<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>Rethinking Our Current Challenges <p> <i>The Context for Change</i></b> <p> <p> In this chapter we will discuss the challenges in higher education that are currently creating a climate conducive to change. We will look at our opportunities for innovation through the lens that Peter Drucker (2002) offered in relation to conditions that make change possible. Drucker outlined seven areas of potential opportunity which can support innovation. Five of those are apparent in higher education today: new knowledge, changes in perception, demographic changes, industry and market changes, and process needs. <p> <p> <b>The Time for Innovation</b> <p> Before we outline our strategy for undertaking this monumental task of shifting to a new paradigm, we need to make the case for making this shift at all. One of the many points that we debated as co-authors was whether it was absolutely necessary to recount the litany of stresses currently affecting higher education. Since everyone reads every day about the technological, societal, market, and political pressures on higher education, we questioned whether more discussion of these pressures would be informative, repetitive, or simply depressing for the reader. <p> After much thought, discussion, and coffee, we realized that we were thinking about this question from a habitual way of seeing the issues, in part because we too have read so often about these issues as <i>problems</i>. Instead of viewing these issues as negatives, the high winds and hard rains of the perfect storm intent upon sinking our ship, we reminded ourselves that storms are not solely forces of destruction but natural events that generate great power, that usher in a new weather system, that clear debris and refresh our environment. Our goal is to demonstrate how the forces that we read about and discuss on a daily basis are, in fact, power to be harnessed, opportunities for change. In Clark Kerr's 1994 analysis of the history of higher education, a history that he says gets more glorious upon reflection while fear of the future gets more dreadful, he poses the question, Why are we always so happy looking backward and so unhappy looking forward? We will undertake the challenge of looking forward, if not with complete happiness, at least with cautious optimism. <p> If we analyze the evolution of higher education in the United States we will see strategic junctions and times of significant challenges. In each era, academic institutions responded and took action, and higher education, subsequently, was strengthened. The calls today to reevaluate higher education are consistent with that pattern. We are at a strategic junction in which many internal and external variables are leading to questions and concerns about the relevancy of higher education, its current status, and its path to the future. <p> As a result, many universities, organizations, accreditation bodies, governments, and researchers are engaged in efforts to innovate. Their goal is to find ways to assure that, despite the significant challenges higher education faces, it will continue to be relevant, a key contributor to advancing knowledge and educating people for productive and successful lives. This role of higher education is necessary for sustaining a prosperous civic society. The study of the current challenges will be benefited greatly by examining colleges and universities as open systems, dynamic organisms, shaped by and shaping the environment. It is the unique structure, mission, role, and value of each university, understood in the context of the changing environment, which will allow us to address the challenges, maximize the opportunities, and also develop an enhanced vision for higher education. While there are general features and challenges common to all institutions, each institution also has unique features and challenges; there is no one-size-fits-all challenge or solution. With that in mind, we will discuss general and significant threats all institutions face, large or small, public or private. It is a time of great opportunities for those who have an interest in shaping the future of higher education, for those who, like Ernest Shackleton, maintain optimism in the face of extreme challenge. <p> Research on innovation and entrepreneurship demonstrates that in times of crisis or economic hardship, the opportunities for innovation increase, for the sense of crisis creates motivation for change. For example, the skyrocketing cost of gasoline in 2008 created a sense of crisis for individuals and businesses, thus creating a climate conducive to innovation in the area of alternative fuels. The sense of crisis creates a willingness and an interest in these innovations on the part of consumers and innovators, who if gas were one dollar per gallon would most likely be disinterested. <p> Innovative change is greater than incremental change because it results in a new condition that is measurably different from the status quo. Innovation may be achieved through the introduction of new or different policies, regulations, or practices and procedures. Our definition of innovation includes changes and processes that expand and reconceive the scope of higher education. <p> Management expert Peter Drucker (2002) suggests that most innovations "result from a conscious, purposeful search for innovation opportunities, which are found only in a few situations" (p. 96). He identifies seven sources of potential opportunity through which systematic analysis and knowledge can support innovation. Some are internal to organizations, for example, process needs and market changes. Others are external sources of opportunity, for example, demographic changes, new knowledge, and changes in perception. We will look at five of these innovation opportunities which offer the greatest potential for stimulating change in higher education. These forces are converging to create a climate conducive to innovation and subsequently to transformation. Drucker explains that at the heart of successful entrepreneurship is innovation: "the effort to create purposeful focused change in an enterprise's economic or social potential" (p. 96). This is achieved through "a commitment to the systematic practice of innovation"(p. 95). The future of higher education depends upon innovative entrepreneurs to lead this purposeful and focused change. <p> <p> <b>New Knowledge</b> <p> The first area of potential opportunity identified by Drucker (2002) is new knowledge. New knowledge is influencing higher education on three fronts. First, discoveries and innovations are accelerating at a tremendous rate, changing discipline content and the prerequisites to adequately prepare graduates for the workplace. Especially in the sciences and technology, new knowledge is growing at an exponential rate that nearly precludes adequate preparation of graduates in our current system. <p> On the second front, new knowledge about how people learn is affecting our ways of teaching and preparing graduates. Many practices that have long been part of good teaching as a result of common sense and an intuitive understanding of human behavior are now part of an emerging body of research into brain functioning and learning, motivation and learning, and the role of memory as well as other affective concerns regarding power and control. <p> In addition, new knowledge in the form of technology is changing how we teach. Computer technology, specifically, is revolutionizing course management and delivery, and the Internet has tremendously increased the accessibility of information and changed the process of conducting research. All these forms of new knowledge are leading educators to question common pedagogical practices about what to teach as well as how to teach it. New knowledge in terms of what we teach and how we teach has provided the motivation for innovation and change. <p> <p> <b>Changes in Perception</b> <p> The second area of potential opportunity identified by Drucker is changes in perception. The public perception of higher education is changing, thus creating a climate conducive to change. Once heralded as the finest educational system in the world, higher education in the United States is now perceived to be falling behind other countries and not producing qualified graduates. John Doerr, considered one of the top technology venture capitalists in the world, called education "the largest and most screwed-up part of the American economy" (quoted in Carlson & Wilmot, 2006, p. 267). Similarly, Peter Drucker said, "Thirty years from now [1997] the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won't survive.... Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of health care? Such totally uncontrollable expenditures, without any visible improvement in either the content or the quality of education, means that the system is rapidly becoming untenable. Higher education is in deep crisis" (quoted in Carlson & Wilmot, 2006, p. 267). These and other leaders in business and industry have chimed in on the emerging public outcry for accountability in higher education. Education professors Terenzini and Pascarella (1994) called into question some of the basic tenets of American higher education. They found that educational quality did not correlate with an institution's reputation or standing. Similarly, they questioned the assumption that good researchers are good teachers, calling into question education techniques, in particular the lecture method. <p> In an open letter entitled <i>An American Imperative: Higher Expectations for Higher Education</i>, the Wingspread Group (1993) charged that "some faculties and institutions certify for graduation too many students who cannot read and write very well, too many whose intellectual depth and breadth are unimpressive, and too many whose skills are inadequate in the face of the demands of contemporary life" (p. 1). They conclude that "A disturbing and dangerous mismatch exists between what American society needs of higher education and what it is receiving. Nowhere is the mismatch more dangerous than in the quality of undergraduate preparation provided by many campuses" (p. 1). <p> In support of this claim, a National Adult Literacy Survey conducted in 1993 found that large numbers of graduates were unable to use basic skills including reading, writing, computation, and elementary problem solving (Lucas, 1994, xiii). A decade later Brown University conducted the Futures Project, a four-year examination of the major forces affecting the future of higher education. The Futures Project investigated the impact of competition and market values on higher education, targeting three specific areas: autonomy and accountability, responsibility for student learning, and access and attainment. In the report on the project, <i>The Future of Higher Education</i> (Newman, Couturier, & Scurry, 2004), the authors called for institutional responsibility with regard to student learning, claiming that at most institutions "there is an unspoken, comfortable conspiracy between faculty and students not to bother each other too much; mediocrity reigns" (p. 136). <p> A similar claim was made in <i>Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk</i> (Hersh & Merrow, 2005), a collection of essays accompanying a PBS documentary, which exposed a lack of accountability for student learning and an unhealthy focus on research and athletics as well as other prestige factors that had little to do with educating students. Even more candid was Lewis's (2006) indictment of undergraduate education, in which he claimed that universities have forgotten their purpose, namely, creating educated adults who will take responsibility for society. In the same vein, Bok's (2005) critique of higher education's shortcomings focused both on the failure of universities to prepare citizens and the need to improve teacher quality because not enough attention is paid to pedagogy. <p> This is not the first time, of course, that higher education has been deemed as disaster. Lucas (1994) identified three common themes among commentators from 1965 through the 1990s: (1) professionalization of scholarship in higher education was a factor contributing to fragmentation; (2) the tendency to view knowledge as a commodity contributed to the confusion of what constituted a relevant liberal education; and (3) the structure of the university itself was a root cause of the decline. "Such allegations had been heard before, of course," said Lucas. "But they were given new clarity and force in analyses of the apparent decline of liberal educational values" (p. 268). The many critiques of the state of higher education have clarified the issues creating external pressure for changes in higher education. <p> <p> <b>Demographic Changes</b> <p> The third area of potential opportunity identified by Drucker is demographic changes. Significant social, economic, and technological changes are challenging universities to reconsider their business. The profile of the undergraduate has changed dramatically. Prior to World War II, universities educated a fairly homogeneous population: 60 percent male, 97 percent Caucasian, middle and upper class backgrounds, upper third or upper quarter ranking in high school (Lucas, 1994, p. xiv). The shift in this demographic began with the GI Bill of 1944. Lucas writes, "The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944-popularly dubbed the GI Bill of Rights-more than any other single initiative, brought massive changes to higher education in the postwar era" (p. xv). This influx of nontraditional students, approximately 60,000 men and women, "altered the meaning of a college education" (p. xiv). <p> These demographic changes continued throughout the succeeding decades. Beginning in the 1960s, women and minorities began attending college in greater numbers, and by the 1970s women out-numbered men (Lucas, 1994, p. xvi). Huber and Hutchings (2005) reported that the profile of the eighteen-year-old entering college supported by parents and working only part time has become the exception rather than the norm. Close to half of the undergraduates in the United States are more than twenty-four years old, and more than one quarter are working adults over thirty. The part-time student is quickly becoming the norm. Additionally, undergraduates who are married and/or have children have become routine. Nearly 60 percent are pursuing occupational degrees or professional studies (Lucas, 1994, p. xvi). <p> The nature of the traditional-aged student has also changed. Often called the <i>millennials</i>, these highly social students, technologically savvy and intolerant of delays, create new demands on the system from housing to admission to marketing to pedagogy. Their highly social nature leads them to prefer teamwork and group activity and to keep constant contact with their social network. And with the growing calls for accessibility, more and more students are the first of their family to attend college. No longer is a homogeneous student population the norm or the goal. This changing population of students adds another new demand on institutions while offering an opportunity to support innovation. <p> In addition to the changing demographics of students is a shift in demographics of faculty and staff. Between 1976 and 2005 full-time nonfaculty professional staff grew at a rate of 281 percent. At the same time the rate of administrative staff doubled (American Association of University Professors, 2008). The growth rate of full- and part-time nontenure-track faculty was 200 percent. The American Association of University Professors (2008) reports that "the more than 200 percent increase in the number of contingent faculty on the payrolls represents a deprofessionalization of the faculty role in higher education" (p. 14). Similarly, Schuster and Finkelstein (2006) write about the restructuring of the American faculty, noting that no one is content with the way campuses are governed, and the tension between managerial culture and faculty-shared governance is becoming greater, contributing to a reshaping and redistribution of academic work. <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>Leading the Learner-Centered Campus</b> by <b>Michael Harris Roxanne Cullen Maryellen Weimer</b> Copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.<br> All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.