My pal, Kenneth Elmore – Dean of Students for Boston University, knows how to elevate conversations. There aren’t that many deans of students who are as charismatic as Kenn. In this quick clip, he offers up some insight as to why he spells “Kenn” with two Ns. He also manages to tie a bow tie on camera without a mirror. Kenn’s wit is edgy. The close to this interview showcases Elmore’s ability to riff on the fly. Administrators can make art. In Kenn’s case, his media presence is creative, insightful, and always right on the pulse.
The main topic for today’s BreakDrink podcast was the potential unification of ACPA and NASPA. ACPA President, Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. was on the podcast to talk about his thought’s regarding the unification process.
I had asked a question on the BreakDrink blog in preparation for today’s conversation. Jeff Jackson, host of the show, asked my question about how/if Dr. Jackson had plans for using Twitter at next month’s ACPA Annual Convention. I decided to call in to the show and was able to use the Skype link on Blog Talk Radio to call into the show.
ACPA recently sent out an email announcement calling for applications for the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee:
The ACPA Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) is a member-driven advisory committee charged by the Executive Director of ACPA with developing the association’s long term Information Technology strategic plan and evaluating and recommending technology initiatives aimed at furthering the association’s strategic initiatives. In addition, the TAC is tasked with evaluating large-scale IT project requests to determine their applicability to long- and short-term association goals and, when necessary, to priority rank IT initiatives.
The TAC description made me feel quite hopeful about the state of student affairs technology…and then I read the following:
“You don’t have to be a technology expert to apply. We are looking for committed ACPA members with an interest in technology who are not afraid to voice their thoughts.”
Why, oh why, does membership in the TAC, which will drive the long term information technology strategic plan for ACPA, not require that someone be a technology expert? How can you evaluate IT projects, further strategic initiatives, and recommend technologies if you are not an expert? Is ACPA saying that there are not student affairs practitioners who are technology experts?
Not to be outdone by the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee notice, NASPA Tech Tools recently posted a word-for-word copy of a 2 month-old article about Google Wave from the Chronicle of Higher Education without really attributing the article. The NASPA Tech Tools site was created to “bridge the gap between student affairs and technology.” Unfortunately, it seems like a chasm at the moment…
Lately, I have received several emails asking me about my experiences as a higher education administrator and regarding my experiences as someone who has graduated from a college student services administration graduate program. I decided to attempt to answer all of them in a giant college student services / higher education administrator, question/answer blog post. The questions were sent to me via email, Twitter and Facebook. I’ve taken out the identifying bits of info and hopefully, some of my answers will be useful to folks who are thinking about working in higher education or pursuing a graduate degree in higher education administration / college student services…