1. Fostering Partnerships
In today’s environment, collaboration is essential. As a former vice president of a higher education association, I have a network of over one hundred chief academic officers to draw on, as well as relationships with other organizations that provide valuable benefits to colleges and universities. Whether it’s fostering partnerships with fellow universities or working with other organizations to strengthen your academic offerings or international presence, I bring people and organizations together for mutual benefit.
2. Helping outside organizations connect to the world of higher education
Academia is a complex subculture with its own rituals, terminology, and expectations. Knowing how to penetrate this subculture as an outsider can be challenging. As a higher education veteran who has the trust and respect of chief academic officers, I help outside organizations gain a hearing within that world. Whether it’s a third-party study abroad program, an online platform for course-sharing, or an innovative educational product, if an organization has something of value to offer to colleges and universities, I have the expertise and connections to get their service in front of key academic stakeholders.
3. Simplifying institutional structures and processes
Sitting at the administrative center of academic institutions can seem overwhelming. As we all know, in academia, being small doesn’t mean being simple. As a dean and provost, I excelled in achieving greater simplicity and clarity to the institution. Now as a consultant, I work with academic leaders to review and streamline their organizational structures, reduce direct reports, and find ways to make their jobs more productive and sustainable.
4. Academic coaching and mentoring
The average tenure of deans and provosts is only five years. Such frequent turnover creates tremendous institutional costs in terms of stalled agendas, instability, and new searches. As an experienced academic administrator, I work with deans and provosts over the course of a semester or a year—visiting campus for one-on-ones, reading a book together, and checking in periodically by phone. Experience in the trenches of academic administration provides me with a unique vantage point to mentor administrators and help them thrive in their work for the long haul.
5. Consulting and problem-solving
Wise decision-making is crucial to academic leadership. In addition to my own administrative experience, I draw on an extensive network of academic leaders who are experienced in a wide array of topics and willing to assist others. Topics include:
Academic program development and program review
Accreditation and assessment
Budgeting process and budget cuts
Diversity hiring and climate
Faculty evaluation and promotion
General education revision
Internationalizing the curriculum/study abroad
Online and distance learning
6. Improving faculty climate
Faculty morale is crucial to a healthy and thriving university. As a professor, dean, and provost, I excelled in understanding and communicating faculty concerns and taking steps to improve faculty-administration relations. Now as a consultant, I work with colleges and universities to understand and improve their faculty climate through a few simple steps:
Administering the Faculty Thriving Survey, an instrument developed by Dr. Laurie Schreiner, chair of the Education department at Azusa Pacific University.
Visiting the campus to engage in low-key one-on-one and small group meetings.
Compiling an institutional summary report and action steps for the chief academic officer and following up as needed.