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The Advisory Board Speaks
3/25/2015 12:00 AM

Excellent faculty members. Attractive, functional facilities. Technology that supports learning. Those are just a few of the factors that support your institution’s academic mission. They all cost money, and there’s never enough to do everything you’d like to do.

Effective stewardship of your institution’s resources is an important part of your job — a part you probably weren’t trained for before joining the administration.

Excellent faculty members. Attractive, functional facilities. Technology that supports learning. Those are just a few of the factors that support your institution’s academic mission. They all cost money, and there’s never enough to do everything you’d like to do.

Effective stewardship of your institution’s resources is an important part of your job — a part you probably weren’t trained for before joining the administration.

Dean & Provost’s Advisory Board members participated in a conference call to share their strategies for a successful budgeting process, in spite of tough fiscal times.

Understand hiring, budgeting formulas

Cynthia WorthenHiring faculty members is often the most expensive budget decision. But it’s not always as simple as weighing what department chairs want against funds available. Cynthia Worthen recently took a job as dean of academic affairs at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in California. One of her first challenges in the budgeting process was understanding the formulas the institution had in place for hiring faculty members. The budget is based on forecasted new-student enrollment, and if numbers were off for a cohort, that created a ripple effect over several years.

At the University of Florida, which uses responsibility-centered management, the budget cannot vary beyond a certain range based on enrollment, said Lucinda Lavelli, dean of the College of Fine Arts. The constraints created by the budget model have impacted decisions about academic planning. For example, officials had to Marsha Kelliherfind ways to teach larger sections in courses for nonmajors.

Both Centre College and Hofstra University use a five-year budget model. At Centre, once utilities and other set costs are accounted for, there’s not a lot officials can change, said Stephanie Fabritius, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. At Hofstra, labor agreements define much of the budget, said Herman Berliner, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Changes in the enrollment and in the economy can impact budgeting, however.

Marsha Kelliher, dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University, also said the economy impacts hiring. But day-to-day operations are funded by the endowment, so unless a real crisis occurs, the budget isn’t affected much.

Collaborate with key campus officials

Maria VallejoThe advisory board members agreed that regular conversations with others on campus can make the budget process go more smoothly.

Maria Vallejo, campus provost at Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Campus, meets monthly with the chief financial officer for the district, the vice president for student services for the district, and the cabinet. They have been discussing budgets regularly for 10 years, so they have good relationships. “We can barter and challenge each other,” she said.

Those monthly meetings have been so valuable that when someone new comes onto the staff, Vallejo works to schedule the meetings right away.

Worthen scheduled a meeting with her institution’s CFO to build a relationship to help the process go smoothly. At a previous institution, Worthen and her institution’s CFO both commuted on the Herman Berlinersame public transportation. That informal connection helped them get to know each other and work together more effectively.

Berliner meets with the CFO and other officials every week. He also talks to deans and chairs and uses the shared governance system to communicate about the budget. Being proactive about the budget is important because searches to fill faculty openings need to start early or opportunities will be missed, he said.

Communicate with faculty, division administrators

Letting faculty and staff members and unit administrators know how budget decisions are made and the status of budget discussions helps lessen fears people might have and encourages them to consider needs beyond their own.

Lucinda LavelliAt Palm Beach State, people know that if they really need money, they will get it, Vallejo said. Because they are confident their needs will be met, they are more likely to say, “We could wait another year for this.”

But if divisions don’t spend the money that’s allocated to them, they lose it, she said. At a certain point in the fiscal year, officials start checking to make sure the divisions have spent a certain percentage of their budget.

At Palm Beach State, the budgeting process follows a predetermined calendar so people know what to expect. Each month, Vallejo hosts monthly coffee hours. Anyone can come, and the events provide a forum for sharing information about the campus. Plus, attendees can get to know each other. “People will never get to know each other unless there are avenues,” she said.

Stephanie FabritiusIn Lavelli’s college, all the directors see the budget. Some years, some get more money than others, but that could change the next year based on needs. Lavelli tries to instill in the leadership team members that they serve as leadership for the college and not just for their unit.

Members of the campus community need to hear that functions across campus are interconnected. What happens in one unit affects everything else on campus. For example, what happens in student services impacts academics, Vallejo said.

During the recession, Fabritius and other officials at Centre sat in the cafeteria with a big sign encouraging people to talk to them about the budget and come forward with ideas. Faculty, staff and students all contributed. The discussions had the positive effect of making people realize the interconnections between the economy, enrollment and the budget.

The bottom line…

Keep these tips in mind for effective budgeting:

  • Take time to understand the formulas that impact your budget, especially if you’re in a new position.
  • Communicate regularly with your chief financial officer and other critical campus officials.
  • Be transparent about budgeting. Educate your campus community about the process and its results.
Curriculum
2/24/2015 12:00 AM

As the controversy surrounding unpaid internships continues to simmer, the value of the internship as a vital steppingstone in the career path of today’s college graduates remains constant, with increasing numbers of colleges and universities offering the internship, both paid and unpaid, as a curricular option.

Laura Rossi-LeAs the controversy surrounding unpaid internships continues to simmer, the value of the internship as a vital steppingstone in the career path of today’s college graduates remains constant, with increasing numbers of colleges and universities offering the internship, both paid and unpaid, as a curricular option. In response to the concerns of employers over the issue of intern compensation, the U.S. Department of Labor has established a set of clarifying criteria for private-sector organizations, emphasizing that internships must benefit the student and constitute an integral part of an institution’s academic programming.

The internship program at Endicott College offers a model for meeting the criteria while creating a vibrant program that links classroom learning with experience in the field. Since the college’s founding in 1939, Endicott has offered a comprehensive internship program that is required in all majors and that extends across the curriculum from freshman to senior year.

Graduates leave Endicott with both a diploma and a robust résumé as a result of strategic programming integrating academic coursework and professional application. All students are required to undertake three internships over the course of four years: two 120-hour internships during the January or summer break of the freshman and sophomore years and a full-semester internship during the fall of the senior year. The internships are not isolated experiences; instead, they are closely linked to the student’s academic program. The interplay between theory and practice shapes the dialogue within majors across the college curriculum. Employers play a vital role in that dialogue as well, evaluating student performance on the job, communicating with internship faculty, and offering insight into the knowledge and skill set future graduates will need to gain a competitive edge in their respective fields.

Providing students with adequate support and preparation is central to the success of Endicott’s internship program. Each student is assigned an internship coordinator who is based in an academic department and understands the theoretical and professional aspects of a student’s major. The coordinators serve as faculty in experiential learning classes aimed at preparing students for their internships and provide individualized guidance in the search process through which students have access to a database of more than 16,000 potential employers. An essential part of the coordinator’s role is to assess new sites to ensure that they meet student needs and academic program requirements.

Faculty across all disciplines also become partners in the experiential learning process, serving as resources for potential career opportunities and integrating the students’ internship experiences within course assignments. As a culminating activity for the freshman and sophomore internships, students write reflective essays that their faculty advisors evaluate. Through ongoing discussions and planning sessions, advisors help students set long-term academic and career goals.

Students begin coursework in their majors during their freshman and sophomore years while engaging in the 120-hour internships, enabling them to assess their choice of majors early in their academic careers. Before beginning their internships, students develop proposals that are evaluated by their academic deans and coordinators and establish a set of objectives together with their site supervisors. The combination of academic study and practical experience gives students insight into the critical relationship between theory and professional practice as they plan their course of study.

The full-semester, 12-credit internship, usually undertaken during the fall of the senior year, opens the door to professional positions after graduation. Through a one-credit required course in the junior year, students engage fully in the search process, strategically defining their career goals, perfecting their résumés, participating in mock interviews, and developing networking skills — all with the objective of acquiring the critical competencies needed to secure internships and, ultimately, professional positions after graduation.

Students are on the job four days per week and return to campus on the fifth day to participate in internship seminars related to their majors during which they share experiences and review weekly assignments. Seminar faculty meet with site supervisors periodically to ensure that course objectives are met and to gather feedback on student performance. At the same time that students undertake their internships, they begin the first phase of a two-part senior thesis course, capitalizing on the internship as a source of inspiration and data for their research and final thesis projects that represent the culmination of their academic experience.

The success of Endicott’s internship model is reflected in survey results from students and employers. On average, 40 percent of Endicott graduates find employment through their internships. In a survey of May 2013 graduates, 75 percent were employed full-time, with 21 percent enrolled in graduate programs. Employer feedback has also been consistently positive in relation to the students’ preparation in their respective fields and professionalism in the workplace. The close integration of theory and practice across the curriculum, while satisfying Department of Labor criteria for unpaid internships, prepares students for professional positions, broadens their options for advancement, and helps them gain entrance to postgraduate programs.

Learn more about Department of Labor regulations governing internships at www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf.

Leadership
1/26/2015 12:00 AM

When I entered the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta to view the Churchill exhibit, I was filled with much emotion. After all, he was arguably one of the most important political figures in the 20th century and perhaps the most influential person in the outcome of the Second World War.

Dawn Z. HodgesWhen I entered the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta to view the Churchill exhibit, I was filled with much emotion. After all, he was arguably one of the most important political figures in the 20th century and perhaps the most influential person in the outcome of the Second World War. But it wasn’t a war or political exhibit I had come to see. It was “The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting.” I had learned he was an artist only a few days before. Let me tell you how I came to know this.

If you read the November issue of Dean & Provost, you might recall Part I of this article. If not, let me bring you up to speed. Last summer I toured the Chicago Institute of Art. Gallery by gallery, I kept being reminded of leadership principles. In the European gallery, paintings of battles left me feeling unsettled. I included Churchill’s “victory at all cost” quote, making the point that leaders often face unsettling circumstances, but there are things worth fighting for, and winning is sometimes all-important to a great leader.

A colleague read my article and sent me another detailing the exhibit that was on display in Atlanta, not far from where I live and work. Within a few days, I drove to midtown and entered the museum. Tears filled my eyes as I turned the corner to view Churchill’s paintings. The first two turned out to be the best of the whole lot in my opinion and my personal favorites. I’m no art critic, but he wasn’t a great artist. But it wasn’t about the paintings to me. It was more about the story line that accompanied the art.

In the background I could hear the sound of an old eight-millimeter film, the kind we would watch after filing into the dark media room on Thursday mornings in junior year of high school during our American history class. “That voice” narrated just about every film I ever watched about World War II. But what I learned from those film clips and from a few paragraphs in the textbooks was all I really knew about Churchill. I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) that he had had a meteoric political rise, but in May 1915, following the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, was politically dead.

Feeling ostracized, he suffered from acute depression, so much so that he named it “the black dog.” It was then that he took up painting. During his lifetime he created more than 500 canvases, 300 of them during the 1930s. He was a voice “crying in the wilderness” throughout the decade as he tried to convince the Brits of the ever-growing danger of the Nazis as an evil empire. Finally, he was able to make his way back into the political spotlight and, when Neville Chamberlain was forced out, Churchill became the prime minister of the United Kingdom in 1940.

Churchill credits the strategic skills he learned as a painter with helping him to be a more effective decision-maker and communicator. “In a painting, each stroke changes the field, informs the strokes that follow, and the outcome is the cumulative product of thousands of tiny, correlated decisions,” he wrote. The Art of Diplomacy exhibit invites the patrons to consider whether painting may have contributed to saving Western civilization.

Once again I found myself being taught leadership skills from art. Here are some of the things I took away:

  • Every decision a leader makes informs his next decision.
  • Outcomes are based on many combined decisions.
  • Even in a leader’s darkest moments, there are lessons to be learned. Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal.…”
  • There is a lot of gray in leadership and decision-making. Churchill said, “At one side of the palette there is white, at the other black; and neither is ever used neat.”
  • There are powerful leadership skills to be learned from the arts. It takes strategic thinking and analytical ability to find the lessons.
Lawsuits and Rulings
8/13/2013 12:00 AM

30+ years of law practice are no substitute for scholarship

Case name: Spaeth v. Georgetown University, No. 11-1376 (ESH) (D.D.C. 05/09/13).

Ruling: The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment to Georgetown University, dismissing the plaintiff’s age discrimination claims.

Case name: Spaeth v. Georgetown University, No. 11-1376 (ESH) (D.D.C. 05/09/13).

Ruling: The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment to Georgetown University, dismissing the plaintiff’s age discrimination claims.

What it means: When a plaintiff claims he was not interviewed for a college or university position because of his age, it’s not sufficient to show that the individuals interviewed and hired were younger than he was. He must also show that he had all the qualifications necessary to obtain a tenure-track position.

Summary: Nicholas Spaeth — born in 1950 — attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1977 after serving as a law review editor.

Following law school, he served as North Dakota state attorney general for seven years, as general counsel to several Fortune 500 companies, and as a lawyer in private practice. He also taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School from 1980 through 1983.

In 2009, he decided to pursue an academic career. Ultimately, he obtained a non-tenure-track position as a visiting professor of law at the University of Missouri at Columbia for the 2010-2011 school year.

In 2010, Spaeth submitted a resume to an online resume system in which 172 law schools participated because his visiting professor position was only a one-year appointment.

He also wrote to several law schools directly to indicate his interest in being considered for a position.

He did not write directly to Georgetown University because he didn’t think that he wanted to live in Washington, D.C.

Spaeth was invited to preliminary interviews by only two schools and received no job offers.

He then filed a suit against Georgetown, claiming that its failure to interview and hire him violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act because it ultimately hired three less-qualified candidates who were approximately 25 years younger.

Georgetown filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Spaeth’s online résumé did not reveal any interest or experience in producing the kind of original legal research and scholarship that Georgetown and other top-tier law schools required.

Spaeth countered that Georgetown had no written requirement that scholarship weighed heavily — or outweighed — teaching and service.

However, District Judge Ellen Huvelle said that the lack of a written requirement was irrelevant. She said there was no need to put in writing what everyone knew: that scholarship was — for better or worse — one of the overriding concerns among elite law schools in making hiring decisions.

She recognized that Spaeth strongly felt that law students should be taught by practitioners instead of academics. However, she said that he could not dispute that scholarship was indeed a primary focus of law schools when hiring faculty members, and she refused to interfere with the university’s priorities.

Judge Huvelle found that Spaeth did not demonstrate the necessary qualifications for an entry-level tenure-track position at Georgetown because he had no record of scholarly work and had not shown a potential for producing such work in the future.

She granted summary judgment in favor of the university.

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  • Meet the Editor

    Joan Hope
    Managing Editor

    Joan Hope became editor of Dean & Provost in 2007. She brings years of experience in higher education and journalism to her work. She has taught writing and literature courses for eight years at colleges and universities including Indiana University at Bloomington, Clark University, and Houston Community College
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