Catching Up on Inside Higher Ed

Student Affairs and Technology at Inside Higher Ed

Being a blogger for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) has been one of the greatest opportunities in my professional career. Thus far, as the Student Affairs and Technology blogger, I’ve written 346 blog posts in 5 years. The site and its team of reporters, bloggers, and editors is a constant source of camaraderie and support…and when you’re an independent consultant, it’s nice to have at least some connections to a regular business/journalistic operation.

As previously mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog (today being the exception as I’ve been cranking out post after post after…you get the idea), I wanted to share several of my most recent IHE posts on this blog because I think it’s always a good idea to let one blog know what the other blog is doing…especially when you’re the author. So, get ready, because this is going to be a long post…seriously, this a good one:

Social Media Questions and Answers
Social Media Questions and Answers

CSSA 599 sounds like the name of a new droid for the new Star Wars movie. However, CSSA 599 is a special topics class at Oregon State University. Recently, students from the class tweeted a series of questions about social media/technology and invited me to respond. Giving answers in 140 character bursts makes you be extremely concise with your responses. After ruminating on their tweets/questions, I decided to write up some longer responses.

Pass the cast with Periscope
Pass the Cast Using Periscope

When Periscope came on the social media scene a mere 7 months ago, they made quite a splash. Acquired by Twitter before their official launch, Periscope (a direct competitor with Meerkat) is all about live-streaming mobile video with a social media twist.

Hello is a reintroduction
Hello is a Reintroduction

Sometimes you just need to say “hello.” From Apple to Adele, hello is oftentimes a reintroduction. Lately, it’s been an interesting professional exercise. When work takes you to multiple countries, colleges, universities, departments, disciplines, topics, etc., the act of saying “hello” and filling in the blanks of “what is it that you do?” takes a bit more time/effort than it did when titles were familiar and employment wasn’t the “self.”

Observations From the Frat Subreddit
Observations From the Frat Subreddit

Recently, I’ve been observing the r/Frat subreddit. It’s a fascinating space on reddit. If you work in student affairs, especially Greek Life / Fraternity Sorority Life (FSL), I would suggest that you take a look. The comments/posts are a melange of good, bad, and ugly.

Digital Identity Dev is a Process
Digital Identity Dev is a Process

Our digital identities matter. What we post, share, say, upload, snap, and tweet represents our digital identity. It’s our online presence.

Getting Digital is Required
Getting Digital is Required

When every individual in an organization gets digital, the entire organization benefits. In higher education, being digitally capable has to be required. Most students are paying a lot of money for their higher education. They deserve a tremendous experience. It’s unacceptable for anyone who works in higher education to be anti-technology or digitally underdeveloped. Get digital or get out of the way.

Getting Connected to UK Higher Education

Eric Stoller is learning about UK higher education using social media

My latest post for Inside Higher Ed tells the story about how I’ve been using social media to learn about UK higher education.

On “Side Hustles” and Being Your Own Boss

podcast with Eric Stoller

Every time I make it “around the horn” to celebrate another successful year of consulting, speaking, and writing, I get a bit reflective about the journey. As if on cue, Dustin Ramsdell from the The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast, invited me to do an interview about my endeavors.

Here’s the full audio interview where I go into detail about my journey as a student affairs professional / higher education consultant. I manage to throw in some thoughts on work/life balance as well as some insight into what my typical day is all about.

Spoiler alert: life is great, work and life aren’t a dichotomy, and it’s been 4 years since I started doing this work full-time. Thanks Dustin for giving me some time on your show.

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Some thoughts about college students and Yik Yak

My latest post for Inside Higher Ed gives you a bit of info about the “hot mess” that is the anonymous app – Yik Yak.

Getting Radical at the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

Eric Stoller - Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

The most-commented, most-discussed post that I’ve ever written for Inside Higher Ed was last year’s “Where Are the Radical Practitioners” entry. It quickly collected far more comments than I had expected, and I made the decision not to answer any of them due to the epic amount of time that it would’ve taken to constructively engage with all of them. Out of frustration and needing to vent, I did write up a quick “pseudo addendum” and posted it to this blog as “Radical and Student Affairs.”

What happened after that was an intriguing journey as I was asked to talk about being radical in student affairs at the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference. In hindsight, I don’t think I really needed the social media aspect of my Big Ideas talk. Next time!

Unlike any other conference that I spoke at last year, 99% of Big Ideas featured speakers weren’t employed in higher education. It made for a fascinating event. My favorite part of the Big Ideas experience was meeting so many cool speakers. Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere and I had a great chat about our appreciation for retro Saucony sneakers. Amber Rose Johnson gave a slam poetry reading that gave me chills. And then there was Dayna Steele…well, she’s a legit rockstar! The full slide deck and video of my talk is after the jump. Continue reading Getting Radical at the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

Mashable – Social Media Day Boston

Mashable Social Media Day - Boston - Eric Stoller

So this post is amazingly late. However, here it is… Last summer, I was asked to be on a social media panel for Mashable’s Social Media Day in Boston. The topic for the panel was on building brands with social media. Taking place at Boston University, the panel was moderated by BU’s Steve Quigley. It was my first time working with Steve and I was thoroughly impressed. He’s a PR professor at BU and I hope his students soak up as much of his wisdom as they possibly can. Joining me on the panel were Tamsen Webster and Tyler Cyr. Tamsen knows everything about social media. I’m serious. Tyler does social media for Dunkin’ Donuts…I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’m a Starbucks guy. I was thrilled to be representing higher education and to just listen to all of the knowledge that Steve, Tamsen, and Tyler dropped at Social Media Day Boston. Remember, if you go to a party, engage in a conversation..the same thing goes with social media. The full video from our conversation is after the jump. Continue reading Mashable – Social Media Day Boston

“Radical” and Student Affairs


I asked a question and received 40 comments: “Where are the Radical Practitioners?” One of the interesting themes was the idea that people couldn’t be radical (as they defined it) for fear of losing their jobs…couple that logic to another theme: because I am no longer a fulltime student affairs practitioner, I am no longer qualified or credible when it comes to asking about or asking for radical practices in student affairs. Seems like I am in a prime position to add radical commentary as I am not in a position to “lose” my job. Although, some (and I would agree) would say that I am in a far riskier position as a consultant who generates controversial critical conversations. And, while I was employed fulltime, I would like to point out that that was when the majority of my radical writing took place. In fact, I remember when I got raked over the coals after this post came out about student affairs and technology. That particular post, in my view, was fairly benign in terms of its “radical” nature. However, it was perceived by some as too provocative. That’s me….a thought provoker.

Radical Student Affairs Practitioners … Do they exist? Does our profession allow them to exist? Do we nurture them or isolate them? Are they leading our associations or quietly leading from the periphery? Does Student Affairs deconstruct the status quo or do we sustain it?

What do you think? Add your voice to the comments at the original post on Inside Higher Ed.

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Blogging for Inside Higher Ed

Student Affairs and Technology - IHE year 1

I’ve been blogging for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) for 6 months. The word cloud represents the most-used words in the 45 posts that I’ve written for my “Student Affairs and Technology” blog. Twitter has been one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s such a wonderfully versatile social media tool.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my ride as a blogger for IHE. I write at least 2 posts per week. As a seasoned blogger, having deadlines and a post quota has been incredibly motivating. My editor has a fantastic sense of humor. He has been a delightful boss. I can’t wait to see if I can crack 100 posts in 2011.

The only caveat of course has been that this blog has been a bit neglected. I’ve been much more active on Twitter in 2010. With a paid blogging gig and Twitter taking up more of my publishing time, I do try to put something up on this site from time to time. Stay tuned for significant site updates. I plan on incorporating more of my consulting endeavors on this blog as I continue to navigate the “Stoller Coaster.”

ACPA and NASPA Consolidation update

ACPA and NASPA are the largest higher education associations for student affairs practitioners. With a total membership of almost 20,000 student affairs professionals, these two associations play a pivotal role in the future of the profession. The topic du jour for most association members has been the conversation taking place regarding the issue of consolidation. Taking two associations and turning them into one mega-student-affairs association is no small task. According to the latest consolidation proposal, unification has been an ongoing conversation topic for the past 30 years. However, this latest attempt at creating a single association has achieved a momentum that hasn’t occurred in prior years. It would appear that we are at the cusp of the creation of a brand new organization. With a tentative consolidation vote to take place in the spring of 2011, student affairs professionals are scrambling to find out information about the future of ACPA and NASPA.

Both associations have created centralized information portals for their members:

With so much information being presented on both association sites, it can be a bit overwhelming. I know that I have had a heck of a time keeping track of all of the various communication channels that have been used to disseminate information and to capture member feedback. As a friend and member of both associations, I am hesitant to critique the communication strategy of this process, but I think things need to be more streamlined. The conversation seems to be getting quite fragmented due to too many disparate channels. An upcoming webinar on consolidation (For ACPA members, Monday, December 13, 2010, 2pm–3:30pm EST, Registration is required) should hopefully clarify some of the recent proposals. I know that I will be “attending.”

Having said that, here are a few of the information pieces / feedback forums that I have found to be quite helpful as I formulate my own opinions regarding consolidation:

I think that consolidation will eventually happen. Both associations have served their members well and a newly formed association will continue the traditions and legacies of both organizations. I applaud all of the leaders involved in the process as most of them are employed at institutions throughout the country. Their service is inspiring as they help to transform the future of student affairs.

What do you think…is consolidation going to happen? Why? Why not?

Do you tweet? Let’s connect. Follow me on Twitter.

[Cross-posted from my Inside Higher Ed blog.]