When I was a graduate student at Oregon State University my assistantship supervisor/mentor would always talk about Hobsons as the go-to provider for high level thinking and strategy about enrollment management. Now that they’ve purchased Starfish Retention Solutions, Hobsons is not only a major player in the recruitment and admissions space in HE, but they are also capable of delivering the latest technologies for student success and academic advising.
Last year, I had the opportunity to speak at my first Hobsons event. Here’s a breakdown of some of the concepts/ideas/thoughts that I spoke about:
- Digital leadership is everything when it comes to university innovation, learning, and growth. Individuals, institutions and organizations can use social media for leadership, listening, and learning.
- One of the aspects of social media that can be most challenging for universities is the fact that to truly “get digital” means that time must be carved out in order to holistically connect the variety of ways that engagement happens within an organization.
- With so many channels, apps, and sites it is important for digital leaders to remember that learning how to use digital channels is a process. Part of that process will be an organizational commitment to experimentation, creativity, and boldness.
- Listening, rather than posting, is an effective technique for learning the ways in which social media are used in the context of leadership. Identifying your peers who are active on social media is a great way to learn how things work. For example, Santa Ono, the President of the University of British Columbia provides a daily template of how to use Twitter for campus engagement. And, Ono might just be the first university president to create a daily vlog on YouTube.
- What Ono and other university leaders do via their digital leadership is role model to their campus communities that it’s okay, accepted, and encouraged to use social media for engagement and to enhance the student experience. Universities need digitally capable staff and digital literacy is vital for student success.
Hobsons University is held each year in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom. The conference is billed as the premier gathering of communications, admissions, recruitment, enrollment, and retention professionals.
There’s still time to register for this year’s Hobsons University event in Indianapolis, Indiana in July.
Next year’s Hobsons University for the EMEA region will be a must attend event.