University Business May 2018 - 9

The faculty also keep the university's
heart beating. They're the ones who are
there at the beginning institutionally,
they're the ones who'll be there long after
presidents leave, and long after boards
change over. That gives them enormous
perspective.
But as you point out, they are often
overwhelmed by workloads and are
increasingly being replaced by parttime faculty. How can they possibly
share in the governance?
You have to look at how you handle faculty load. I would argue that the faculty
need to have more power, and the people
placed on the faculty committees that
deal with the management of a university ought to be more senior.
Within the framework of trustees and
administration, you have to ask yourself
what advances a college or university the
most. The answer is a commitment from
seasoned veterans at all levels. But that is
superseded by the importance of the faculty. It's just terribly important that you
have seasoned faculty who know what is
going on beyond the college gates.
You wrote, "There's a cognitive dissonance between what America needs
and what its future workforce will be
trained to do."
I feel strongly about that. I think you
should double down on the defense of
the liberal arts. I believe the argument
that it produces an educated citizenry is
a great argument, but it no longer resonates with the American public. That's
the plain, hard, cold fact.
The liberal arts trains you to think
by developing the skills to articulate, to
write, to apply quantitative methods, to
use technology, and to work in a collaborative setting. So, let me ask you a
question. Which would you rather hire?
An engineer who is narrowly, technically
trained or an engineer who not only has
www.universitybusiness.com

Faculty need to have more power,
and the people placed on the faculty
committees that deal with the management
of a university ought to be more senior.
the technical skills, but also the ability to
write and to speak and to apply quantitative methods?
I would hire the second one because
I know the value of a liberal arts
education.
Yes, but the point is that value hasn't
been communicated in a way that resonates with the American public. If you
want to link what the workforce needs
and what society wants, society wants
the second person because that person
does a better job meeting the needs of
the workforce than the first person.
The chapter on enrollment was enlightening. I'd wager most people-
and probably many in higher education-don't really know how incoming classes are created.
I think that's true. You need to start with
a predictive, analytical financial aid
model. You need to recognize that trying
to attract kids from pricey ZIP codes to
pay the freight for scholarship kids who
can't afford to pay is a limited strategy
because the demographics and the birth
rate in the country work against that.
And the number of international students who might be full-pay is more variable these days than it was even a year
ago, both because of perceptions abroad
and because of potentially restrictive legislation here at home.
So that means changing the way you
do enrollment. It means placing much
more emphasis on retention in student
life than we have historically. For ex-

ample, a student decides to transfer out.
Studies show that a student will transfer
out because they don't feel that they
found a nest or a home. If that's the case,
then why? It's because the student life
programming isn't working.
So you need to not only look at enrollment in terms of academic programs,
but also the thousand teachable moments that exist outside the classroom.
Right. Then you can link the two together. It may be that your institution
needs a marching band or a Frisbee
club team or a gospel choir, because
that's what the students' interests are,
and that's where they'll find their home
outside the classroom. That's what helps
retention more than anything else.
Your recruitment needs to be much
more intentional because, in fact, you
can find a much better student at the
outset if you know that student is interested in, say, music. It may be that your
institution needs a marching band or a
Frisbee club team, or a gospel choir, because that's what the students did.
We found at Bucknell that a lot of the
engineering students also loved playing
musical instruments. They joined Bucknell's symphony or the jazz band. That
gave them a home. It gave them some
folks to hang around with beyond, say,
fraternity orientation or biomedical engineering colleagues and peers they met in
their classroom. That made them much
better connected to their institution.
Tim Goral is senior editor of UB.
May 2018 | 9


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