Category Archives: Leadership

How to Increase Faculty Publication Rates

In higher education, the “publish or perish” environment presupposes an academic’s ability to construct, submit, and defend written positions while expanding preexisting research and theory.  It’s very important that faculty who seek research and tenured positions, be active publishers in peer-reviewed journals.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage of academics are actively publishing.  Current publication rates also seem to be disproportionate with the value and pressure higher education places on faculty to publish.  The number of publications and the integrity of those publications can either help or hinder faculty professional development (employment, promotion, tenure), professional value within the system (institutional or national recognition), and the chances of earning professional incentives (grants and awards).  As important as publications have been made within higher education, how can educational administration more effectively support faculty to publish?  The following suggestions are helpful publication interventions that increase faculty publication rates:

  • Writing-for-publication professional development courses, retreats, workshops, or consultations.  These strategies provide structure, writing timelines, goals, and instruction.  Ideally, the PD publication intervention is also fun; hosted in a motivating environment amongst like-minded researchers and writers.
  • Writing-for-publication support groups, clubs, teams, and social media forums. These strategies strengthen writer motivation, decrease writing anxiety, provide a reward system for successful publications, offer accountability measures, and create structured time dedicated for writing.  Facebook, acadamia.edu, and academic blogs are just a few examples of how social media can increase communication amongst writing group members.
  • Writing-for-publication co-author partnerships.  This strategy unites two academic writers with a common writing goal.  The relationship helps keep each author accountable or on task.  Co-authors also share research and writing responsibilities as well as provide editing support.  Co-authors may choose their writing partner from within their same discipline or establish a cross-discipline partnership to complement their expertise.
  • Writing-for-publication coaches or mentors. These strategies provide structure, accountability, instruction, lessons on writing processes and politics, practical writing exercises, and editing support.
  • Submit papers to cross-discipline, peer-reviewed journals.  This can increase the exposure rate and therefore, the acceptance rate into journals with paralleling research interests.
  • Strengthen undergraduate and graduate writing-for-publication cultures on campuses.  Indoctrinated with the motivation, experience, and skills needed to publish, students seeking professorship and research positions will demonstrate more consistent publication rates after graduation.

The scholarly peer-reviewed journal article has been a key indicator of an academic’s value in higher education.  Without a strong record of publication, many academics will be denied rewards such as external funding, promotion, tenure, or even employment.  The suggestions mentioned above provide structured interventions to streamline publication processes and increase faculty publication output rates.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

6 Tips for Interviewers Using Skype

Remember, in order to create a goodness-of-fit between your organization and the new hire, the applicant needs to be confident in the professionalism and stability of your work environment.  How you represent your place of work is just as important as how the job candidate represents their workable value.  The following suggestions will help you to make the interview process more streamlined and professional.

1.)    Email the job applicants before the interview and inform them of the number and names of the interviewers.  Applicants can be overwhelmed with large Skype interview panels when they expected one or two interviewers. 

2.)    During the interview, take short-hand notes and make eye contact with the camera and/or screen as much as possible.  The applicant who only sees a screen full of people vigorously writing can become nervous.  In addition, staring at the crown of your heads is not as fun as you might think.

3.)    Before jumping into the interview questions, begin with introductions and small-talk.  This helps create a more comfortable interview environment compatible for effective discussion; needed to make informed decisions about the applicant.

4.)    Even though the Skype interview doesn’t have the physical presence of the applicant, treat the situation as if he or she was in the room.  This means avoid having smaller conversations while others are talking, write things down so that the applicant cannot see it on their screen (like candidate ranking sheets), and don’t eat or chew gum during the interview.  Just because it feels less formal doesn’t mean it is.

5.)     Dress professionally and represent your organization in a way that attracts quality candidates.  The first impression you make will affect the candidate’s expectation of your organization. 

6.)    Come prepared to the Skype interview knowing the candidate’s qualifications.  Simple internet search engines can also provide ample information that contributes towards knowing the candidates qualifications.  Have questions ready to ask the candidate about their qualifications and experience related to the new position.

Although rudimentary, these interview tips are often overlooked, weakening the integrity of interview processes.  Technology, such as Skype, requires extra considerations that traditional interview processes don’t need.  Digital communication is fast and cost-effective; hence, mastery of internet discussions, such as interviews, is highly recommended for 21st century professionals.

If you have any other tips add them below. 

Image

1 Comment

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

6 Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

The following tips are for job applicants about to have a Skype interview.  The suggestions are created from the interview panelist perspective and my next blog on Wednesday, June 6th will provide suggestions for interview panelists to make the process of a Skype interview better from an applicant’s perspective.

Six ways to increase your success during a Skype interview include:

1.) Be familiar with your video equipment before your begin.  The camera’s autofocus, your microphone volume level, the amount of laptop battery-life, and your internet signal strength are just a few tools that need to be considered and managed before you begin the interview.  I recommend practicing an hour before with a friend or colleague to ensure a streamlined presentation.  You and your interview panel will then be able to focus on the discussion and not be distracted by technical difficulties.

2.) Where is your camera positioned?  Avoid setting it on the desk below your head or on a shelf above you.  The outcomes of these two positions are unflattering and send mixed signals to the interview panel.  For example, I once interviewed a candidate and all I saw was the inside of his nostrils.  Ideally, we want to have a conversation with you at eye-level.  If your laptop or computer cannot dock a camera around eye-level, use another tool like a tripod.

3.) What is in the background? Make sure to eliminate distractions behind you so that the interviewers focus on you and not other things like your pictures, random people, a messy office, your library collection, or what’s going on outside of the window behind you. It’s funny how much an interview panel reads into the small things and even tries to infer who you are by what surrounds you. Make sure you’re sending the right message.

4.) Practice your eye contact.  Yes, talking into a camera can be awkward but Skype and other forms of virtual communication are here to stay; so you need to get comfortable and master the tools.  Before your Skype interview, practice speaking into the camera with your eye contact looking into the lens.  There isn’t anything more distracting or off-putting than someone whose eye contact is all over the place.  This is especially true when the applicant looks down at their own computer screen; all the interview panel sees is your eyelids.

5.) Professional appearance is up to you.  Digital interviews rely heavily on the first impression you make.  Besides dressing professionally, make sure that your LSF (lighting, sound, and camera frame) are how you want them.  I recommend a well-light environment that creates an up-beat and hopeful atmosphere.  Dark or overshadowed faces send heavy and sinister messages.  For sound, avoid rooms that echo and prevent interruptions such as phone calls, clock chimes, dogs barking, or doorbells ringing. Lastly, the frame refers to what the camera includes in your presentation.  Adjust the frame so that it records more than a super close headshot but don’t include your entire body.  I recommend your frame includes your upper torso (above your elbows and higher) to present a comfortable and professional video presence.

6) Be prepared.  Confidence and organization shine through Skype interviews and significantly affect your first impression.  Have a notepad, pen, a bottle of water, important questions for the interview panel, your resume, and the job description next to your computer (out-of-sight but clear and accessible if needed).  Remember, you’re interviewing the organization and interview panel just as much as they are interviewing you.  A goodness of fit should be established by you and them so show the panel that you’re really interested in their answers to your questions by taking notes and giving follow-up questions.  Also, try small-talk or casual jokes during the interview.  Most applicants using Skype are nervous and uncomfortable but preparation will help you be successfully memorable merely by being confident, comfortable, and prepared.

Good luck and let me know if this helps.

Image

4 Comments

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

You Are What You Tweet

Who are you on Twitter?  More importantly, how does the world perceive you based on your Twitter profile?  Did you know that what you tweet is just as important as who you follow? By Tweeting and following other profiles you create a unique personal brand.  Those investigating who you are make conclusions about you through both the direct (tweet) and indirect (who you follow) strategies which market your skills, interests, values, and priorities.  The Twitter profiles that you choose to follow reflect your purpose in life.  Dramatic? I think not.  If there’s truth in the saying, “your friends are a reflection of who you are”, than who you follow on Twitter is merely an extension of who you are on a global scale.

Ironically, who you follow and associate with on Twitter represents who you are to those who want to follow you.  (Still following?) You see, viewers can often determine where you live, where you went to school, what you do for work, your approximate income, age, gender, if you have a family, who your friends are, and who influences you just by reviewing the people and organizations that you follow on Twitter.  Viewers begin to see patterns and themes within your “Following” and hopefully, those are the messages you want to project.

For example, a law professor who follows other prestigious law professors, law firms, specialty law organization, and so forth reflects a consistent image devoted to the interest of law and justice.  If the law professor primarily followed physics, physics professors, and organizations devoted to physics, the professor’s personal brand would be inconsistent and distracting.  Depending on your motivation and use of Twitter, these distractions can weaken the integrity of your message.  Following other profiles on Twitter can create closer connections with people or organizations that share professional or personal interests, motivations, or commonalities with you.  Knowing this, Twitter users are able to infer who you are by reviewing not only your tweets, but who you follow.

What is it that you want to be known for?  Who you follow on Twitter reflects your interests, hobbies, language, culture, where you live, religion, humor, favorite television shows, books, sports teams, movies, etc.  Review your Twitter “Following” and decide if they are an appropriate reflection of yourself and the personal brand you want to be known for.

Image Reference

3 Comments

Filed under Leadership, Social Business

Online Higher Education: A brief article review

No Financial Aid, No Problem. For-Profit University Sets $199-a-Month Tuition for Online Courses, is a Chronical of Higher Education article introducing a revolutionary higher education model about for-profit online education.  I analyzed the article using political, structural, human resource, and symbolic organizational frames recommended by Bolman and Deal (2008).  The article addressed the benefits, obstacles, and controversy surrounding online education.  Even though the article stated that its online student enrollment has increased 30 to 40 percent each year, what are some other confounding variables that affect students and higher education?  Furthermore, how do employers perceive an online degree and will that perception help or hinder an online graduate’s probability of being hired?  The increasingly popular online education system provides a self-paced model creating flexible student schedules and a pay-as-you-go payment plan.

The article mentioned that online, for-profit universities are also changing the role of faculty.  Instead of a professor, faculty members are “Course Mentors”.  Their primary responsibility is to teach with little or no advisement requirements.  Furthermore, “Course Mentors” have no grading responsibilities.  “Graders” are outsourced staff with the sole responsibility to assess and record student grades (having no instruction responsibilities).  Like the online education revolution, almost every major organizational change is accompanied by new policy, new problems, and new solutions.  The question is, will educational leaders resist or embrace the changes?  Information Technology (IT) and Social Business (SB) will continue to synergize with higher education.  It will be the innovators and educational leaders who study and restructure the use of IT and SB to produce our most desired outcomes.

We will witness many intended and unintended consequences resulting from for-profit, online education.  These changes will transform traditional scholar, instructor, administrator, and employer roles.  As we redesign the college experience to fit a 21 century culture, let’s reevaluate our mission and policies from a structural, political, symbolic, and human resource organizational frame.  This strategy will help us plan and implement new initiatives contributing to the most efficient, effective, and streamlined hybrid higher education system.

Image Reference

Leave a comment

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

New Study: Mentoring Impacts More Than Graduation Rates

“Mentoring” can be defined as the structured, intentional and sustainable relationship between a person with more experience and knowledge (mentor) and a person with less experience and knowledge (mentee). Research has shown that mentored relationships can encourage professional and personal success, and that pre-college programs that include mentoring can more effectively help students transition from high school to college. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno College of Education suggests that the act of mentoring can contribute just as many positive outcomes for mentors as it does for mentees.

The study looked at college student mentors of sixth through twelfth grade students in the University’s Dean’s Future Scholars program. The program is an outreach, research-based mentoring approach to increase high school graduation rates and college enrollment for first-generation, low-income students. In the study, the college student mentors identified themes of how mentoring affected their own lives. The college mentors stated that being a mentor enabled them to reflect on their own behaviors as a student and make better decisions leading to their own success. As a result, the mentors believed it had inspired greater motivation for achievement, improved their own study and work habits, increased their accountability to faculty, and caused them to reevaluate their own professional goals. The lesson learned: being a mentor is more than supporting the goals of another. It is an opportunity to reflect on one’s own behavior, strategies and goals. Mentoring is a win-win situation for both those aspiring to attend college in the future, as well as for current college students who serve as their mentors.

The sixth through twelfth grader students who participated in the Dean’s Future Scholars Program since its foundation in 2000, have been given the knowledge, skills, direction and support to make the decisions necessary to graduate from high school and complete college. The program recruits students during their sixth-grade year from Washoe County School District Title I schools and mentors them through high school and college. The program has established a homegrown, sustainable educational model resulting in a 90 percent and 86 percent high school graduation rate of participants the last two years, respectively. This is significant when compared to Nevada’s high school graduation rate of 56 percent and the national average graduation rate of 74 percent.

The program requires students to meet with a college student mentor regularly to review grades, establish goals, make sure the necessary steps are taken to fulfill high school graduation requirements, and plan for college. The program also hosts a summer program to provide high school math courses, early college credit and an introduction to college life. It provides tutoring, examination preparation, community service projects, campus internships, college application assistance and financial aid. The program is largely funded by private donations and grants, along with campus resources.

The mentoring component is key to any academic or professional program. Aspiring college students should consider inviting a trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced mentor to provide guidance in their lives, and trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced professionals should consider mentoring students. To watch a short interview with Bob Edgington, director of the Dean’s Future Scholars Program, visit http://ow.ly/adKb5. Or, for more information on the program, contact Bob Edgington at 775-784-4237 or bobdfs@unr.edu.

 

Co-authors: Tara Madden-Dent & Dr. Patricia Miltenberger

Tara Madden-Dent is a Nevada Law Instructor and PhD Candidate in higher education administration at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Education; http://taramaddendent.com  http://twitter.com/#!/DrTaraMDent   http://www.linkedin.com/in/taramaddendent

Dr. Patricia Miltenberger is professor emeritus of higher education administration at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Education. http://wolfweb.unr.edu/homepage/pmilten/  https://twitter.com/#!/coyotepat   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/pat-miltenberger/20/719/38a

Leave a comment

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership

What Makes a Successful Expatriate or Student Traveling Abroad?

As I research and develop new strategies to increase USAC student, US expatriate, and transpatriate success rates, I realize that job satisfaction and mission achievement are dependent on two things: the caliber of early training/preparation and the clear expectations of individual performance.  These are the essential elements that students and employees must have in order to accomplish their learning or working objectives abroad.

Regardless of the reason for international travel, certain levels of preparation and study are required for optimal success overseas.  In the last few months, through interviewing transnational companies and researching study abroad programs, I have found that intensive international training models are lacking.  A successful trip overseas should include pre-travel assessments, continuous evaluation while abroad, and post-travel assessment in addition to supplemental cross-cultural sensitivity and customs training.  As digital citizens, communication is made easy and bimonthly updates should be protocol for every student and employee.  Dependable liaisons in both parent-country and host-country should be provided as well. Commitments to host-country relationships should be made far before the student or employee leaves the US and should be sustained while living in the host-country.  Practicing the language and using local resources while participating in internships or volunteer positions can help speed through transition stages.  Also, membership in community clubs, churches, and organizations should be considered to fast-track assimilation, strengthen relationships, maximize opportunities, and take advantage of time spent overseas.  A clear understanding of host-country cultural dimensions should prepare the traveler for the new region’s values and customs.

Did you know that the US is known for having the highest expatriate failure rates?  Research shows that this is largely due to family member cross-cultural inadaptability (not able to transition beyond culture shock stages).  Often, US expatriates travel overseas with their spouse and children but companies underestimate their influence on employee performance.  Companies should recognize the importance to thoroughly prepare family members as well as the employee.  An unhappy family can lead to an unhappy expatriate; thus a lower return rate on company investments.  Personalized training models that provide adaptation shortcuts will significantly help reduce periods of frustration and homesickness.  Mentors and SykpePals (like pen-pals) will also encourage a faster transition even before the student or employee leaves America.

As we continue to notice the impact of world staffing for global operations, we witness the development of global citizens or third country nationals (TCNs).  The amount of international accomplishment and job satisfaction presupposes the amount of time and money invested into overseas preparation.  Increase your success rate while studying or working in a foreign country by being honest with what you are expected to achieve and what you must do in order to achieve it. Visualize yourself in the new living environment and make local mentor connections to guide your transition.  Finally, dedicate sufficient time preparing for the language, cultural, and logistical differences abroad. For tricks, tips, and training, email me at tara@taramaddendent.com.  We can discuss the newest model of cross-cultural adaptation I am currently researching, designing, and testing to increase student, US expatriates, and transpatriate success rates.

1 Comment

Filed under Higher Education, Leadership