International Educator - March/April 2018 - 44

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INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION LEADERSHIP
By Stephen G. Pelletier

How to Manage Change:
Best Practices for Anticipating and
Adapting to On-Campus Changes
credited with the adage "change is a constant," might
have felt at home in a campus international office, where change is a recurring theme. Apart from
geopolitical changes that affect the flow of students and scholars, international offices regularly face
administrative changes that can be evolutionary or revolutionary. Bosses come and go. Budgets get
trimmed. Reporting relationships change. Staff move on.

HERACLITUS, THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHER

If change is the context, what strategies can help senior
international officers (SIOs) weather the storms that will
inevitably buffet their offices?

Scope of Change
Like other campus offices, international education is subject to change at the top. A new president, for example,
might have a new vision for the institution's international
activities. The new leader might have a more direct effect
by appointing a new provost or other senior administrator who has managerial authority for the international
office. In a similar vein, a new president might opt to
create a different campus operating structure, with wholly
different reporting relationships for the international
office. Change at the top may become even more routine:
The American Council on Education's 2016 American
College President Study found that university presidential
tenure averaged just 6.5 years in 2016-down from 8.5
years in 2006. The study also found that more than half of
current presidents planned to leave their post in five years
or sooner.
Change can also come in other forms. In today's
economic climate, allocations for international offices can
prove to be less than what an SIO budgeted. Worse, unanticipated mid-year corrections can sometimes trim budgets
that are already constricted. Tight budgets might mean
scaling back vital office activities like trips abroad. Budget
cuts might lead to reductions in staff, and the concomitant
need to reassign staff functions and responsibilities. Staffing
equilibrium can be upset by other events, such as when
a staff member needs a medical leave or simply decides
to seek other opportunities. Technology is unequivocally
a game-changer: evolving fast, it continually creates new
demands for how international offices must work.
44  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R .+ A P R . 2018

Understanding Change
Experts say a good way to approach change is to first have
the right attitude about it. "Don't be afraid of change," says
Michele L. Petrucci, associate vice president for international education and global engagement at Indiana
University of Pennsylvania. In the face of change, she says,
"be flexible and look for opportunities. A lot of positives
come out of change." As an example, Petrucci recalls when
turnover in a lead staff position sparked her to not simply
replace that person but instead to use the opportunity to
reframe some fundamental responsibilities across her staff.
Apart from embracing the positive power of change, many
experienced SIOs turn for guidance to research on change
management. Stephen K. Appiah-Padi, who directs the Office
of Global & Off-campus Education at Bucknell University,
says that SIOs should familiarize themselves with tools like the
ADKAR change management model and Kurt Lewin's theory
of change. Applying models like these to your situation "helps
you to see what is happening on the ground, and then see how
you can fit your situation into it," he says. "That is a really good
way to start."
While some change models have top-down orientation,
Jeff Whitehead, who directs the Study Abroad Office at the
University of Pittsburgh, prefers an 8-step model of change
developed by John Kotter, an emeritus professor of leadership at Harvard Business School. Using the Kotter model, he
says, helps staff buy into change in an organic way, encouraging staff engagement in a manner that doesn't feel like a
forced exercise being imposed by "somebody with a vision
sitting somewhere in an office."
Appiah-Padi says SIOs also need to think specifically
about their own roles as leaders of change. "Change management is about more than how people handle the change,"
he says. "It's also about helping employees make successful



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Canada
Quick Questions
Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Global Spotlight: Canada
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Forum
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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