistic exploration and development – but reinforcing and educating students on the "real world" pragmatics (including business acumen) is key and a responsibility of Columbia. As such resources should be considered within this context and framework (with a pragmatic outlook on what the realities of our “mission” really means for our students and their professional and real-world experiences.)

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 22, 2014

Should not all programs at Columbia be structured and developed to fulfill the college's mission and thus be funded, perhaps not equally but still funded? it would be interesting to apply good old BCG Growth-Share Matrix to see where we stand with our programs.

 
Expand This Thread
Insook Choi
on Nov 12, 2014 - 2:07 pm

Innovation requires an investment in technology and talent resources, accompanied to measurable return on investment. We can measure innovation ROI through student learning outcomes by applying best practices in curriculum assessment. Presently Columbia can only afford the most focused innovation investments, designed for specific measureable targets. The selection of investment areas is a strategic team process, connecting faculty who are team innovators, curriculum innovation, and technology with reliable applications in a teaching/learning process. Targeted investments will have broad impact when the project results are designed so that faculty can use them in multiple curriculum contexts. 

Where can we consult the guiding principle for investing in innovation? Let’s examine measures of student success. When I participated in Mayor Bloomberg’s Media Initiative in New York, executives and project managers complained about graduates from art institutes, design schools, and the like. Creative industries’ often-nuanced complaints are that educational institutes do not prepare students’ skill sets well. Some companies provide remedial training for graduates. In reality, most companies just want to pick up those who are fully ready to join the workforce. The so-called “21st Century skills” were not invented by academia. They were forced onto academia by business and government partners.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills organization identifies innovation, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, self-management: these skills “are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not” (quote from link below). Information, media, and technology skills are also top ranked skills for 21st Century students. Innovation in Columbia is one area that is not strategically cultivated; under this condition, we cannot expect our students to be innovative. Innovation must be curriculum focused and return on innovation investment must be measured in terms of 21st Century learning outcomes. Innovation is about scaling up, accompanied by strategy to work towards an institution’s goals.  We will not achieve our goals without innovating. If enrollment is an urgent criterion, invest in curriculum innovation and online technology to enable distance learning where the capacity to innovate curriculum and adopting low hanging tech innovations goes side by side. This can be done without losing the focus on creative practices. Do not wait to innovate!

 
Shanique Palmer
on Nov 12, 2014 - 12:36 pm

As Jane Jerardi mentioned, investing in people is crucial in order for a community to grow. Columbia has a lot of part-time staff, and in order for the staff to better gain an understanding and be involved with Columbia they need to be full-time and dedicated.

I'm transferring from Columbia College Chicago once the Fall 2014 Semester is over, partially for financial reasons. I went to an International Baccalaureate school which is, a non-pofit educational foundation helping develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. IB has a highly respected college prep curriculum. I feel as though Columbia needs to look into financially helping IB alumni financially: scholarships, and overall financial assistance. IB students work extremely hard during their high school years in order to be better prepared for college.

 

 
Beatrix Budy
on Nov 11, 2014 - 2:54 pm

We need not only to celebrate, but also formally and consistently recognize teaching excellence. If we really mean that educational excellence is our main goal, we should have merit raises based on it! That is one way we can align our resources with our goals.

 

Responses(7)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 11, 2014

Thanks Beatrix: in your view, what criteira should be used to gage teaching excellence?

 
Soo La Kim
on Nov 12, 2014

Philippe -- Here is language from the Excellence-in-Teaching Award website:

Excellent Teaching at Columbia

Recognizing that excellence in teaching manifests itself in many different modes, styles, and voices, the ETA Committee endorses the following five characteristics of excellent teachers (articulated here in language borrowed from Columbia's current instrument for soliciting student observations of teaching and learning).

Excellent Teachers:

  1. Communicate subject matter accurately, clearly, and with enthusiasm; and they present, invite, and test multiple and balanced points of view;
  2. Create communities of learners in which students can and do take intellectual risks and experiment creatively;
  3. Treat all students with respect and consideration, responding appropriately to the individual needs of each student;
  4. Stimulate the intellectual and/or artistic curiosity of students, fostering critical and creative thinking and problem solving;
  5. Challenge, inspire, and support students to do their best work, to achieve more than might have been expected.

______

When faculty are nominated for the award, they are asked to submit a portfolio of materials for the faculty committee to consider. The most important of these materials are the statement of teaching philosophy and answers to 3 questions: 1) favorite assignment; 2) how they address diversity in the classroom; and 3) a challenge of teaching.

There's also a rough rubric the committee uses for evaluating the portfolio of materials.

Over the years that I've served on the committee (and Beatrix can comment, too, as she's been on the committee too), I've witnessed remarkable consensus and consistency in our deliberations and assessment of excellent teaching. To boil it down, I'd say the criteria come down to student learning, student engagement, and reflectiveness of the instructor.

 
Michelle Rafacz
on Nov 13, 2014

I completely agree with Beatrix Budy. Hiring and retaining excellent educators for our students is a draw to both students and their parents and certainly can have an impact on enrollment. As an important part of Columbia's mission is to best prepare our students for the professional world, so too should be the allocation of resources towards bringing in AND keeping the best and most-qualified instructors here at Columbia by staying competitive in terms of compensation with other colleges and universities.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 13, 2014

Thanks for sharing the criteria for excellence in teaching Soo La! Michelle: I couldn't agree more: The latest alum survey illustrated this point.

 
Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin
on Nov 20, 2014

Yes, we do need to bring in, keep and recognize excellent teachers. But we also need to cultivate excellence in our existing faculty. The CiTE offers many workshops aimed at that, but departments don't always encourage/incentivize faculty members to take advantage of them. 

 
Cara Dehnert
on Nov 22, 2014

I completely agree with all of this.  I've been nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award, and while meaningful and flattering, what's been more motivating to me is the guidance and mentorship provided by my senior colleagues.  I feel very fortunate to be in a Department that routinely observes, evaluates and develops faculty.  When I was a graduate student here, that didn't seem to be as much the case (I say this, allowing for the perspective shift from graduate student to part-time faculty to full-time faculty, of course.)  Through an increased dedication by our department to not only review, but also offer constructive and tangible critiques and feedback, I feel faculty (as a whole) improved by leaps and bounds.  So along with things like merit based financial incentives, awards/recognition, etc. - which I fully support - I'd also encourage an engaged approach to faculty evaluation and development.  

 
Laurie Lee Moses
on Dec 05, 2014

Great thought! There is no education without educators! That said, let's think carefully about what the assessment process is for "merit." My preference is to keep things on a more qualitative review bases rather than using some kind of "stats." Any supervisor worth their salt knows who is doing good work, and who needs more support to do better work, and who is possibly in the wrong career. Right?! So let's find a way to leverage that kind of knowledge and evaluating skill from supervisors to build the faculty (and staff, for that matter). The emphasis needs to be on competitive pay scales, living wages, and real increases to match cost of living as well as to provide support for those doing great work. How can we assess and reward using a humane and encouraging approach?

 
Expand This Thread
Kay  Hartmann
on Nov 10, 2014 - 11:11 am

We are developing an initiative in the Art + Design dept....our goal [hopefully achieved before I retire in 2015!] is to set up a RealWorld/RealWork senior studio or practicuum. Engaging with the world is a huge part of the mission for all designers and this project would enable that. Doing a 2-semester project-based class including fieldwork to investigate possible projects from the perspective of both the client organization needs and the needs of the users. This studio experience will also satisfy our needs as educators to bring the world into the classroom and our students out into the world. Students will petition to take the course and can include graphic design, advertising design, photography, writing, and video students. Any advice or insights, particularly from folks at Columbia who have done this?

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 10, 2014

Hello Kay:

How does this connect with the question asked? Please explain

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 09, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Rewarding Individual Excellence: How do we create a culture of healthy emulation, in which competition for resources is objective, structured and transparent?

 

Responses(1)

Laurie Lee Moses
on Nov 13, 2014

What is the theoretical foundation of the concept of a culture of competition for resources that is considered a beneficial way to structure resource allocation? Should we be competing for support for our work? Why is that considered healthy or useful? What is the basis in research for the value of that approach (or not)?

 

 
Expand This Thread
Matthew Board
on Nov 09, 2014 - 12:29 am

The line of thought that I am proposing is based on the book “Conscious Business” by Fred Kofman. My colleague Bill Guschwan suggested the book to me. I also try to implement the ideas from a Ted Talk about the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek. The main point that I keep bringing up is Real, Demonstrable Student Success(RDSS). I’m pretty sure the first time I heard the term Real Demonstrable Student Success it was mentioned by President Kim. The term really resonated with me and it seems like something that should be threaded into this topic.

Here is a link to the book-

http://www.amazon.com/Conscious-Business-Build-through-Values/dp/1622032020

Here is a link to the Ted Talk – It’s 13 minutes long.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjtmQSALuQo

As an educational institution, I feel that Real, Demonstrable Student Success (RDSS) is our primary goal. However, it is possible for RDSS to mean different things among the various individuals that play different roles in our educational institution.

To start, I would like to frame RDSS from the student point of view. Some items of consensus that could define RDSS are: Getting a job, graduating, getting straight A’s, simply passing calculus, getting a scholarship, getting approved for a student loan, making it to class on time, or simply being admitted to college. Depending on an array of experiences, obstacles, and other variables any of the aforementioned items of consensus are completely valid goals to the student.

As professionals working in higher education, our perception of RDSS could be entirely different. Some items of consensus that could define RDSS related to the following things we provide students: technical skills pertaining to field of study, critical thinking skills, enlightenment, entrepreneurialism, creative thinking, employment, a professional portfolio or body or work, etc.  Again, what we provide students is largely dependent on our array of experiences, obstacles, and other variables. Our experiences and how we have all traversed our obstacles and challenges to this point, mainly cover the “how” and “what” portions of the Golden Circle mentioned in the TED talk.

The “why” we do what we do seems pretty common as educational professionals. We want to see our students do well. We want them to be ready for their profession once they graduate.

We know why we do what we do as individuals working in higher education, but why do we want RDSS at the institutional level?  Below, I have proposed a “why”, some “how” items, and some “what” items.

Possibly why we do it:

We do what we do because Columbia College Chicago wants to produce students that can become a driving force in the global creative culture because we want to be show that the brand of education we offer and that students invest in can have a positive ROI (return on investment).

Possibly how we do it:

Develop rigorous and current curriculum that fosters aspiration and ambition that is delivered by industry leading faculty.

Utilize contemporary facilities with robust infrastructure and technology.

Provide the best networking opportunities to students.

Provide comprehensive, yet student friendly advising experiences.

Support a sustained effort toward a culture of inclusion and diversity.

Lead the way in innovative approaches to pedagogy.

Develop key competencies in students that prepare them for the challenges they face in the pursuit of success.

Create active distribution avenues for students so they can at least broach real, external success for what they create while at Columbia College Chicago.

Provide evidence to the world that our students have achieved RDSS.

Possibly what we do:

According to my understanding, Columbia College Chicago predominantly relies on tuition for resources. As a result, RDSS, and resources are inherently linked values. Because of this, it seems the greatest budgetary goal is RDSS.

Allocating resources for RDSS implies a significant investment in the students that have invested in their education at Columbia College Chicago.  If the allocation of resources is considered with the core value of RDSS in mind, it makes the prospect of allocating resources a very altruistic, noble and positive endeavor.

The actual allocation of resources would directly feed into what is mentioned in the “how” category of the “golden circle” which proposes a way to align our resources to our goal and what is perhaps our most important core value.

We do have competitive demands on our resources, and I propose that it remain mostly competitive. To elaborate, if a budget surplus arises in a given area, then the surplus resources could be allocated to other areas of the college or rolled into an endowment as a way to mitigate future risk related to economic volatility or other unforeseen financial issues.

If areas achieve significant growth, constantly having their surplus allocated to another area could diminish incentive. So, each year that an area experiences growth, a positively incremented percentage return on the surplus should be injected back into the budget where the surplus originally came from -- making short term saving become long term budgetary gains.

 

Responses(3)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 09, 2014

Thanks Matthew. The Ted Talk is great! So, do you suggest we allocate resources along the RDSS results of each program?

 
Matthew Board
on Nov 09, 2014

Hi Phillippe! I am glad you enjoyed the Ted Talk. In the Ted talk, the result was profit form sales. To me, it seems that RDSS is our desired result. Though, the definition of RDSS can have many definitions. So, I think we need to decide what the organizational definition of it could be and then allocate toward that goal. I believe what is in the "how" section would be what we allocate for. Some of those items are college wide investments. Then, some resources would be allocated to each program. RDSS could be assessed/defined by each department. We could poll students about what they feel RDSS is to them too. I believe that when RDSS is achieved, that is a real measure of our institutional success and prospective students will respond to those stories as a reason to attend Columbia. Ultimately, resources and RDSS are linked values so resources would naturally flow to where the RDSS is. I think the biggest question is what we consider RDSS to be for the college and to each program. Just an idea. Thanks for checking it out Phillippe!

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 11, 2014

Thanks Matthew:

This is a great framework to use the college overall, and for each individual programs.

 
Expand This Thread
Lynn Levy
on Nov 07, 2014 - 6:30 pm

We need to build Columbia's endowment through multiple resources. This includes significantly increasing our alumni by offering them Columbia services for every year they pay their alumni dues. In addition, we should create events matching alumni as professional mentors for our students following similar career paths. Columbia needs to expand its corporate sponsors and create more fundraising events.

 

Responses(2)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 09, 2014

We should indeed invest in our alumni if we ever want them to support us, although this is a long game.

What types of services should we offer them?

 
Cara Dehnert
on Nov 22, 2014

As an alumna, I think before we ask for significant financial contributions, it's important to develop and maintain a continued relationship with alumni.  This can be done in a myriad of ways, from local events (something along the lines of a "homecoming" type model .. but without the footbal game of course, or alumni events with distinguished faculty or mentors), events in other locations (exclusive alumni sneak preview, show or event at SXSW), and even things as simple as communications.  My other alma maters keep in very close contact.  Sometimes they ask for money, but often they don't.  They simply check-in to say hello and share information about the school, fellow classmates' achievements, etc.  That continued relationship and sense of caring makes alumni feel engaged, and therefore more willing to contribute when asked.  I think we all agree that we have a special community at CCC, and I would like to think that alumni are passionate about their careers and the education that launched them, and that they would want continued engagement with CCC.  I know my peers with whom I graduated would.  

 
Expand This Thread
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 07, 2014 - 10:57 am

I would like to suggest a new topic.  "Obstacles to efficiency, obstacles to growth, obstacles to excellence".

I can enumerate a bunch, but I will wait to see the response to my suggestion.

 

Responses(8)

Arti Sandhu
on Nov 07, 2014

Howard - this is a good idea - but could lead to comments that focus on the negatives. Perhaps if it's framed to provide solutions for each obstacle that a person lists - then that ensures more useful outcomes?

 
Jennie Fauls
on Nov 07, 2014

An obstacle to efficiency is poor networked communication among college constituents. We lack a system for connecting and integrating our programs, courses and initiatives so that students experience them in holistic ways.

With hundreds of faculty members representing different 'classes' (FT T/T, FT Non-TT, Part-time, grad student instructors, staff who teach) no one knows enough to share it with students. I am reading about cool things that we do here, on the Commons site, that I have never heard about. And I have been here forever.

I teach first-year students and I should really know about opportunities on campus to share with everyone. When changes occur in curriculum or programs or departments, how does the college think I will learn about them? So I would attempt to fix the communication obstacle by addressing all faculty as one equal and respected body

Patch up the gaping holes between isolated schools and departments. Have an expectation that all first-year instructors will know the most about campus events and opportunities and make it so, recognizing their time-constraints and high turnover. 

Connect Academic and Student Affairs so that activities become integral to coursework. There has to be a communication structure that doesn't depend on faculty reading daily digest emails. It has to be more deeply integrated into our lives as teachers at Columbia. There are no department meetings, for instance, that include non FT teachers. Couldn't we mandate more occasions for targeted communication? Forums, virtual or live? 

I worry that this stuff doesn't happen because different faculty populations have different rules, some involving heavy legal contract demands. There has to be a way for everyone to connect, despite our very different official designations and overlords. 

 
Jane Jerardi
on Nov 07, 2014

I'm sure many are already aware of this - but I would say literally networking and IT infrastructure - I know our department and others each have to build out their own infrastructure (digital storage) because there aren't centralized solutions.  This would be okay - but I think there isn't the realization (until maybe recently) that departments like the Dance department would need video storage just as Cinema Arts + Science does.  I also think this extends to information sharing around pedagogy, teaching, and new technology developments.  There's a huge amount of knowledge in the school - it would be great if there was a mechanism for those who are super-well versed in certain software could provide resources/tips/info to those departments/faculty/staff with less infrastructure.  This is a funny example but my work study student recently upgraded her computer to the latest Mac OS (Yosemite) which has presented issues with Final Cut Pro X.  I imagine there are people in Cinema Arts + Science and/or Art + Design or IAM which might be trouble-shooting similar problems - it would be great if there was a way to share this kind of information wtih one another.

 
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 07, 2014

Arti,

what's wrong with identifying obstacles?  Is their something ooootray about pointing to the negative and saying, "this is a problem, let's fix it".  Are we so obsessed with maintaining some kind of "positivity correctness" that simple statements of fact, even those that are expressed negatively are off-putting.  Frankly, I think a great part of our problem is avoiding fact, speaking the unvarnished truth without resorting to hyperbole, fantasy or wishfull thinking.  I'm much prefer a straight ahead identification of a problem than a euphenized, gooeyed up version to avoid speaking negatively.  Telling it like it is, simply, truthfully and without ornamentation is welcome relief in a world wrapped up in candy coating.

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 07, 2014

Howard- how can we frame that to turn that into and open and productive conversation to find solutions to real issues?

 

 
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 08, 2014

Michelle,

I'm pretty sure I already did.   "Obstacles to efficiency, obstacles to growth, obstacles to excellence".

There are so many irritants and worse that effect how we do our job on a daily basis that its long overdue, that amongst all of the "high level" thinking, planning, strategizing, we take a moment to just FIX THINGS!!!

Here is a simple one, a time waster if ever there was one.  Tenured faculty fill out the FAAR every single academic year with all the goodies describing our activities:  teaching, artistic/scholarly, college service.  The FAAR although WAAAAAY over engineered and cumbersome, includes it all.  Every three years we are required to then write a three page narrative about what is listed in the FAAR.  It takes hours, is ridiculously redundant and a complete waste of time since our chair and dean can easily look at the FAAR.

Getting rid of that silly requirement would be very productive indeed and would remove one of those irritants I mentioned.  There, that's a productive solution to a real issue.  I'm poisitive there are a million more.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 09, 2014

You are in the wrong forum, Howard. This has nothing to do with the question asked.

 
Ann Hemenway
on Dec 05, 2014

One way to address inefficiencies is to provide an administrative flow chart on IRIS or somewhere--anywhere--where faculty and staff can know who or where to contact whom regarding various administrative issues.

 

 
Expand This Thread
John J Murray
on Nov 06, 2014 - 4:42 pm

Alligning resources with goals is one of those statements that sounds good in theory and is miserable in practice. It too often is used to fund what the particular group in power thinks are good ideas at the expense of areas they disapprove. I would go with a system that funds areas at an acceptable level with a pool of resourses that would be allocated on the basis of proposals that satisify goals that improve Columbia. That way you could fund and evaluate changes and defund those that do not work.

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 06, 2014

Hello John:

This is precisely to avoid abirtrary decisions that we should try to define a decision framework. In your view, what objective criteria should be used in selecting any new initiatives?

 
Expand This Thread
Patricia Olalde
on Nov 06, 2014 - 3:55 pm

Merit increases are an important part of retaining our talented and high performing employees but there needs to be a transparent and equitable process for awarding them.  Merit requires clear criteria and sufficient funding so that anyone who meets the criteria can qualify.  Years ago the amount of merit was limited to a percentage of the department's salary budget.  This worked out well for the larger departments but smaller departments were negatively impacted because of the limited funding that was available.  Merit increases can serve as a successful reward and motivator but it needs to be done correctly, otherwise it can also defeat the purpose if it is not accessible to everyone.  Also, if we move toward merit based compensation does it mean that the across-the-board cost of living increases go away? They may not be as regular as they once were but how would eliminating this type of increase affect our employees and how would they interpret this "take away"?  Thank you for the opportunity to have a voice in this important process!

 

Responses(8)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 06, 2014

Thanks Patricia: In your view, what should be these clear criteria?

 
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 07, 2014

Our previous provost, Kapelke, repeatedly promised that once rank was inaugurated at columbia all of the pay inequities, concerns about merit compensation and all similar concerns would just magically disappear or get solved.

Guess what?  They didn't, we are still kvetching about it.  I know when I was "promoted" to professor fm assoc professor I did not receive even a token pay increase, not one red cent.  So much for pay based upon merit.

wouldn't it be a welcome and happy day if the colleges promises or initiatives or intentions were actually realized.

 
shawn shiflett
on Nov 07, 2014

Thanks, Patricia, for all of that background info on merit salary increases at Columbia College Chicago.  I think it might come as a surprise to many that Columbia did indeed have a merit system for salary increases in place during the Mike Alexandroff years, John Duff years and, early on at least, the Dr. Carter years as well. Merit increases in salary were given for, say, getting a book published, though if you published a book every year, or even every other year, I doubt you would have gotten a salary "bump" each time.  And the bump, albeit small, came on top of the usual cost-of-living salary increase. I would ask all faculty to think twice about advocating that salary increases be made strictly on merit alone.  What worked about the past merit system is that it was efficient and quick without a lot of red tape procedures; what wasn't fair is that some chairpersons advocated more activity for their faculty, while others advocated very little or not at all.  Had the former merit system been administered more evenly across the board from one department to another, it would have worked just fine.  What we have now in terms of salary increases of any kind for faculty is unprecedented in the time I have been at Columbia College: next to no cost-of-living increases and no merit increases for faculty whatsoever. We need a combination of both.

 
Amy Wilson
on Nov 07, 2014

This is a thoughtful and informative post. I also support a merit increase program, if effectively run, as Patricia mentioned, combined with a standard cost of living increase. At a school where I previously worked, everyone on my team got to split an incentive bonus, for accomplishing our team goals. While not the same as getting a pay increase, this was a nice program, and made everyone feel appreciated. (This was on top of an annual pay bump for cost of living.)

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 07, 2014

 

Patricia,

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

As we move forward  in the future on market and merit based compensation the COL should be addressed. I think it would not be a matter of adding another layer but of targeting resources to those who are high performers.

 

 
Liliana Karadakov
on Nov 10, 2014

I believe that a merit-based compensation system would not be the best choice for CCC.  In my opinion, we are all expected to do our best at work every day and top performing employees are often self-motivated. 

 

I think we should focus on finding and attracting top performers while promoting team work and cooperation.  Recognizing individual contributions emphasizes the value of individual success. At Columbia we have to work collectively and accomplish the institutional goals as a team.   It will be detrimental for employee moral if people start feeling let down by the system and not worthy of a merit based rewards. How do you differentiate, with 100% certainty, the performance of various employees and reward them with limited funds? Such a system would distort the purpose of doing our jobs to the best of our abilities.  It is nice to be rewarded and recognized but how do you measure employee performance? Inevitably there would not be enough money to reward all the top performers and there would be disappointment because no matter how transparent the definition is, people would still feel let down because they gave something their best effort.  I don’t think that all outcomes can be adequately measured so trying to quantify our efforts is not attainable or perceived as fair in all cases.

 

Attract talented people, set expectations right at the time of hire, reward them with a good balance of market competitive salary and benefits, invest in employee development, create a welcoming work environment, provide life-work balance, treat employees fairly. A compensation system that motivates employees to stay by acknowledging their time of service (and an assumed higher level of skill), increased job responsibilities, and developing experience and skills relevant to their position would better serve our institution.

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 11, 2014

"High performers." That is a troubling distinction.

 
Donyiel Crocker
on Nov 14, 2014

I agree financial compensation is an important issue and the processes and methods currently used to determine and/or increase it need to be reevaluated.  However, given the current economy, job market and the new generation of millennials entering the workforce, the conversation about compensation should not just be limited to raises, COL, etc.  If the college wants to continue to attract and maintain talent, it must also consider alternative ways of bringing value to potential and current employees.  Both Rachel Bailey and Matthew Board made excellent points about this. 

Examples could include:  flexible working schedules, paid leave to work on creative/community projects, establishing incentives for innovation/creativity/efficiency by individuals and teams, employee-to-employee learning, rewards for high contributors, mentoring programs, clear paths to promotion, and on-site employee café, parking vouchers, a formal recognition program and a more robust training and development program.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 06, 2014 - 9:44 am

Rewarding Individual Excellence: How can we best reward high performing and innovative colleagues? Are we willing to accept a culture of merit-based compensation?

 

Responses(16)

Jim  Gingras
on Nov 06, 2014

I can remember when merit-based raises were part of the culture for staff. I was very grateful for the times when I was awarded these raises and it really did make me feel like my work was acknowledged. I don't see how re-instating merit raises would have any negative side effects on the current culture. In my experience they were kept private between the employee and their supervisor.

 
Jennie Fauls
on Nov 06, 2014

Yes. I think we should institute merit-based compensation. I would like to see criteria that considers hard work, innovation and collaboration with institutional peers. Incentivize effort and the partnerships that create community and you will see a payoff in student engagement and retention. Some will say that it creates a competitive culture among staff and faculty. I think it encourages excellence and sets standards for success, which we may have in our isolated offices, but not across the board. I support any change that results in clearer criteria for success and an acknowledgment of that effort. 

 
Terence Brunk
on Nov 06, 2014

I base my comments here on my perspective as a full-time faculty member; different considerations might apply in other areas of the college.

I'm not really going to articulate a stance on merit raises directly. I appreciate the points already raised, and you can be sure that as a beneficiary of the old merit system myself, I pocketed the money. That said, merit systems pose a lot of practical challenges, even in brighter economic moments than our own, and negative fallout can be hard to avoid. And as I look around at the dedicated and innovative work so many of our colleagues throw themselves into day in and day out, without any prospect of merit pay, I have to think that whatever value merit raises might add to the Columbia ecosystem, they're likely not the prime driver of excellence.

Rather than debate the merits of merit, I'd like to encourage us not to view merit raises outside the context of other issues. In no particular order:

  • Developing greater workload parity.
  • Addressing salary compression.
  • Tackling the problem of declining real wages for college employees.
  • Transparently tracking salary more closely with peer and aspirational institutions, factoring in cost of living in different regions of the country.

That list isn't meant to be exhaustive. It just reflects concerns that came to mind as I thought about initiatives that I feel could do more for my sense that Columbia aligned its resources with its goals and values than merit raises alone would.

 

 
Christopher Shaw
on Nov 06, 2014

 

Terence alluded to this in his more comprehensive post above, but practically speaking, this question refers to three different units - the staff and part-time faculty unions each salary negotiate separately with the college, and the full-time faculty salaries are determined outside of those processes. Adding a merit-based compensation clause to any of the existing contracts will be a fraught negotiation, and in my opinion, not worth the effort until the most basic issue - that faculty salaries do not keep up with inflation - is addressed. 

 
Jan Chindlund
on Nov 06, 2014

Yes, merit-based compensation would be welcome. Aligning compensation with meeting goals that can be measured is appreciated by those who are meeting and surpassing those goals. We need more encouragement, perhaps even training, in setting these measurable goals. After the strategic plan is in place, it will be more apparent how to construct meaningful goals by department and by person.

 
John J Murray
on Nov 06, 2014

Merit based raises are not prohibited by the staff contract. It covers cost of living and leaves options open for merit based. That being said the question becomes how does one deal with cost of living increases. If merit raises are being offerred instead of cost of living you could get a raise and still wind up with less money.

 
Jane Jerardi
on Nov 06, 2014

I think any increase in any staff salaries would be welcome - my impression is that salaries have not kept up with the cost of living, let alone work-loads or competitiveness in terms of peer institutions or appropriateness for responsibilities and skills needed. Many staff have extremely specializing skills directly impacting instruction or the student experience (those who handle television equipment, lighting designers for dance, etc.) and they need to be compensated based on those skills. I think parity in terms of work-load and competitiveness based on job descriptions must be a first start before you even get into merit-based increases. But, I'm sure that might also be welcome.

 
Jim  Gingras
on Nov 07, 2014

Despite my previous post, I'd be more than happy to take merit raises off the table if the four items in Terence's post were addressed accordingly.

 
Matthew Board
on Nov 11, 2014

Here are a couple of quotes from "Conscious Business" that I think make a good point regarding this conversation.

"Talented employees need great managers. The talented empoyee may join a company because of its charismatic leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, But how long that employee stays and how productive he/she is while he/she is there is determined by his relationship with his immediate supervisor."

"The researchers found that exceptional managers created a workplace in which employees emphatically answered "yes" when asked the following questions:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is the someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinoins seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is importnat?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing high quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12 This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

These results are not just true for for individual performers and their immediate supervisors; they hold at all levels of the organizational hierarchy."

The book is a follow up of Collins' book "Good to Great." In the book Good to Great, Collins identifies a Level 5 leader. These Level 5 leaders are some of the top performers on the planet. However, Collins said the traits and attributes of a Level 5 leader is a "black box." "Conscious Business seeks to define what it takes to stirve to become a Level 5 leader. It's a really interesting read.

I think most people go to work and do the jobs that they do because they are invested in where they work, what their work means, and how their work positively effects the world.

I believe that the questions asked in "Conscious Business" make a pretty good case for the notion that any organization relies on individuals for its success. To a greater extent, it seems to me that every individual has a unique relationship with the organization that employs them, not just thier immediate supervisor. Organizational success is part of an individual employee's success.

 
Julie Redmond
on Nov 12, 2014

On another thread of this post, I advocated for a merit-based rewards system and do reiterate that here. To Liliana's point above, to accompany this, we would need a valid and reliable way to set goals and measure performance however...otherwise an aribtrary (everyone is exceptional) method would undermine this process. Much work would need to be done in this area including training managers on how to set and measure goals, provide coaching, and evaluating whether or not the system that is established is producing the results that were established at the outset.

 
David Valadez
on Nov 13, 2014

If we are to move to a system that allows for Merit, we need to think of some of our priorities as we go through this Strategic Planning Process.  Onet option to think about is revisiting the annual performance appraisal process to be able to tie some of these decisions, as well as to find ways to include other goals mentioned in in this process such as work in Community Engagement.  The balance is not to appear to punish those who are performing their job well, but to encourage and recognize those who are going above and beyond.

 
Laurie Lee Moses
on Nov 13, 2014

Great discussion.... it seems to me that in this prolonged phase of cutting back and expecting more, that a huge percentage of ALL the people who work at the College are already going "above and beyond." I agree with those who have advocated for cost of living increases, and wage parity within the broader community/field/discipline with those at similar institutions. Once the wage range is less compressed, and more rationalized within the educational arena in general, the College might then successfully implement a merit pay strategy.

 
Rachel Bailey
on Nov 13, 2014

I think Matthew Board’s comments are interesting.  I have also read “Good to Great” and find the principles striking.  In Matthew’s comments here is what sticks out to me: employees respond positively when their work is recognized and praised, they have opportunities for growth, feel connected to others and the organization’s mission.  When discussing financial compensation I think the important thing to think about is what is being communicating through how employees are being paid and if that message is how the organization wants to be known.  For example, if someone works at an organization for three years without any raise what does this communicate to an employee?  That their work losses value over time?  I would encourage us to think about the type of environment we want to create and I think an annual basic cost of living raise should be a given so that all employees meeting the requirements of their job feel valued on a basic human level.  Incentivizing great work I believe would foster an environment of excitement.  High performance would grow as a result, in my opinion, if the organization created a way to objectively measure work and employees did not get left resenting supervisors for doling out “merit” raises based on favoritism.

 

I think there are also other ways to incentivize and motivate high performers without directly paying them more for what they are currently doing.  Individual career advancement and leadership training might be one way.  For example, when working for a previous employer as an entry level employee it was easy for me to understand what needed to be done to move from employee to team leader to manager and on to director.  There were an abundance of opportunities for me to explore various types of work and participate in special projects ultimately building my resume and preparing me for a higher level of responsibility.  Opportunity for development and a clear pathway for advancement are powerful ways to motivate those hungry for success and in my opinion build a great organization.

 
David Purcell
on Nov 21, 2014

Those are some excellent points. And, speaking of culture, this is an interesting resource with regard to academic culture - 

http://www.amazon.com/Engaging-Cultures-Academy-William-Bergquist/dp/0787995193

 
Jane Jerardi
on Dec 08, 2014

This is a kind of damning way for Columbia College to appear in a media-reference:

http://www.elle.com/life-love/society-career/debt-and-hypereducated-poor

While Columbia College Chicago certainly isn't alone in relying on adjunct faculty, the degree to which they make up our core faculty is notable.  I think we need to question where the school is spending its resources - do we need to have a lot of money sunk into real estate that isn't currently being developed or used? Or, do we need to compensate the people who are directly delivering service and education to our main contituents?

 
Katharine Hamerton
on Dec 08, 2014

The current system of remunerating full-time tenure-stream faculty creates disincentives to the faculty's emotional investment in and commitment to the institution, hurts faculty morale, and actively works against productivity. There are few, if any, institutions of higher education I can think of that do things the way we do. (And I'm not even speaking of our egregious reliance on contingent labor, which goes against all best practices in higher ed., and is another subject that needs addressing.) When an employee gets promoted, it is normal, in any job, for that person to receive an increase in salary. Here, if a FT faculty member being promoted has already exceeded the "minimum salary floor" of the next rank, perhaps because they worked elsewhere before they began here, or they have received some merit increase in their years before promotion, they get nothing in the way of a salary raise. Another colleague who was paid less before promotion, perhaps because they had less experience/merit recognition, however, would be raised up to the bottom of the next salary floor. This system is worse than compression. It sends the wrong message, that excellence is not rewarded but will be ignored or even penalized at the two key stages of a tenure-track/tenured academic's career. This is incredibly destructive to morale.

In academic institutions, a promotion in the ranks is typically accompanied by a raise. That, in academia, is traditionally some percentage of salary, depending on the institution and the promotion case, 5-15%. Even where the recession has forced institutions to cut annual cost-of-living raises, most still make an effort to acknowledge the hard work of faculty at the two big "jumps" in an academic career of promotion/tenure, and promotion to Full Professor. Faculty don't receive bonuses or stock options for their excellence; advancing in rank is the reward system of the academy. It is designed to reward productivity and it works. But not if linked to stagnant or relatively declining salary.

CCC needs to return to cost-of-living raises. It needs to address its overuse of part-time faculty, and hire more FT faculty. We should have merit pay, which is a proven incentive to productivity. But in academia, advancement in rank is the *foundation* of the merit system. So if nothing else can be done, we need to recognize that since we moved to rank a few years ago, we should have aligned our salary system in a way that rewards, and does not disincentivize (horrible word), the faculty. If we don't change, we risk losing faculty, in hearts and minds if not in bodies. Why should anyone work for promotion here? Our setup actively discourages productivity. Human beings respond to incentives! And it's very difficult to retain feelings of loyalty to an employer when you see that your good work is not rewarded.

To remedy the situation, CCC could make the important gesture of retroactively providing promotion raises to all those who have been promoted in rank without a salary raise, since the date that we moved to institute a rank-based system. And a transparent promotion/raise system should be put in place for all future promotions. Other merit pay would also effectively motivate the faculty, but what I have spoken to here, in my opinion, is the most foundational salary issue to address with regard to FT faculty compensation.

 
Expand This Thread
Ron Aderhold
on Nov 05, 2014 - 11:29 am

It's clear that effective use of Information Technology is a key component to driving efficiencies across the college, improving student success, and developing new revenue streams through on-line learning. Today, we do not have any way to prioritize the investment in people, time or money to ensure we are truly alining resources with our goals. I propose we implement an IT Governance process that prioritizes initiatives based on the value they can bring to the College. Value can be measured in many ways, from subjective measures like Student Success to objective measures like return on investment. We should strive to look at our investments from a portfolio perspective to ensure we balance.  Thoughts?

 

Responses(4)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 06, 2014

Thanks Ron:

This IT governance process would only *ss*s IT initiatives, right?

 

 
Howard Sandroff
on Nov 07, 2014

Ron, what is a "portfolio perspective"?  Shouldn't we first get the basic services like email and web working and reliable before we branch out into yet more sexy initiatives that we can neither manage nor maintain.

 
Patricia Olalde
on Nov 10, 2014

I think this is a good idea Ron.  Technology is key as we move forward and taking a holistic approach to student, academic and operational needs of the institution is a good start. My only concern is how would an operational need be able to compete with a student or academic need since they are our number one priority? While the operational need may bring value, it may be difficult to compare it to the value of addressing a student or academic need and may not make the cut.  It may be tricky to balance that aspect but definitely worth exploring. 

 
Eric Bailey
on Nov 21, 2014

I think it's a refreshing idea to have a more inclusive approach to IT initiatives that would have more points of input. Operational need and student/academic need can be the same thing if initiatives are assessed properly.

 
Expand This Thread
Kirk  Irwin
on Nov 05, 2014 - 8:44 am

Here are more thoughts about budget. A common distinction between for profit and not for profit management is that not for profit is mission driven and for profit is profit driven. Over the past 10 or 15 years higher education adopted a business model based on profit not mission - and guess what. That model failed, almost imediately in some cases. This is not to say that fiduciary responsibilites are not important. Of course they are people need to be paid, obligations met, and someone needs to pay the electrical bill and keep the heat on in the winter.  But a school in not a business. The college should move toward best practices for not for profits in its budgeting process in order to align its resources with goals.

 

 

Responses(4)

Ron Aderhold
on Nov 05, 2014

I think a little differently about this. I dont think about a "business" as a bad thing, I think about it as a group of people focused on working together to achiece a set of goals. In a commercial company it could be to maximize profit or shareholder value in a College it could be to maxize student success. Either way it takes money to provide services. solid business principles help to maximize the money we have to invest in student programs, community involvement or in furthering research in our dicipline. We dont have the type of endowments that some of the larger schools have so we have to stay focused on efficiencies and maximizing the value we get from the resources we do have.

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 05, 2014

 

Kurt,

 

I agree that aligning College resources with strategy and goals is key  and in fact a cornerstone of the philosophy that has strong joint support from the provost, president and I as a way forward.  But I do not see the conflict in recognizing that in order to run our educational enterprise we need to keep an eye on financial resources- as you rightly point out.  Perhaps as we are able to more fully roll out a formal process  and engage the wider community in this it will be more evident. There are many examples of not-for-profit schools that have  strong business model for the educational enterprise and are successful and most if not all include revenue diversification strategies which we are actively working on.

 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 06, 2014

Thanks Kirk:

In your view, what are these best practices for not for profit?

 
Beth  Ryan
on Nov 19, 2014

Ron, I agree wholeheartedly.  I think a lot of time is wasted in the deabate of whether educational institutions should be run as a business.  I think we could benefit from a collective perception change of what we mean by "business" at Columbia College Chicago. If we are not prudent and fiscally responsible while simultaneaously creative and innovative, we will fail.  It does not need to be an either/or framework.  These are the same principles we are teaching our students. 

There are many examples around campus of how fantastic things are being produced with effective learning outcomes with little to no budget.  These are the things that can be rewarded, simply through acknowlegement and scaling projects to create legacy.  

 
Expand This Thread
Kirk  Irwin
on Nov 03, 2014 - 7:16 pm

The most important thing the college can do at this point is to shed its dependence on an inapropriate business model which tends to align itself with all or nothing, zero sum scenarios. The budget model and its implementation need to acknowledge the existence of multiple bottom lines not just the bottom line that puts money in the pockets of those in power. This means that some parts of the budget will need to be centralized, while other parts decentratlized. Working through this will be very difficult given the state of the trust relationships in the College at present.

One of the great ironies of the attack on the part time faculty at Columbia College is that the very people that the administration attacked, and that some department chairs continue to attack, are the very people with the knowledge to solve complex budget problems. This is because many adjunct faculty are business leaders in Chicago recognized nationally and internatially for thier effectiveness. Perhaps the attacks could stop and then we adjuncts can be invited to the table for an open discussion, and once again contribute to the success of this institution. 

 

Responses(1)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 05, 2014

Thanks for your comments, Kirk. Could you elaborate on your ideas re business models? In your view, what parts of the budget should be centralized / decentralized?

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 02, 2014 - 11:08 pm

Exercising Financial Responsibility At every Level: How do we align on programmatic, operational, and budgetary best practice?

 

Responses(4)

Jessica Davenport
on Nov 04, 2014

The students, faculty and staff rely on the leadership of the College to determine practice standards and shape the environment that is favorable to best practice by communicating high expectations while enforcing process, standardization and alignment. I once read that there are six powerful forces in education being: activity, expectations, cooperation, interaction, diversity and responsibility. To properly align programmatic, operational and budgetary best practice we must encourage interaction and cooperation between administrators, faculty, staff and students while creating a culture that rewards good stewardship.

More importantly, there must be a strong sense of shared purpose with reliable support from administrators (who set policy/processes/procedures), faculty (who create curriculum) and staff (who provide support) for those purposes.

 

 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 05, 2014

Thanks for framing the conversation Jessica.

 
Sayma Riaz
on Nov 07, 2014

To align, programmatic, operational and budgetary for cost effectiveness is to compare the cost of the program to the revenue generated from the program. Also we can develop cost effectiveness measures focused on student success  by identifying student outcomes and then compare the data to the cost required to achieve those outcomes.

 
William Frederking
on Nov 19, 2014

First, the college has to align the academic calendar to get the curriculum approval, admissions and budget cycles in sync.  Curriculum represents one of the largest if not the largest portion of the college's budget. Since curriculum involves the faculty who teach, the fully equipped spaces they teach in and the staff that supports teaching, then understanding and managing the true costs to deliver high quality curriculum to our students is essential. Knowing the required courses and the faculty, full and part-time qualified to teach those courses as well as the staff and facilities necessary to support student matriculation, means that curriculum approval should drive everything at the college.

Curriculum (new courses and changes to existing courses) needs to be approved by the Dean's offices at least a full year in advance of offering the courses (new or revised), and new programs need approval at least 18 months in advance of offering the new programs to students. That timeline allows for new or revised courses to have additional costs included in the next years budget so that they will be fully funded. Curriculum approval in the fall semester (for course offerings in the following fall semester), allows for course revisions and new courses to be included in the college catalog and in OASIS when it goes live to students early in the Spring semester.  With this year in advance approval schedule, students can better plan their academic careers and Major departments can plan the number of courses they need to offer to support student matriculation.  Knowing the approved requirements, the courses students MUST take to complete their program of study, and knowing the number of students enrolled in each major, will allow the major department to plan for space, equipment and staffing needs to support those students.  

Once all those expenses are known for each program of study, the college would have a better idea of the true costs of each program and could even consider alternate tuition that would be affordable, yet still sustain and support high quality education in each approved program of study.

 
Expand This Thread
Blair Allen Mishleau
on Nov 02, 2014 - 11:28 am

Based on loads of personal anecdotes from former professors, the amount of money that Columbia pays its (often, very talented) adjunct faculty is absolutey unacceptable. For the school to retain its spirit (which, in many ways, comes from the rich adjunct faculty), it needs to pay them a more competetive wage.

 

Responses(7)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 03, 2014

Thanks for stressing the quality of our adjunct collegues, Blair. In your view, how should this compensation be structured? Merit? sSeniority?

 
Laurie Lee Moses
on Nov 03, 2014

Though it may be "industry standard" to pay adjunct professors less than they would make working at McDonald's, in this case, why not go against the trend? What if we paid our creative working professionals who teach MORE than they could expect at comparable institutions? What if we gave teaching artists access to the free health clinic? Perhaps we would draw people here who could add high value to our existing stellar staff (and add recruitment value as a side benefit), AND keep those talented staff here. Once here, all those folks would naturally (also) talk up how great the place is, spreading the word far and wide (recruit!)....

 
Laurie Lee Moses
on Nov 03, 2014

As for aligning our business practices with our core values here at Columbia, if we value the arts and artists, and creative practice, and working professionals (who, by the way, help grads get jobs/projects)--then let's assign the proper monetary value to their work, so that they are sustained in both their practice and their teaching.

 
Jane Jerardi
on Nov 05, 2014

Right now, part-time faculty/adjuncts are compensated I think based on seniority as oppposed to merit (based on the number of semesters of service). While this might be really appropriate in a lot of cases, it does seem like both merit and seniority should be considered.  One challenge is how this is determined (merit) - it can't only be from student evaluations which are almost always inconclusive because rarely do enough students respond to get a full picture of an instructor's impact. But, i do think it makese sense for the school to not only compensate based on years of service - or offer classes only to those with most seniority (though I understand why the part-time faculty union is concerned that the school is merely trying to save money by hiring newer (and lesser-paid) hires). But, this creates no reason for the school to refresh its faculty with younger/newer voices - guest artists that keep it vibrant. I hope that the school really rethinks how it compensates part-time faculty who often go 'above and beyond' and that it should compensate them accordingly. Valuing them as incredible teachers and as working artists is important...

 
Jason Stephens
on Nov 21, 2014

There seems to be some misaligment on the board.  On the one hand, we seem to want to reduce the cost to our students, on the other, to raise the compensation of our faculty.  It's difficult to achieve both, obviously.  Some of that may be solved through a more dynamic system, which I touched on in  aprevisou thread, and otehrs have brought up, whereby faculty and adjunct are paid more on a merit basis juxtaposed with the economic realitites of the field they are teaching in, rather than some fixed one-size-fits-all system.  Should an adjunct in the fashion department receive the same compensation as an adjunct in the journalism department?  Maybe not.  In most industries, pay is based on supply/demand factors, which is why wages change over time in both directions.  

 
Joe Bogdan
on Nov 21, 2014

Well, I am underpaid as well...but my view, from my experience @multiple other academic institutions, is that our part-time faculty are paid well.  I have taught @ 4 other institutions, all of which were law schools, and only 1 paid more than part-time faculty are paid @ Columbia.  Since law schools pay their full-time faculty more than full-time faculty are paid here, generally what I tell part-time faculty that I recruit is that the pay is pretty good.  I think that's accurate.of those

 
Expand This Thread
Jane Jerardi
on Oct 31, 2014 - 6:01 pm

I truly believe that investing in people should be one of the college's biggest goals - buildings and equipment are expensive, and of course important, but at the end of the day, what the school invests in faculty and staff will ultimately impact student experience. If the school doesn't work to align resources to realistically staff the institution in its operations and compensate them competitively, the school is going to experience increased turn-over, and lose talented instructors and employees. Of course, one of the most important places the school can invest is in development and fundraising to build endowment funds. Ulitmately, this can provide financial aid to students and stability to the institution which will help with some of the other goals of the strategic plan - namely retaining and recruiting students, and being able to recruite a diverse student body from a range of incomes who deserve and need support to be in school.  In terms of how to best align resources - I think it makes sense to have departments have their own plans and able to make the case for resources. There's also a lot of resource that could be saved by integrating across the campus - right now individual departments are investing in things that maybe could be purchased college-wide with cost savings.

 

Responses(5)

Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 03, 2014

Thanks for stressing the importance of investing in people, Jane. In your view, what form should it take? Training? merit raise? other?

 
Stan Wearden
on Nov 03, 2014

Thank you, Jane. I appreciate your thoroughness in thinking about this.

 
Jane Jerardi
on Nov 04, 2014

A couple ways that seem important to me (and imagine other folks might have different priorities):

- increased pay based on performance and flexbility to chairs or supervisors to actually offer increases to retain staff

- in some cases looking at work load so that staff and faculty don't get burnt out and are actually available to students for advising and to one another to collaborate and innovate within the school

- for me - I'm a working artist. Right now, the school offers pretty much zero way for me to develop professionally - I already have a terminal degree but I'm not a full-time faculty member - it would be great to see the school some how supporting the artistic practices of staff and part-time faculty who aren't tenure track - maybe this could be fellowships or simply time off for creative work each year. Or, it could be around skill-sharing (shorter than a course) to develop one another's skills and collaborate since there's so much resouce in this regard within the school. It seems like there's less of a culture of this within the school. We do this informally in our department - but there's very little time ever for it and there's no formal way to allow for it. I know my colleagues and I often take 'vacation' to pursue our artistic work which ultimately benefits our jobs and contributes to us being 'current' in the field.

- consider what might be really advantageous to retain innovative artists teaching at the school - for many this means flexiblity (more part-time perhaps) but also security. the school might consider more flexible situations (which I know is difficult given the part-time faculty agreement - which of course is important) - but I wonder about ways that the school can support people working at the school but also still making art. could there be more permanent part-time positions with benefits? mixes of staff and teaching positions (where it makes sense). are there ways to retain excellent instructors who have dedicated time to the school but also want to work as artists?

 
Julie Redmond
on Nov 12, 2014

I love these ideas, Jane and agree very much with creating room for innovation and growth as creative professionals whether it be in a faculty or staff role...or both.

 
Joe Bogdan
on Nov 21, 2014

I agree w/this comment.  I don't know what the College pays for any position other than my own, but @ any level it's an overspend.  Where recruitment and ongoing evaluation/retention are concerned, my view is that the College needs to think like the business that it is.  @the end of the day, for-profit or not-for-profit, commercial or academic, value needs to be achieved for the spend(s) @ issue.  It appears as though the College has not been doing a job of that for many years.

 
Expand This Thread
Keith Lusson
on Oct 31, 2014 - 5:03 pm

Incentivize success. Encourage goal-setting among students.  The college should invest real dollars in students who have acheived timely academic matriculation and success.  Every new freshman student at Columbia should be promised a ($1k, $1.5k, $2k?) monetary award payable to them in either their Junior or Senior year, provided: The student is academically compliant (or better), the student has passed through certain theshold courses in their major area of study, and the student is on track to graduate on time.  This monetary award would be used exclusively to supplement a student's internship, experiential, or study abroad experience.  This money would not be a life-changer, but it would always be appreciated, and it would supplement an educational opportunity that enhances the students' academic experience, and better prepares them for their professional lives.  The college should be able to raise funds for a monetary award that supports the academic , proesssional, and cultural growth to students who have earned it. Also, the program should sustain itself with proper investment of a portion of each new student's tuition fees.

 

Responses(10)

Michelle Gates
on Nov 01, 2014

Keith- this is an interesting idea that could definatly and might be a god opportunity for fundraising.

 
Stan Wearden
on Nov 03, 2014

Thanks, Keith. This is very intriguing.

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 03, 2014

Thanks Keith:

The Business & Entrepreneurship Department has developped something of the sort. I'd be glad to discuss it with you.

 
Stan Wearden
on Nov 03, 2014

Very interesting idea.

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Nov 03, 2014

On a non-monetary note, what about t-shirts that say Class of XXXX and then other events to help students associate with a particular class.  This helps students want to graduate with their peers.

 
Paula Brien
on Nov 06, 2014

Part and parcel of any such incentive would be the commitment by Columbia to ensure access to needed courses so the student could complete his or her degree on time. I recall reading about a university that permitted freshmen to sign a contract committing to stay on track. Maybe there was a tuition discount as an incentive? In exchange, the school committed to offer free tuition for extra semesters to the student if he/she couldn't complete due to lack of course offerings. Each had skin in the game.

An important factor in all this is the simple and overt focus on an intent to graduate by both student and college.

 
Paula Brien
on Nov 06, 2014

I am unsure if Columbia students will ever strongly relate to a "class of 20XX" identity. They come to Columbia at so many different starting points, from 0-credit freshmen, to AP-credit loaded first-time college students, to transfers with 70 credits, etc. Once here, they don't always march to the same drum beat through their needed semesters toward graduation. So, new students don't start out at Columbia in a cohort that has a mutual end-date goal like Class of 2018, such as you might see at a different kind of college. Perhaps a place to start would be with 0-credit freshmen, to see how that might "class of..." effort might work.

-- Just a thought.

 
Alexios Rosario-Moore
on Nov 06, 2014

Definitely an innovative idea. But I am wary of market driven incentive models within higher education, especially at the student level. They tend to discourage collaboration and foster extrinsic rather than intrinsic motivation.

 
Jason Stephens
on Nov 21, 2014

Maybe we need a more dynamic pricing system when it comes to tuition.  Whether we want it to or not, the market does make determinations.  Why does a degree in film cost the same as a degree in business, for exmaple?  They only do because the college has chosen to avergae costs across all students.  Should they cost they same?  Should a degree that is more likely to earn 20% higher wages cost more than the one  with 20% lower expected wages? Should a degree in high demand from students cost the same as a degree with low demand from students?  By building in natural market mechanisms, we may be able to provide a greater service to our students by helping them make smarter decisions about where the nexus of their personal interests and expected future lifestyles intersect.

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 22, 2014

Jason, this is a really interesting idea to price tuition based on future earnings. It would be really interesting to see this in reality. I am not sure how this could be implemented and what would be the guidelines to set the tuition levels but perhaps there is a way to set up a pilot of two BAs (or one BA and one BS), possibly from the same department. I am thinking about our department - Business & Entrepreneurship - and my dsicipline - marketing. Let's say one would be a BA in Marketing that we already have priced at our current tuition rates and it would be a traditional marketing degree. The second one could be a BS focused more on science of marketing (BS in Marketing Science) with not only more credits/classes (e.g.130) but also with higher tuition per credit hour, more intense classes, with more emphasis on internships and hands-on experience, etc. This BS degree would give students an opportunity to be hired at a much higher entry salary level than the traditional BA in Marketing.

 
Expand This Thread
Michael Lawrence
on Oct 31, 2014 - 12:15 pm

What if we started this conversation about resources with a specific, ambitious goal — like, say, getting tuition down to $5,000 a year in 5 years. What kind of radical possibilities might that open up? If old models for sustainable institutions of higher ed aren’t working, why just patch the holes when we could truly reinvent something that lines up with our principles?

 

 

Responses(4)

David Gerding
on Nov 01, 2014

Michael, I completely agree.  If we want to invent our way to new identity we have to imagine a value proposition that keeps us relevant in an age of low cost access to learning. 

 
Philippe Ravanas
on Nov 03, 2014

Thanks Michael: This is the the forum for radical ideas! Please elaborate.

 
Lauren Johnson
on Nov 05, 2014

I think for many students, price is an important differentiator and something that sets schools apart in a field where they may otherwise look the same [to the student or parent]. I don't have a radical idea to help make Michael's proposition a reality, but I like the idea of starting with a number target for tuition, and then trying to define what can be done to make that number a reality over a period of time.

As a graduate of Columbia that paid my own way, I know I wouldn't be able to afford the current tuition and I know that many current students struggle with the cost of attendance.

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 21, 2014

Great thinking, Michael! What if we offer the last semester of the senior year FREE OF TUITION for students with GPA 3.9 or higher? Is that too radical?

 
Expand This Thread
Sharon Marie Ross
on Oct 30, 2014 - 7:01 pm

Seeing the responses here, I agree with all and esp. David Noffs. Online, hybrid, and flipped courses offer arenas in which we can expand opportunities for current students and bring in new students. We are woefully behind in investment in this arena--while we do indeed have excellent resources (David helped us launch our first online class, which has been very successful), we lag in several key areas of investment:

a) a fully staffed IT team specializing in online educational portals (i.e., given, Columbia, a team that can assist with video uploads, video chats, podcast creations, etc.)

b) a well-funded digital infrastructure that can accomodate the flow of data

c) a faculty-led process for vetting online/hybrid/flipped classes (not every class works well online; there is considerable pre-work involved in successfully designing online etc courses that is more demanding than designing face-to-face...)

I really do think--not just per classes--that we as an instituition should prioritize INVESTING in digital infrastructure and staffing (with a curricular/pedagogical bent on that staffing). There are likely grant opportunities here as well. 

In a recent SMA report for Dean Bargra, we discussed such needs. Please email rbargar@colum.edu for that official report if it might prove useful.

 

Responses(5)

Stan Wearden
on Oct 31, 2014

Great thoughts here!

 
Robin Bargar
on Nov 04, 2014

The report Sharon refers to was completed Spring 2014 by a group of 11 fulltime faculty from the School of Media Arts and addresses the question "how can we do Differently, not More" and identifies the specific curricular areas of "Documentary Practice" and "Online Produciton and Distribution" -- two professional practices topics that have an impact in all of the departments/ program areas of Media Arts.

This report can be made availble to members of the college community -- but is not an open public document, as it containts strategic planning recommendations. If you are interested in a copy of the report please contact Elsa Tullos at etullos@colum.edu

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 04, 2014

 

Robin,

 

Thank you for providing this information and context for the discussion.

 

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 04, 2014

 

Sharon,

 

Thank you for detailing your thoughts on ways to expand our technology to support opportunities for students and improved platforms for expanding our program offerings. Our interim CIO is actively working on a developing a technology strategy and long term plan so that we can build in the support and infrastructure needed institutionally. Kit is a high priority for the College.

 

 
Jaime de'Medici
on Nov 22, 2014

Sharon: Re: your suggestion: "A fully staffed IT team specializing in online educational portals (i.e., given, Columbia, a team that can assist with video uploads, video chats, podcast creations, etc.)" My background is in extensive digital and social media content creation. Should this suggestion move forward, I'd be happy to be involved in contributing here.

Additionally, I have been hosting live guest speaker sesssions in my classes, which I also record as podcasts, thus allowing the content to be utilized and accessed online beyond just the day of the event.

 
Expand This Thread
Michelle Gates
From the Moderator: Michelle Gates
on Oct 30, 2014 - 9:54 am

Welcome to our conversation on Aligning Resources with Goals! This is an important area of discussion and we welcome your engagement to help shape our future.

As we look at the future of our College it will be important  for us to make choices on where to invest resources to achieve our goals. What are your thought?

 

Responses(18)

David Valadez
on Oct 30, 2014

With the changes in the higher education landscape, it is important for us to fully reflect on where higher education is going so that we can strategically align ourselves to match up with that future.

How are we looking at who we are in terms of our students, where are we in relation to others in how we provide education, and what skills and added value are we giving beyond the historical traditional "education"?

We need to continue suporting some of the status quo, while creating a financial avenue to explore different ideas that will allow us to continue to transform.

 
Ron Elling
on Oct 30, 2014

Finding new and additional resources is very important but also HIGHLY competitive.  Conserving and best allocating the resources we have is just as critical.  Do we have the best volume purchasing agreements we can leverage?  Would leasing help stretch our cash? Is it sensible, for instance, that (as far as I can tell) anyone can pick up a phone and make a long distance call (which, for a purchasing manager like myself is a great tool, but is it necessary for everyone)?  Even though we have a volume agreement with Xerox, does it encourage unnecessary expense to make the vast majority of copying services through the Xerox Center free to Departments?  I'm sure there are many more examples that I am not privvy to, but I include these few just to give you a hint at what I'm meaning by resource conservation.

 
David Noffs
on Oct 30, 2014

Many higher education institutions have already leveraged fairly modest technology to take advantage of the needs of today’s students for more online and hybrid learning. Assuming we want to explore this opportunity, making our online course offerings competitive, as Ron alluded to, is another challenge, and one we should not shy away from.

 

While the previous administration did not make online education a priority, many individuals on campus did, and recognized the need for new curriculum, technology training, and professional development for online learning. Lacking college wide direction, some departments took the initiative on their own and have developed online courses and online faculty development programs. There are training opportunities for faculty to learn how to teach online that are also underutilized. While some fear the new information ecology and, in particular,  teaching in an online environment (not entirely unfounded), the reality is that we can likely attract new students by simply offering many more online courses and programs. 

 

The new administration appears eager to do this, but I hope they do not overlook the efforts and programs that have already been developed and bring in experts who may only charge more money to tell us what we have known for years, we need to have a much larger online presence. Considering how far we are behind other institutions who have been offering courses online for years, and Ron’s point about being competitive, this money may be better spent on exploring innovative and, dare I say, radical ways Columbia can offer online education and support for virtual communities.

 
Michelle Gates
on Oct 30, 2014

 

This is a great conversation. By creating collective awareness and action to leverage the resources we have to the maximum benefit we can have a significant impact. How might we create an ongoing venue for better communication and discussions of these ideas to advance them into action?

 
Stephanie Henderson
on Oct 30, 2014

AS a parent, a career coach and organizational consultant I am greatly interested in how higher education invests its monetary and non-monetary resources to provide students with the knowledge, skills and experiences that make them marketable upon graduation.  I appreciate what my daughter has shared with me about her experiences and coursework.  Helping students make the transition from students to professionals is not a small endeavor.  Resources that engage students in this career-minded track from their first semester of Freshman year would be good for both the school and the students.

 
Dayle Matchett
on Oct 30, 2014

It's exciting to have the voice of one of our parents in this conversation about the future of Columbia and resources.  Thank you. President Kim has often talked about the importance of engaging students right from freshman year about transpareny about resources to help support our students to the path of employment. For example, one idea is to have freshman students attend industry events right from their first year so that the first time they are speaking to industry professionals is not their senior year. 

 
Michelle Gates
on Oct 30, 2014

It is wonderful to have parent perspective in this conversation about Columbia resources- thank you for joining the conversation and actively contributing!

Preparing students with skills for employment throughout life is a commitment that we take seriously at Columbia College Chicago. We are working actively to integrate into curricula and engagement with professionals from our community in a way that translates into meaningful lifelong professional opportunity.

 
Julie Redmond
on Oct 31, 2014

Another "resource" to consider is people. Many organizations and corporations struggle with where to invest resources - customers or staff? Infusing into this conversation the need to invest in our people via training & development (for all, not just depending on what department you're in), merit increases, community building activities etc. are important. Most organizations find that when they invest in their internal teams, the payback with external success follows. Worth considering.

 
Dayle Matchett
on Oct 31, 2014

I agree, Julie. Columbia has a real opportunity to take a close examination of its HR operations, structures, and practices and think about ways in which we can optimize training, retention, educational development, and moral boosting activities of our staff community. While there is some very early momentum in this, there have been lots of starts and stops as the infrastructure needs to be strengthened. Mark Kelly has often advocated for the importance of Columbia helping to better support our managerial teams. Since you manage one of the larger administrative teams at Columbia, what are some of your thoughts on this?

 
Susan Marcus
on Oct 31, 2014

I attached an article - about how the culture of an organization can make or break the best of strategic plans.  Hope it's useful.  In short, leadership at all levels work to create an enviornment where "human" resources feel valued and recognized for their contributions.  In turn, the culture supports people to be able to do their best, even through the tough times that  inevitably occur in all enterprizes. 

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 01, 2014

David- your comments in relation the changing landscape in higher education are important. We are in a critical time of change and a highly competitive time in our industry. It will most likely be a different landscape in a few years with less colleges and universities. While I firmly believe that Columbia College Chicago has the potential for a strong presence in the future- we must be focused and organizationally effective to achieve that place and  we must embrace and own that place in the future to succeed.

 
Michelle Gates
on Nov 01, 2014

 

This is a topic that I believe in strongly based on experience. We cannot impact change without cultural shift. Culture tops strategy every day of the week! great article Susan thank you.

 

 
Elizabeth Davis-Berg
on Nov 03, 2014

I think that student classrooms and spaces should reflect our goals.  We shouldn’t have pretty classrooms and spaces for the majors and less for the Core courses.  It tells the students that the institution doesn’t value those areas as much as others. 

 

 
Lauren Johnson
on Nov 05, 2014

I agree with David that online learning is a place that has been lacking in investment, and it has left us trailing behind other institutions. On top of that, the school doesn't have a unified directive on the best practices for online learning, making it a venture that many faculty are wary to dip a toe into.

When done properly, online instruction can be incredibly beneficial:

  • differentiated learning - students have more space to learn at their own pace, less stigma from requesting assisstance
  • empowering students at task and deadline management
  • creating a sense of autonomy in learning / helping students "learn to learn" which is so necessary in today's economy
  • connecting students from many locations into one digital space

Many institutions offer purely online degree programs - some do it well and some do it very, very poorly. When done properly and effectively, it can deliver an educational experience with far fewer related costs than a standard degree program.

As an example, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana offers a masters degree in education (M.Ed in Learning Design & Leadership) that can be completed without ever visiting their campus - I am a student in this program and am a few weeks away from completing it. The program is taught by one professor, and is non-linear in its path (there are no prereqs, the classes are topics classes and can be taken in any order). One class is offered every 8 weeks, and new students can jump in to the program at any time. This creates an environment that is a community of practice, with students further along in the program forming the center that help to guide new students into the community. Because there is a single instructor, it is easier to build a rapport - a common complaint to online instruction is the faceless disconnectedness. Because there is no central location that the class is tethered to, students enrolled in the program are worldwide citizens - a teacher in Hong Kong, a teacher working on a military base in Germany, a woman working to build an education co-op in Haiti, just to name a few.

It's a radical idea that is executed in a spectacularly wonderful fashion. Granted, the programs primary focus is on technology & learning, so it makes logical sense for the program to be delivered in this fashion - practicing what it preaches - but it is one of the top online degree programs in the country.

I don't think that Columbia is well-suited for offering full degree programs online at the undergraduate level, but I think it is important for us to look at what programs and classes can be effectively taught online to create a more rich experience for our students, as well as open Columbia College Chicago to an audience outside of those in the Chicagoland area.

 
Julie Redmond
on Nov 12, 2014

In reference to Dayle's comments above, there are a number of cultural and systemic changes/investments that should be supported for organizations to build and enhance morale and the employment experience including:

- Preparing managers to lead teams from both a coaching and a process perspective as people are often asked to manage people and processes with little or no support. Building an affinity group across campus to pair experienced managers with new managers can be one way to do this. Training and support is another. People often want to manage but are not prepared to do so.

- Implementing a performance-based merit raise system is essential. Reward top performers (assuming appropriate goals have been set by which to measure performance). Giving the same increase to everyone does not incent people to continue to overachieve their goals - some are intrinsically motivated to do that, but few can keep it up long term.

- Be creative with rewards: professional development/conference travel, recognition from senior team (notes and emails go a long way actually), and other monetary and non-monetary rewards

- Consider how we structure our work here - can people be cross-trained to support several areas of the college? one example would be a central "events" team for those members on our teams across campus that come together to put on events rather than one department/area doing all the heavy lifting. Gives people exposure to other areas and creates engagement with their work - and improves morale.

- Communication is essential - allowing people to voice their ideas (like this site) but also receiving frequent and timely communication regarding changes that impact one's department/area or the College as a whole also is essential in building/rebuilding morale.

...and there are more ideas.

Investing in "human" resources is critical for Columbia right now.

 
Julie Redmond
on Nov 12, 2014

For what it's worth, investing in fun community building activities also helps to improve morale. Giving departments a little money to use to come together to celebrate successes and decompress relieves stress and creates engagement at work. College-wide staff/faculty events as well are important - especially in times of great change. These are often one of the first areas to get "cut" when budgets are tight (often along with training and development) which is counter productive to the success of the change process overall. Zappos, Patagonia, Google and others do fun and success very well in highly creative ways.

 
Jessica Jacobs
on Nov 20, 2014

I agree with David's and Lauren's comments above on onine education. As we (hopefully) invest and implement more robust technical solutions, I would love to see some resources dedicated to the pedagogical implementation of those solutions. As faculty, we need training and opportunities to learn how to use these tools most effectively.

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 21, 2014

The key question to ask here is: how do we want to position Columbia in the marketplace? Once we have the answer to that question, we can develop a strategy on where to invest resources. As we are gathering ideas for the strategic plan and thinking about resources, we should consider these: (1) teachers should be #1 investment priority (2) college's current reputation and (3) its defined vision for the future that will be articulated in the strategic plan. I believe the strength of Columbia is in its unique environment. Historically, Columbia has been known for its creative and innovative environment. Thus, creativity and innovation should be infused into all structures of the college, both tangible and intangible, and including human resources and investments should be made to support development of these structures and systems. Teachers are one of the most important assets of any educational institution. But great teachers that are continously trained to improve their performance, inspired and rewarded can make a huge difference in college's performance in the marketplace. Simply, the quality of a school system rests on the quality of its teachers. Investment into great teachers should be our priority.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Oct 29, 2014 - 8:37 pm

 

Exercising Financial Responsibility At Every Level: How can we cultivate a sense of ownership of financial outcomes at the departmental and unit level?

 

Responses(19)

Laurie Lee Moses
on Oct 30, 2014

Hello! I'm not entirely clear how every department and unit (what is a unit?) can have "financial outcomes"... There are many resource areas here at the College that do not directly create income, yet are invaluable for the entire academic enterprise. Can you define the phrase "financial outcomes" in more detail for me? That would be most helpful!

 
Jessica Davenport
on Oct 30, 2014

The budget of an institution embodies its values and is the means to further its academic mission.  We must ensure our resources effectively and efficiently support the mission of the College. The development and implementation of a strategic resource allocation model will emphasize transparent decision-making, incentive-based allocations and prudent stewardship of the College’s resources. By creating a more inclusive planning and budget process, it will educate key stakeholders, faculty and staff on how every decision impacts resources and will invoke ownership and create accountability, thus empowering the administrative leaders, faculty and staff to be innovative and cost-efficient. Placing a priority on aligning the budget and institutional priorities will decrease tension and limit unhealthy competition associated with the budget process and rebuild trust within the College community. Most importantly a strategic resource allocation model will allow the departments and units to maximize resources and ensure the development, implementation and oversight of programs and policies for improved efficiency, effectiveness and performance.

 
Katie Paciga
on Oct 30, 2014

(1) Data. Reliable and relevant data that is provided in timely fashion. (2) Distribution. Not just distributed through our immediately superior administrator. Circulated from finance to faculty within departments and units directly. (3) Decision making. Procedures in place for faculty to participate more in the budget process. (4) Checks and balances. A means by which faculty can report lack of voice in the process.

(It takes motivation to embody ownership of something, anything. When faculty voices are not heard motivation suffers. This can be tied to any of the other 5 areas being examined in this strategic plan process.)

 
Michelle Gates
on Oct 30, 2014

 

 

 

This is a good discussion- thank you all.

 

How do we balance the aspirational educational goals we strive for and need to hold high with our resources? Perhaps if we are able to create a culture of inquiry into the financial and resource impact and opportunity of departmental/ program decisions we can collectively seek ways to achieve that balance.

 

 

 

 

 
Sharon Marie Ross
on Oct 30, 2014

Ownership is tricky business here at Columbia. I think an initial first step is advocating for a financial/budgeting model that allows for internal investments. For ecxample, if a chair saves money in a fiscal year, that money should be rolled over and invested in areas of needed growth (versus "disappearing if you don't spend it"). We might also consider more fine-tuned and independent departmental/unit budgets. If a department relies more on faculty research, for example, he chair should have the freedom to allocate for that. Or if equipment/technology requires long-term deficit spending, there should be a reasonable model for this. Giving chairs/unit heads flexibility to design internal budgets (with appropriate rewards and repercussions) could create ownership that breeds best investments and better long-term planning. (We of course need to first get to an overall level of institutional responsibility that allows for this...)

 
Stan Wearden
on Oct 31, 2014

I so strongly agree with Jessica's statement. We must have a budget model by which resources follow instutional goals and priorities. And, we must have a budget model that rewards and incentivizes departments and schools that are moving the college in the strategic direction we will be identifying through this process. Further, the budget model needs to incentivize consciousness of costs and efforts to control them.

 
Jeff Schiff
on Oct 31, 2014

As a member of a department that currently does not offer any majors, it's difficult for me to consider owning financial "outcomes" strictly associated with student achievement.

In a more general sense, though, I can say that I've been horrified for nearly three decades about the lack of uniform processes regarding allocation and spending. Seems like every unit plays by its own, or no rules...

In order to develop such processes, though, we must engage in frank discussions regarding the difference between "need" (that which is essential to support outcomes-focused learning) and "want" (which seems to reward the politically mighty).

And on a much lighter note: stop the catering madness (once we finally get a cost of living adjustment, we can likely bring our own salads and wraps to meetings); and put a per diem policy in place!

 
Mat Rappaport
on Oct 31, 2014

I am chiming in as a faculty member. In terms of new budgeting models, I agree that allowing department or "units" to have flexibility to invest in targeted initiatives by maintaining rollover funds is important to fostering a responsive financial model that translates into responsive curriculum. What currently stymies faculty efforts is that the evaluative criteria for allocating budgets are not shared with the faculty [FTE, Majors, students served, ???]. The consequence is that faculty are not given the data/tools that allow us to apply our skills, insign or experience in informing the budget. I would also like to see a discussion about the value of transparency around budgeting. Why not make the budgets and criteria for funding decisions available to the faculty?

 
David Gerding
on Oct 31, 2014

Years ago I had proposed as chair of the "budget and priorities" that we publish cost per credit hour taught metrics and the like per academic year per program. The (essentially) political reactionary fear this proposal engendered obliged me to revise my proposal to something like this:

What if each year revenue and cost metrics were published per program (students "purchase" degrees - not departments).  Rather than publish the real dollar values we could publish numbers relative to a year zero.  So, for example, all program's "cost per credit hour taught" would be one dollar for year zero.  Thereafter, it would move up or down depending on relative cost increases or efficiencies achieved.  By creating a synthetic normal value we avoid killing the use of metrics altogether because of the fears associated with publishing real dollar values - but we would still help create an environment where trends can be evaluated and where efficiencies can be demonstrated to the whole community. 

Common, communal metrics seem fundamental to "ownership".  In the absence of real transparency, normalized "year zero" metrics would be move in the right direction.

Dave G

 
Louis Silverstein
on Oct 31, 2014

It is not clear to me what is included in "financial outcomes." Surely, faculty doing their very best to recruit and retain students" is to particiapte in the financial outcome of the college. 

 
Jessica Davenport
on Oct 31, 2014

In my opinion, to create a culture of transparency, accountability and ownership there will need to be tremendous effort placed on educating both the academic and administrative units on how each side of the house operates and allowing them to work together, which traditionally doesn't happen in higher education. Perhaps an all faculty, staff and student Budget Forum would be a great start.

In establishing institutional priorities the College will decide what we offer and how we will offer it. From there it should be clear on the resources needed and available to support those priorities including human, physical/space and financial. Measurements of success and/or metrics can be determined based on the operation of the unit (revenue generating vs non-revenue generating, resource intensive, etc.). This would require an in-depth analysis of current resources as to not assume they are currently reasonable or adequate for each unit.

In achieving the objective of a strategic resource allocation model, the following parameters should be considered:

  • Efficient allocation of resources based on current requirements and enrollment data rather than history.
  • Detect inflated curriculum/budgets; identify wasteful and obsolete operations and alternative courses of action.
  • Empower administrators to improve decision-making regarding operations based on facts and identify opportunities for improvement and resources.
  • Increase staff/faculty accountability in efficient use of resources, curriculum development and shared governance.
  • Increase and improve communication and collaboration within and across academic and administrative units.
  • Allow departments to align their mission and overall goals with college priorities to provide quality and affordable education.
  • Educate faculty and staff on financial impact of curricular and non-curricular decisions.
  • Eliminate insular silo practices.

Faculty and staff should definitely be included in the budget planning process in some way, as they are responsible and evaluated for developing, governing and directly supporting the curriculum & programs that our students (and parents) pay their hard-earned income for.

 
Susan Marcus
on Oct 31, 2014

Being transparent with the overall college budget will go a long way.