ASCN Blog

Responding to Racism


Posted: Sep 15 2017 by
Inese Berzina-Pitcher
Western Michigan University
Inese Berzina-Pitcher, Western Michigan University
Institutional Change: Change Leaders
Target Audience: Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Institution Administration, Non-tenure Track Faculty, College/University Staff
Program Components: Professional Development:Diversity/Inclusion
In response to the events that took place in Charlottesville, we sent ASCN members an email with a subject line – "How shall we respond to racism?" in which we condemned these appalling displays of racism, violence, and ignorance, and discussed how they brought to light the importance of education in fighting racism and promoting equity and inclusion. We also reaffirmed that fighting racism and promoting equity and inclusion are a daily responsibility, and an important priority in our work. More

Change as a Scholarly Act


Posted: Aug 30 2017 by
Judith Ramaley
Portland State University
Judith Ramaley, Portland State University
Institutional Change: Change Leaders
Target Audience: Graduate Students, Institution Administration, Non-tenure Track Faculty, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff
The Accelerating Systemic Change in STEM Undergraduate Education (ASCN) Network was set up to accelerate change at program and institution levels, and to improve STEM education nationally. Underlying all of these efforts is the question of how to think about change itself and how to launch, expand, and then sustain and adapt a large-scale change effort in the context of our college and university environments. Much of the literature on change has been developed through the study of change efforts in business settings (e.g., Kotter 1996, Heifetz and Linsky 2002). While approaches like these offer a number of useful insights into the nature of change itself and effective ways to think about and lead a change effort, they are based on the culture, approaches to leadership, and working relationships that characterize a business environment. More

Reflections on the SMTI/ASCN Workshop on Diversity and Inclusion


Posted: Jul 13 2017 by
Inese Berzina-Pitcher
Western Michigan University
Inese Berzina-Pitcher
Institutional Change: Communication, Policy, Costs and Benefits, Assessment, Change Leaders, Guiding Theories
Target Audience: Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, Institution Administration, College/University Staff, Post-doctoral Fellows

Last month in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) we organized SMTI/ASCN Workshop on Diversity and Inclusion.

One of the major objectives of the workshop was to advance a dialog on diversity and inclusion in undergraduate STEM education between practitioners transforming institutions and researchers who are studying systemic change at higher education institutions.

The workshop featured case studies of institutions that are making progress on increasing diversity and inclusion on their campuses. These case studies were used to stimulate small group discussion amongst all participants on what is working or not on their campuses. In addition, small group discussion by ASCN working groups also were offered.

With a great interest we read reflections offered by the workshop participants and in turn More

What advice about the use of measurement would you give to a department chair?


Posted: Jun 9 2017 by
Pamela Brown
CUNY New York City College of Technology
Pamela Brown
Institutional Change: Assessment, Communication
Target Audience: Institution Administration, Non-tenure Track Faculty, Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty, College/University Staff

I was invited to participate in the Accelerating Systematic Change Network (ASCN) Workshop, held at the HHMI in the summer of 2016 and have since continued collaborating with Working Group 4, with the goal of shedding light on using data to drive change – identifying, explicating and disseminating sources of information. I have served as the Associate Provost at New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a minority serving, public, urban college, for the last 5 years, after having served as the Dean of Arts and Sciences for 6 years. Following are my responses to the guiding questions forwarded by the working group's leadership. More

Do We Have the Courage for Systemic Change?


Posted: Apr 24 2017 by
Jeanne Century
University of Chicago
Jeanne Century
Institutional Change: Guiding Theories

In 1994, I was a graduate student. It was the onset of the "systemic change" era. Funders, professional organizations and education leaders alike were painting a picture of a new "paradigm"; a shift away from what was framed as a traditional conception of reform — individual programmatic efforts— to a more comprehensive, integrated, "systemic" approach (Fuhrman & Massell, 1992; St. John, 1993). As I wrote then, "this new language of reform is exciting; conjuring up images of a revolution in education that may finally have the strength to cure the ills of the weakened competitive spirit and "mediocrity," of our "nation at risk" of the last decade..."

Twenty-three years later, as a member of Working Group One, I was asked to respond to the following prompt: What does systemic change mean to you? As I mulled this over, I reflected on all of the literature I had reviewed More

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