Hello, We're People: How Lessons from Journalism's Crisis Can Save Higher Ed

Hello, We're People: How Lessons from Journalism's Crisis Can Save Higher Ed

Before I co-founded Switchboard, I worked as a reporter. I studied at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and went on to work for National Public Radio, the Boston Globe, and popular shows like Marketplace and Planet Money. I reported on stories ranging from the opioid crisis, to pediatric burns caused by Cup Noodle soup, to rickshaw drivers in India.

It’s hard to overstate how much public newsrooms and education have in common, and how much both professions can learn from one another.

Ask Switchboard: How Can We Engage Alumni With Podcasts, Book Clubs, and Continuing Education?

Ask Switchboard: How Can We Engage Alumni With Podcasts, Book Clubs, and Continuing Education?

Today, the first installment in our Ask Switchboard column, where we or friends of Switchboard answer anonymous questions from readers.

Our first reader question is about using continuing education to engage alumni. Kathy Edersheim, formerly of Yale and now president of Impactrics, has written eloquently on the subject, so we hand it off to her.

A Lack of Professional Development Resources is Killing Constituent-Facing Offices in Higher Ed

A Lack of Professional Development Resources is Killing Constituent-Facing Offices in Higher Ed

Every month, we hear from folks in higher ed who are interested in Switchboard not because of what our company does, but because of what we have done—move from higher education to the private sector. Professionals in constituent-facing offices like career services, student affairs, alumni relations, and advancement want to know how they can transition from higher education, too.

This quiet, looming exodus is as frightening to watch as it is frustrating. It's frightening because institutions are losing the talent they need to succeed and survive in the changing higher ed landscape. It's frustrating because we know it is preventable.

When people leave their jobs, they each have their own reasons for moving on. But everyone we've spoken to shares one reason in common: a lack of professional development resources at their institution.

It's a huge problem, but we'll try to keep it brief. Here are four reasons why a dearth of professional development funding and opportunities is hollowing out constituent-facing offices.

Be Your Own Unicorn: Building a Strong Personal Brand

Be Your Own Unicorn: Building a Strong Personal Brand

There is so much buzz (read: extremely annoying buzz words) around building a strong personal brand. How can you own the internet? How can you make sure you are the go-to person for your area of expertise? The jargon and the tools suffocate, and at times, chokes your very essence to death . As a recovering higher ed professional myself, I’ll offer some straightforward ways to unlock your inner unicorn and make the biggest impact on your campus.

Hello, We're People: The Tao of Engagement

Hello, We're People: The Tao of Engagement

There is no word I use so often and dislike so much as I do the word “engagement.” It is overused, it sounds like it was lifted from an 80s business seminar, and—its worst crime of all—it is vague.

Because the word is already ubiquitous, we can’t get away from using it. So we try and try again to redefine it instead.

At Switchboard, we begin our weekly team meetings with a segment called “Hello, we’re people.” It’s a chance for us to be light-hearted and share something about ourselves. For example, what our favorite kind of pie is, or what sort of crime we’d most like to adjudicate as jurors (high-level white collar crime, across the board).

In that spirit, today I’m writing about how my understanding of Daoist philosophy informs my relationship with that terrible word—engagement.

How The Ohio State University's College of Engineering is Breaking Down Silos in Advancement

How The Ohio State University's College of Engineering is Breaking Down Silos in Advancement

High turnover and a lack of collaboration between units are the norm in higher education, but they aren't conditions we have to accept.

When Patrick Lynch started in his role as Director of Strategic Engagement and Alumni Relations at The Ohio State University's College of Engineering, he felt called to act after a number of his colleagues left within six months. He shared his experience working to create a culture of collaboration at the CASE District V Conference in December.

We asked Patrick to revisit that presentation and talk about his work for this extensive Q&A. In it, he touches on how he and his team are fostering collaboration, creating a share sense of purpose, and making changes internally that are improving their relationships with other teams.