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January 26, 2018

Institutional Survival Depends on Faculty Success

The winners of the higher education digital revolution will be the institutions, publishers, and software companies that prioritize effortless faculty engagement with technology.

“We’re going to live in an era of people finding their skills irrelevant at age 45, 40, 35.” — Bob Kegan, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Digital disruption is already well under way in higher education and for many, institutional survival and success will depend on enabling faculty with leading software experiences. However, when it comes to distance learning and technology, professors have been treated as an afterthought by Information Technology (IT) departments and software companies alike.

Throughout global higher education, the term “student success” has been all the rage for the past 5 years. It’s a major talking point, brand, sales pitch, feature, emphasis, and prioritized investment for pretty much every institutional department or company serving higher education. “Student Success” is the reason initiatives get funded and new features built.

Laptop over head

However, faculty are not getting the proper technical attention, prioritization and investments to help them be more successful at doing their job. So how can students be successful if their professors struggle under an unrelenting burden of impossible digital experiences.

Teaching and research are central to an institution’s mission. Faculty are passionate about teaching and research—those are the parts of the job they love best. And yet faculty are continually challenged to navigate disparate, complicated systems to do the job they love.

student touching light interface over iPad

In the end, all of us will need more education, from formal 4-year degrees to micro-credentials, in order to cope and adjust to the accelerating changes in employment and job requirements regardless of the role, position, and industry. Faculty success is imperative for the future survival of an institution and will be a key ingredient for the winners in the next phase of the great education digital disruption currently underway.

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