Transformative Change Models in Higher Education – Part 2:

Changing Higher Ed podcast 210 with host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guests F. Joseph Merlino and Deborah Pomeroy

Table of Contents

Changing Higher Ed Podcast 210-Transformative Change Models in Higher Education-Part 2 with guests F. Joseph Merlino and Deborah Pomeroy
Changing Higher Ed Podcast | Drumm McNaughton | The Change Leader

4 June · Episode 210

Transformative Change Models in Higher Education - Part 2

By Dr. Drumm McNaughton

Strategies for driving transformative change models in higher ed teacher prep programs. Insights on change theory and the 5th presidential quandary.

 

Transforming Teacher Preparation Programs for the 21st Century

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the four primary quandaries that university presidents and higher education leaders must navigate: the tension between mission and revenue, the challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration and integration, the need to address college access and equity, and the balance between admitting in-state and out-of-state students.

Part 2 examines the strategies and approaches for tackling teacher preparation challenges and driving transformative change in higher education. Through their research and practical experiences, Joseph Merlino and Deborah Pomeroy share valuable insights on effective change management, the importance of understanding change theory, and the role of service learning in enhancing both pedagogy and research.

 

Supporting Professors and Processes Through Change Theory 

To effectively drive transformative change in higher education, presidents and leaders must understand change theory and the process of change. Change must be driven by a meaningful purpose that is owned by all stakeholders. When everyone buys into the shared vision, a significant part of the battle is won.

Change is a messy and time-consuming process. Confronting evidence alone does not guarantee change; it requires support, space for experimentation, and the acceptance that mistakes are part of the learning process. Professors must be allowed to try new things and work with their peers without fear of negative consequences. Presidents and policymakers must provide the necessary support mechanisms and recognize that transformative change takes time.

The work of Merlino and Pomeroy in Egypt provides an example of this process, where educators were exposed to exceptional work produced by high school students that far exceeded their expectations. This experience challenged preconceived notions about student capabilities and the potential for transformative learning experiences. Seeing firsthand the quality of work that students can produce when given the opportunity and support to tackle real-world challenges can be a powerful motivator for change.

 

Challenging Existing Beliefs and Assumptions

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, driving transformative change in higher education often necessitates confronting deeply held beliefs and assumptions about current practices. This concept bears repeating, as it is a crucial element in the change process.

Convincing individuals to embrace change can be challenging, as simply telling someone they need to change is rarely effective. True change arises from a personal realization and an encounter with evidence that contradicts previously held beliefs about what is working.

For instance, professors who strongly believe in the efficacy of lecturing may face a situation where, despite delivering an engaging lecture, students struggle to learn effectively. Exposing educators to research and examples that challenge their long-standing beliefs can create a powerful impetus for change. When presented with evidence that contradicts their assumptions, educators are more likely to acknowledge the need for alternative pedagogical approaches.

The work Merlino and Pomeroy conducted in Egypt serves as a striking illustration of this process where educators were exposed to the remarkable work produced by high school students, which greatly surpassed their expectations. This experience challenged preconceived notions about student capabilities and the potential for transformative learning experiences. Witnessing firsthand the caliber of work that students can achieve when given the opportunity and support to address real-world challenges can be a compelling catalyst for change.

 

Aligning Change with Core Identity, Mission, and Legacy

Ensuring that the desired change aligns with the institution’s core identity, mission, and legacy is imperative. Change does not emerge from a vacuum; it is rooted in the university’s history. Understanding this context is vital for presidents and leaders as they navigate the challenges of driving transformative initiatives.

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) serves as an excellent example of aligning change with its core identity and mission. Under the leadership of President Diana Natalicio, one of the longest-serving presidents, UTEP transformed itself by embracing its Hispanic population and making the border an asset rather than a deficit. The university’s mission became a vehicle for the upward social and economic mobility of the Hispanic population it served. By reaching out to the community, high schools, and other stakeholders, UTEP developed a reciprocal relationship that transformed the institution’s culture and research programs.

Presidential Positioning: Establishing Networks and Building Trust

For presidents appointed from within the institution, having an established network of like-minded individuals, or a “posse,” is invaluable in driving change. These informal networks, combined with the formal authority of their positions, enable leaders to effectively implement their vision.

However, when appointed from outside the institution, new presidents face the challenge of establishing these networks and building trust. This process takes time, as they must understand the dynamics at various levels of the institution, from the provost to the deans. The advantage of an outside perspective is the potential to bring a fresh vision that insiders may be hesitant to embrace.

 

The Importance of External Facilitators in the Change Process

When driving change in higher education institutions, the role of external facilitators cannot be overlooked. In the Egypt project, the U.S. Agency for International Development served as an external facilitator, providing a neutral perspective and lending credibility to the change process. External facilitators can help navigate the complexities of institutional dynamics and bring a fresh perspective to the table.

Having an external facilitator conduct a presidential onboarding process, as described earlier, can be particularly valuable for presidents appointed from outside the institution. This process involves interviewing key stakeholders, understanding the problems, and identifying trustworthy individuals. By gaining insights into the institution’s dynamics, new presidents can formulate their goals, objectives, and plans based on insider knowledge.

 

The Role of Service Learning in Pedagogy and Research in Transforming Teacher Preparation Programs

Service learning plays an important role in transforming teacher preparation programs and enhancing both pedagogy and research. Partnerships between universities and high schools, where professors collaborate with teachers on authentic problems and pedagogy, have revealed a rich, reciprocal relationship. Contrary to the common misconception that learning flows solely from professors to teachers or students, these interactions have shown that professors often learn as much, if not more, from the teachers than the teachers learn from them.

This service component not only supports pedagogy but also enriches research, enabling professors to explore new ideas and change their conceptual frameworks within and across disciplines. The professional growth and enrichment of the universities are greatly enhanced by this service component, warranting a greater emphasis in the reward structure.

The disciplinary benefit of service-learning challenges the notion that devoting time to service will negatively impact research. Surveys have revealed that professors, by interacting with their disciplinary peers at the high school level, are prompted to rethink certain lines of research they would not have ordinarily pursued. This interaction results in both pedagogical and disciplinary research benefits, countering the perception of service as a zero-sum game.

 

Service Learning Incentives: Rethinking Tenure and Promotion

The traditional allocation of weight in tenure and promotion – 40 percent research, 40 percent teaching, and 20 percent service – may need to be reconsidered in light of the changing demographics and challenges in higher education. Texas Tech University, for example, faced a declining population in its traditional drawing areas and needed to attract students from further away. To incentivize faculty to engage in summer institutes and camps, the president and provost led the change to include service beyond the university as a key factor in tenure and promotion.

This shift in tenure and promotion criteria recognizes the importance of faculty engagement with the community and the potential for service learning to enhance both pedagogy and research. By rewarding faculty for their contributions beyond the university, institutions can foster a more dynamic and responsive educational environment that better serves the needs of students and society.

 

Bridging the Gap Between High School and Higher Education

University faculty often express concerns about the lack of critical thinking skills and willingness to engage with novel problems among incoming high school students. These concerns align with the findings from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) studies on employer expectations. Employers seek individuals who can work effectively in teams, think critically, analyze data, and draw conclusions. These life skills are essential regardless of one’s discipline and are crucial for success in both higher education and future careers.

To address this issue, university professors could collaborate with high school teachers to explain the expectations at the university level. By emphasizing the importance of working in groups and tackling problems without clear answers, professors can help high school students develop the skills necessary for success in higher education and future careers.

As discussed in a previous podcast with Madeline Atkins, Lucy Cavendish College, part of the University of Cambridge, provides an example of how universities can bridge the gap between high school and higher education. By having professors work with high schools and gifted students, providing support with the application process, and offering a bridging week to introduce students to university life, Lucy Cavendish College was able to admit 90 percent of its students from public institutions, a significant increase from the typical 30 percent at Cambridge and Oxford.

This approach not only prepares students academically but also fosters a sense of belonging, which is crucial for student mental health and success. By engaging with high school students early on and providing them with the tools and knowledge to navigate the university environment, institutions can create a more inclusive and supportive educational experience.

 

The Fifth Quandary for Higher Education Presidents

In addition to the four quandaries discussed in Part 1, a fifth quandary specifically targets higher education presidents. This quandary revolves around the challenge of establishing networks and building trust, particularly for presidents appointed from outside the institution.

In successful cases of transformative change, such as at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the president had a long tenure, rising through the ranks from professor to dean and eventually to the presidency. Along the way, the president developed a clear vision for the university’s future and surrounded herself with like-minded individuals who became her “posse.” This informal network, combined with the formal authority of their positions, enabled the president to drive significant change.

However, when a president is appointed from outside the institution, they face the challenge of establishing a network and building trust within the university community. This process takes time, as the new president must understand the dynamics at various levels of the institution, from the provost to the deans, and gain their support. Without a strong network and the backing of key stakeholders, implementing change becomes difficult.

The advantage of an outside perspective is that the new president may bring a fresh vision and a willingness to take risks that insiders might hesitate to embrace. However, this must be balanced with the need for a strong internal network to effectively drive change.

To address this quandary, institutions can benefit from a presidential onboarding process, as described by Drumm McNaughton. His firm has experience in conducting such processes, as exemplified by the case of William “Brit” Kirwan, who served as president at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Ohio State University, as well as the system chancellor for the University of Maryland system, for a total of 27 years in leadership roles.

When Kirwan transitioned from the University of Maryland, College Park, to Ohio State University, he had an external facilitator conduct an onboarding process. This involved interviewing key stakeholders, identifying their positions and concerns, and uncovering potential problems. By gathering this insider knowledge, Kirwan was able to formulate his goals, objectives, and plans for moving forward in a way that addressed the specific needs and challenges of the institution.

The presidential onboarding process is a valuable tool for new presidents, particularly those coming from outside the institution. It allows them to gain a deep understanding of the university’s internal dynamics, build relationships with key stakeholders, and develop a strategic plan that is informed by insider perspectives. This process can help new presidents establish the strong networks and trust necessary to drive transformative change.

In a reciprocal way, the onboarding process also provides an opportunity for the president to enlist stakeholders in their vision for the institution’s future. By developing personal relationships and openly communicating their goals and plans, presidents can build support and alignment around their strategic direction.

 

Three Key Takeaways for Higher Education Presidents and Leadership

  1. Understand change theory and the process of change, recognizing that change must be driven by a meaningful purpose owned by all stakeholders.
  2. Ensure that the change aligns with the institution’s core identity, mission, and legacy.
  3. Navigate the challenges of establishing networks and building trust, whether appointed from within the institution or coming from the outside.

 

Wrapping Up Part 2

Transforming teacher preparation programs and driving change in higher education requires a comprehensive understanding of change theory, a commitment to aligning initiatives with the institution’s core identity, and the ability to establish networks and build trust.

By embracing service learning, rethinking tenure and promotion, collaborating with high schools, and leveraging the expertise of external facilitators, universities can bridge the gap between high school and higher education, preparing students for success in their academic and professional lives.

The insights shared in this two-part series, drawn from extensive research and practical experience from McNaughton, Merlino, and Pomeroy, serve as a valuable resource for those seeking to drive meaningful change in higher education. As emphasized in the upcoming book, “New Era, New Urgency: The Case for Repurposing Education,” we are in a new era that demands a fresh approach to education.

University presidents, boards, and executive leadership must recognize this urgency and take action to drive the necessary changes in higher education, ensuring that institutions continue to fulfill their mission of providing transformative educational experiences while adapting to the evolving needs of society.

 

About Our Podcast Guests

Joseph Merlino is the President of the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education and the co-author of a new book, New Era-New Urgency: The Case for Repurposing Education. For 35 years, he has served as the principal investigator or director of many National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Agency for International Development projects. He was a co-PI on a six-year project to study transformative STEM change in six higher education institutions. Based on this past research, he has been working in Egypt for the past 12 years, where he directs a $24M project to design five new undergraduate STEM teacher preparation programs involving 180 new courses in 5 universities. He oversaw the development of 21 new model Egyptian STEM high schools based on 11 Grand Challenges. He has a BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester and an MA in Education from Arcadia University.

Deborah Pomeroy, EdD, is an associate professor emeritus of science education at Arcadia University. After three years in scientific research, she shifted to a career in science education and taught high school science for 19 years in Fairbanks, AK. During that time, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Following her high school teaching career, she completed a doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School for Education. She then taught science education at Arcadia University for 14 years where she consulted for several school districts and directed multiple education reform projects K-16. Much of her work in higher education involved both helping facilitate the development of new curricula and facilitating and studying the impact of partnerships between professors and high school teachers. Later, in Egypt, she helped to lead a massive project to develop a new integrated STEM education curriculum funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

 

About the Host

Dr. Drumm McNaughton is a higher education consultant specializing in governance, accreditation, strategic planning, change management, and mergers.

Transcript: Changing Higher Ed Podcast 210

with host, Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guests Deborah Pomeroy & F. Joseph Merlino – Changing Teacher Preparation in Higher Ed

Transforming Teacher Preparation for the 21st Century

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the four primary quandaries that university presidents and higher education leaders must navigate: the tension between mission and revenue, the challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration and integration, the need to address college access and equity, and the balance between admitting in-state and out-of-state students. These quandaries represent complex challenges that require careful consideration and strategic approaches to drive transformative change in higher education.

In Part 2, we dive into the strategies and approaches for driving transformative change in higher education.

Welcome back to the show…

 

Deborah Pomeroy: So, that gets into really talking about a theory of change. And clearly, individuals and institutions have to be convinced of the need to change, but that is not going to happen by an outside agent saying you have to change. That change has to come from a realization, a confrontation with evidence that conflicts with their prior conceptions or their conceptions of what is working. It’s not until they actually confronted the reality that there could be another way to learn. And that other way to learn would require just amazing transformations. Then it started.

Drumm McNaughton: So, what is that other way? You’ve dangled it out there saying this is great. So, what is that other way?

Joseph Merlino: Well, the other way starts by taking the view of the other. Taking the view of the other, and from the president’s standpoint, the president wants to make changes. Taking the view of the other means taking the view of the faculty, for example, as one other, in addition to taking the view of high school teachers, taking their point of view.

And I can give you a quick example of that, but my point is that university faculty, in my experience, do not understand the complexity of an administrator at the dean’s level, and certainly not at the president’s level, in terms of all the factors that they have to deal with. And that’s a big thing because to make those changes, you can’t have the faculty saying, “Oh, well, if the president only did this we wouldn’t have this problem.”

Rather than understanding the constraints that the institution as a whole has getting back to these quandaries, but in terms of solving them, El Paso, was known as an Anglo institution on the border, and they had a changing demographics with more Hispanics coming in, and there’s a very low morale in the early seventies.

Deborah Pomeroy: This is UTEP.

Joseph Merlino: UTEP at University of Texas at El Paso. When Diane Natalicio, who was one of the longest-serving presidents, came in as a linguistics professor, a Hispanic, a very different point of view. Her point of view was: let’s make the border an asset rather than a deficit. Let’s embrace the Hispanic population rather than saying you know, we’re going downhill.

And so, she completely transformed it by having a relationship with El Paso County. The university draws 85 percent of its students from El Paso County. So, what she did is reach out to the community, reach out to the high schools, through NSF grants, and develop a reciprocal relationship between the surrounding school districts and their needs, the hospitals, the other community centers, and the university.

So, the mission became a vehicle for the upward social and economic mobility of the Hispanic population that was in. That was their mission. And so you have a very different kind of culture that was transformed there. And she had a posse of people that believed in the affirmative nature of the Hispanic population rather than seen as a deficit.

So, her research program, which her aim is to be a research one institution, she has themes, or she had themes of research that was around the border, cybersecurity, and border conflicts, et cetera. So, she took what looked like a deficit and turned it into an asset.

Drumm McNaughton: One of the things that we chatted about yesterday was a different model. We talked about it just a little bit for tenure and promotion, your TNP.

Joseph Merlino: Yes.

Drumm McNaughton: Typically, its 40 percent research, 40 percent teaching, and 20 percent service. With there being a lack of traditional demographics for colleges, and it’s going to get worse over the next few years.

And the challenges with the readiness of students. There’s a way that you guys talked about from the service perspective and getting the professors out working with the high school students and things along those lines.

The Role of Service Learning

Drumm McNaughton: Talk about that because I think that is something that’s very different than what happens now, and it could be a game changer if it’s done properly.

Deborah Pomeroy: One of the, what we feel is a misconception is that, when professors interact with high school teachers or with students, that the learning is directed from the professor to the high school teacher or the students. And it’s basically a one-way interaction and in our math science partnership program, we worked with 45 school districts and 13 colleges and universities, and they formed partnerships between the universities, the higher ed institutions and the high schools.

And we had the professors working with teachers around authentic problems, around pedagogy, because the idea was, ideally, to support the. transformation of teaching and learning to make it much richer and better. And what we found is that the professors were learning as much, if not more, from the teachers than the teachers were learning from the professors.

So, we found this really rich reciprocal relationship, and, in some cases, that actually affected the professors in that they were able to do new research and do new writing and change their conceptual frameworks within their disciplines and across disciplines in unintended ways. So, in fact, if they had stayed in their research silos, they would not have had that kind of enrichment.

So, the service learning, the service component, turned into a richer learning component, which actually supported, not only their pedagogy, but their research as well.

So, in other words, the contribution to the professional growth of the professors and the enrichment of the universities themselves was greatly enhanced by that service component. We felt that this certainly deserves a much greater emphasis in terms of the reward structure.

Drumm McNaughton: Joe.

Joseph Merlino: Yes. I could just elaborate a little bit on how you got this disciplinary effect because it’s been thought of as if I devote any time away from my research, like to service, it’s going to suffer. So, it’s an either/ or zero-sum game.

What Deborah found, and she did surveys of a couple hundred faculty, is that we started to see this phenomena, where the professors, by interacting with their peers at the high school level, we’re not talking about students, we’re talking about high school teachers, some of whom have PhDs, would interact with their disciplinary peers at the collegiate level and were asking questions that prompted the professors to rethink certain lines of research that they would not ordinarily do.

So, you were getting not just a pedagogical benefit, you were getting a disciplinary research benefit.

Deborah Pomeroy: Right.

Drumm McNaughton: Yes, it reminds me. I did a project with Los Angeles Unified School District many years ago. We went in and looked at how they were structured. They were rolling out a new math instruction guide, and it turned out they were not getting the results that they wanted.

So one of the recommendations we made, they had been structured, we’re going to talk about math for middle school and we’re going to talk about math for high school, et cetera.

Instead of doing it end to where teachers knew what was being taught the year before, you know, they knew what they needed to teach and how they needed to be, have the students ready for the next year. So, that end-to-end math versus sectioning it off by middle school, high school, etc. It made a huge difference. I think that’s what you’re talking about here, isn’t it?

Joseph Merlino: Well, you have the research angle benefiting the universities, but you also have another thing. Is that you will have, when we were dealing with university faculty, they would always complain about the high school students coming in. And it was a complaint in two ways.

One is that they gave them novel problems and they didn’t know how to do it. I’m not talking about rote stuff. I’m talking about novel kind of problems. They didn’t know how to think about it. But also, they didn’t want to think. A lot of these high school students come in, and they’re posed questions, and they’re used to having the professor tell them what the answer is. And the professors want them to think because if you are at that level, the reason you do research is because you don’t know what the answer is.

So, if you’re going to be learning how to be a chemist, you have to be willing to think about problems where there’s no answer, and no one’s going to tell you what the answer is. You can have discussions, but there’s no one telling you that. So, It would be very helpful, for example, if university people could come into a high school. I’ll just give you an illustration to your point, Drumm, where they explain the reason that your professor is asking you to do this novel problem, and have you discuss things in group, is because at the university level that’s what we’re expecting you to do. And you have to get used to, if you’re going to be a research scientist, if you’re going to be employed by a hotshot business, they want you to come up with innovations where they don’t know the answer,

Drumm McNaughton: Yes.

Joseph Merlino: and they want you to work in groups to figure it out.

Drumm McNaughton: Exactly, that goes to the AAC&U studies from employers, is they want people who can work in teams, who can think critically, who can analyze data, draw conclusions. These are life skills. These are skills that, regardless of your discipline, you have to be able to do these things.

What you’re talking about also reminds me of Madeline Atkins over at Lucy Cavendish College, part of the University of Cambridge. They had a goal to where they wanted to admit 90 percent of their students from public institutions within the UK, and if anybody knows Cambridge and Oxford, 30 percent is more like the number that they get because it’s very elite, private schools and prep schools that get there.

Well, Madeline was able to do this, and she did this by having the professors go out and work with the high schools and, gifted high school students to get them ready. And when they were ready and they applied, and they were given help with their application process, et cetera, their essays, once they were admitted, they came in for a, what they call bridging week, which is, introduction to the university, this is how we teach the tutorial model, we give you mini exams so that you get a sense of it. You have a great map as you walk between classes.

 So, when you get there for orientation you know everything and there’s this sense of belonging, which really goes back to one of those initial quandaries that, that we talked about the students and the mental health. They are preparing students to be ready when they get there. Just what the professors should be doing too.

Joseph Merlino: So, to get to the issue of tenure and promotion and the triumvirate of that, Texas Tech University, we saw the president and the provost were leading the change with their board to change the allocation of weight to include service learning, or service beyond the university as a key factor.

Because in their case, they’re on the high plains near Lubbock. They drew from 16 counties, traditionally. But those counties have changed in their demographics, they can’t draw as much because the population is declining. Instead, they have to draw from 400 miles away. So, they need to do summer institutes and summer camps. And how would they get faculty to want to do that?

So, they had to reward the faculty for that kind of thing, as well as service integration, around Texas Tech. Like, like you said with, Lucy…

Drumm McNaughton: Lucy Cavendish college, Madeline Atkins. Let’s go back a little bit to.

Theory of Change and Presidential Leadership

Drumm McNaughton: The theory of action, the theory of change and how can presidents apply this to make changes at their university?

Deborah Pomeroy: Well, one of the things that we recognize, and I think most people who are really in change theory, is that even just confronting the evidence doesn’t mean that you’re going to change. And change, that process of conceptual change is very messy. And it takes a long time, and you have to make mistakes in order to be able to learn from them and find out where you move beyond.

And that takes a tremendous amount of support, and it takes, sort of a changing of the idea that the professors are going to be expected to be experts in everything, including pedagogy and professors have to be allowed the space to try new things. They have to be allowed and be provided support to work with their peers so that they can have that kind of peer support where they’re all trying new things and if they end up with a bad evaluation one year that, you know, in one semester in a course or something, that may not be all that bad because what they’re doing is they’re novices, they’re trying new things.

And if, yeah, presidents and policy have to allow and support that kind of change and the expectation cannot be that it’s going to happen in one year. It’s going to take longer, and those support mechanisms have to be in place.

The Fifth Quandary

Joseph Merlino: So, let me introduce a fifth quandary. Fifth quandary that’s specifically for presidents, and that is this:

In places where they’ve been able to make change, like at UTEP, you had the president being there for 30 years. She was a professor, a dean, became the president, and along the way, she had a vision for what the university should become very early on. And she surrounded herself, or accumulated, like-minded people that became her posse, and it was that network of people, that informal network, along with the formal authority from their positions, that allowed her to do things.

Consider the difference when a president becomes appointed that doesn’t have any network at the university. They have to establish that network, but as Deborah said, it takes time, and then you have to know who you’re dealing with at the provost level or at the dean’s level, because you can’t get anything done unless you have their support etc. So that takes time. The advantage of an outside person is that they may have a vision of what needs to happen that maybe an inside person doesn’t want to admit to or doesn’t want to take the risk of doing.

And we’ve seen both cases. In the case of El Paso, yes, she had a vision from very early on and she accumulated that vision, which is already revolutionary.

In another institution that I was involved with, they had inside people, but they didn’t have a vision. So, you need both your inside people that you can network with and a vision. The dilemma. You need both.

Drumm McNaughton: Yes, and if you’re coming in from the outside, this is something that our firm has done, is doing presidential onboarding. One of my partners, William “Brit” Kirwan, who was the president at Maryland College Park, Ohio State, and the system chancellor for the University of Maryland system. He was in the big chair for 27 years. He had somebody do this for him when he came from University of Maryland College Park to Ohio State, is go in, interview the key stakeholders, know where they are, find out what the problems are, because he was walking into a situation where he didn’t know anybody, he didn’t know who he could trust. He didn’t know where people were, and by having someone come in and do this onboarding process, you’re able to really formulate your goals, your objectives, your plans for moving forward, based on what people know on the inside. It’s a wonderful process.

Joseph Merlino: Well, in a reciprocal way, you also gain the benefit of enlisting people in maybe where you want to go because you develop the personal relationship with them that later on you can go to them and say, here’s what I’m hearing.

Drumm McNaughton: Exactly. Well, this has been a wonderful conversation and I want to thank you both for the time.

You’ve given the audience a lot to chew on, , between the quandaries and how to deal with them, restructuring. , I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t talk this much normally on a podcast, but, as a guest s will know that they’ve heard from me a lot more than they generally do.

So thank you very much.

Deborah Pomeroy: Well, you’re very welcome. I’m glad it got your creative juices going as well. It’s been a lot of fun for us.

Three Takeaways for University Presidents and Boards

Drumm McNaughton: Absolutely. And as we always do, we wrap up with two questions. First, and trying to digest this two part podcast into 90 seconds of takeaways. Give us three takeaways for university presidents and boards.

Joseph Merlino: Deborah, I’ll do the last. You can do the first two.

Drumm McNaughton: Oh, nice guy. Ha ha ha!

Deborah Pomeroy: I think that one of the, the biggest takeaways has to be understanding of change theory and the process of change and the idea that change has to be driven by meaningful purpose that is owned by everybody. All the stakeholders, if they all buy into that, then, then that’s a lot of the battle won, that’s one.

And of course when we talked about the top down, the middle out, which is the growth of the professors, the deans and professors, and then attending to the constituency of the students coming up from the bottom. I mean, huge pieces of effective change, but Joe, you’ve got more to add.

Joseph Merlino: Well, I would say along with purpose, it relates to your core identity and your core mission and your legacy, and how it doesn’t come out of nowhere, right? It comes out of a history. But to learn more about this process, you can read our new book, that’s just coming out, it’s called.

Drumm McNaughton: us to the, what’s next for you?

Joseph Merlino: What’s next? So, Debra and I have been working on this book for the last 14 years. It’s called ” New Era, New Urgency: The Case for Repurposing Education”. And we go into the historical, analysis as well as a contemporary view in our work in Egypt. And we talk a lot about universities and the history of their, mission and purpose. And I think it provides a context for our new era that we’re in. We are in a new era, and so it may be helpful for university presidents and others, to take a look at it, we’ve gotten great reviews from it, and it’s born out of practical experience in trying to make change. Again, it’s “New Era, New Urgency” by Roman Littlefield Publishers.

Drumm McNaughton: Thank you very much. Appreciate that. Joseph, Deborah, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Greatly appreciate your time and your knowledge sharing with us. look forward to the next time we get a chance to talk.

Joseph Merlino: I hope so.

Deborah Pomeroy: It’s true. We hope so. It’s been a pleasure.

Joseph Merlino: I hope it will be soon. Thank you so much.

 

 

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