71 episodes

Welcome to innovating together, a podcast produced by the University Innovation Alliance. This is a podcast for busy people in higher education who are looking for the “aha moments” that can propel their work forward. Innovating Together curates the best insights, research, and experts. To connect with us further, visit www.theuia.org.

The Innovating Together Podcast University Innovation Alliance

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 27 Ratings

Welcome to innovating together, a podcast produced by the University Innovation Alliance. This is a podcast for busy people in higher education who are looking for the “aha moments” that can propel their work forward. Innovating Together curates the best insights, research, and experts. To connect with us further, visit www.theuia.org.

    Interview with University of Maryland Global Campus President, Greg Fowler

    Interview with University of Maryland Global Campus President, Greg Fowler

    Interview with University of Maryland Global Campus President, Greg Fowler


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    • 28 min
    Interview with Oregon State University President, Becky Johnson

    Interview with Oregon State University President, Becky Johnson

    Today, we are talking to Oregon State University interim President, Becky Johnson.  After the last president stepped down after only nine months on the job, OSU needed someone to step up and restore confidence.  With 37 years of involvement at OSU, President Johnson was the ideal candidate to take up the reins.  She’s known for being humble and having the ability to project calm.  She credits this with a strategy of standing back and accepting the situation.  Likewise, she says nothing is ever as bad as it seems at the moment.  Even in the worst of times, a calm presence is needed more than ever.

    Coming through the pandemic, President Johnson believes focus needs to be on resources for getting more students into college.  It’s important that we help kids to start thinking about college starting in middle school.  Waiting until their juniors and seniors in high school doesn’t do them any justice.  She believes it’s time for K-12 partnerships to be updated.

    President Johnson credits her involvement in team sports for teaching her leadership.  She says team sports taught her how important confidence is and that it’s important for leaders to display confidence if they expect others to follow them.  She also learned to look closely at who is on her team and where their strengths lie.  Getting people in the positions they’re best suited for is critical.  She’s also found importance in having a vision and reverse engineering to see what is needed to realize that vision.

    When others come to President Johnson for advice, she’s quick to ask them to be authentic.  Don’t get in the habit of saying what you think needs to be said because of your position; be honest, so people can trust in you.  When it comes to leading in a difficult time such as COVID-19, President Johnson tells others to listen and assess.  Find out what people are worried about, what the challenges are, and then assess what you can realistically do about it.  Focus on moving forward where you can.


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    • 26 min
    Interview with Everett Community College President, Dr. Daria Willis

    Interview with Everett Community College President, Dr. Daria Willis

    Today we are talking to Everett Community College President, Dr. Daria Willis.  Only 6 months into her presidency, COVID-19 hit, which she says made it a very interesting experience.  She says they are now up to about 30% face to face or hybrid and that number will trickle up as they get into the Spring quarter.  They’re currently focusing on their strategic plan and looking to the future.  Dr. Willis says she has found that some students really love online learning and want to keep it, while others are looking forward to being back in person.  They’re working on a balance of the two, so students can do what works for them.

    When it comes to burnout, Dr. Willis says that was an issue even pre-pandemic.  She refers to it more than initiative fatigue that was exasperated by the pandemic.  She says they’re trying to get back to the mission of who they are, and to say here are some things we can’t do anymore.  Her message to the college is that they can’t be all things to all people.  One way they’re managing burnout is by looking at telecommuting policies.  The pandemic has shown us that it’s possible to run a college from a home computer, and so flexible scheduling for their employees will be in the works.

    In Washington state, the legislature has put a lot of focus behind guided pathways. She says that while they get a considerable amount of funding, they also get many coaches who are all there to do the same thing.  She’s found herself asking which of these coaches they actually need, and they’ve gone from 6 to 2.  This is just one decision that gives them room to breathe.  In a tight-knit community, people want the college to do everything, but Dr. Willis says that ‘no’ is a complete sentence occasionally.

    Dr. Willis says the best advice she was ever given was in kindergarten, and that was to treat others the way you want to be treated.  It’s simple advice, but it’s often hard for people to do.  When asked for her best advice, she tells others to say yes more.  The more opportunities you take, the further you’ll go.


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    • 27 min
    Interview with Dr. Bradley Custer and Dr. Jenna Sablan

    Interview with Dr. Bradley Custer and Dr. Jenna Sablan

    Today we have two guests, Dr. Bradley Custer from the Center For American Progress, and Jenna Sablan from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.  They’re here to talk about student success and college completion.  Right now, congress is trying to pass President Biden’s bill that would include a college completion fund worth $62 billion over 10 years.  The house currently has the bill down to $9billion over 7 years.  This new proposal for a federal pot of money would benefit states and institutions in funding student success.  The popular name for this idea is the College Completion Fund.  A big part of the bill focuses on free community college, but it also goes a step further in focusing on getting through college.  In a sense, we’re moving from access to completion. The higher ed field should be excited because of the many options available for the funding and the spotlight on evidence-based programs.

    The bill calls for 30% of the funds to be dedicated to evidence-based programs. The rest of the funding can be spent on a wide range of things like comprehensive support services and emergency grant programs.  Institutions and states will have to make their case as to why these programs are worthy of federal funding.  The program would be run through the state, and they would be responsible for distributing funds and evaluating programs.  The states would report back to the Department of Education in order to chart data and see how programs are progressing and making an impact.  This bill gives priority to less resourced institutions as well as institutions with minority groups.  Having the states in the driver's seat ensures a focus on replication and scale.  States can decide to keep money at the state level for programs and practices, or can be distributed down to individual institutions.  In order to take advantage of these funds, the state has to participate in the free community college side of the bill and in doing so would have to match funds for that.

    If you want to signal your support for this, use the hashtag #collegecompletionfund.  We also encourage college students to contact their own representatives in congress about free community college, increases to Pell Grants, and the College Completion Fund.


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    • 31 min
    Interview with Kristina Johnson, President of Ohio State University President

    Interview with Kristina Johnson, President of Ohio State University President

    Today, we are talking with the Ohio State University President, Kristina Johnson.  Having just started at Ohio State last year, during the pandemic, President Johnson is happy to see things starting to get back to normal.  When she first started they were limiting gatherings to less than ten people, which President Johnson says made it hard to get to know members of the college.  By late May, just after graduation, they started to have in-person meetings again. Throughout the year President Johnson made sure to come into the office every day to be as visible as possible.  When it comes to leadership, President Johnson says she looks at it as being both a coach and a team player.  She says you have to be able to do both the little and the big things well.  Sometimes you’re the coach, and sometimes you’re a player.

    President Johnson says for new students coming in, they’re excited about this new chapter after having their senior year of high school mostly remote.  When it comes to Sophomores, they feel like it’s their first year for a second time.  President Johnson reflects on a graduation celebration they had in August for those who graduated virtually in 2020.  She says it was great to see the excitement for all the students and their families on overcoming such a difficult year.

    Recently, Ohio State announced a $20million investment in campus public safety.  President Johnson says safety is her number one priority.  These funds will help do things like expanding their free Lyft ride that gets students safely to and from campus. It will add more lighting and cameras not just on campus but in surrounding areas.  They’ll also use these funds to expand their security.  In addition to funding public safety, Ohio State is focused on investing in hiring faculty because they are who will be guiding and teaching the next generation.

    When asked what the best advice she’s ever been given was, President Johnson says the former President of Ohio State told her to ask for help.  He said it was too big, complex, and difficult of a job to do by yourself.  She says she’s taken this advice to heart and asks for help often.  When it comes to the advice she likes to give to others, President Johnson says she tells her students to be servant leaders.  She says it’s important to serve the people you wish to lead.


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    • 28 min
    Interview with Dr. Bryan Brayboy from Arizona State University

    Interview with Dr. Bryan Brayboy from Arizona State University

    Today we are talking to Dr. Bryan Brayboy from Arizona State University.  Dr. Brayboy is known for his research on race and diversity in higher education, as well as experiences of indigenous students and staff in universities.  Today, he discusses the misunderstandings that exist regarding indigenous people in higher ed.  He says the first misconception is that those students don’t exist in this space.  Another misconception is that indigenous people get their education paid for, when in fact finances are the primary barrier for these students.  Dr. Brayboy says people also mistakenly believe that the transition from tribal community to university is easy.  There are some things that have been done in the name of serving indigenous students that simply miss the mark.  Land acknowledgments, for one, feel more performative with little to no follow up.  Dr. Brayboy says when we talk about land, we should understand that we’re talking about a physical space and that it should be more about a place, or a space with meaning.  Dr. Brayboy says we need to recognize history and do something about it.

    Indigenous people have been in the news lately because of the boarding school survivors, which brought up a history of indoctrination.  Dr. Brayboy says it’s impossible to not acknowledge past wrongdoings in regard to assimilation and tearing culture away from indigenous people.  Institutions need to get clear about who they are in regard to these matters.  We need to be asking indigenous people how we can address these past issues and then develop a plan to move it forward.  The key is to include indigenous people’s perspectives.

    There’s been a national conversation about critical race theory, or CRT.  Dr. Brayboy says the broader public isn’t getting much right about CRT, which emerged from critical legal studies in the late 70s.  It was meant to take a look at how we think about the law and institutional barriers rooted in race.  Dr. Brayboy says we haven’t done a great job being clear about civics education, and most people don’t know a lot about how the government works.  We need to get a clear sense about the history of founding documents and structure of government.  In regard to CRT, we need to stop thinking it’s about who should be ashamed of who they are and focus back on institutional structures and how race affects that.


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    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

InnovationEducation ,

Awesome Content

Awesome! Finally an education podcast that is actually about education!

educateyourself2021 ,

Love it!

Love this podcast and the web shows.

Creatingchange ,

Great stuff!

Appreciate how wide ranging the guests and campuses featured are, and how conversational the overall tone is. We’ve been missing something like this in our sector.

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