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Episode 50

transformed: Transforming the Teach/Learn/Work-space over Time

In this episode, Dr. Bill Coppola – President of Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus – describes how a faculty idea to use more whiteboards ten years ago has evolved into an ongoing transformation of methods and work spaces throughout the institution.

Welcome to transformed a Higher Digital podcast focused on the new whys, the new what’s and the new how’s in Higher Ed. In each episode, you will experience hosts and guests pulling for the resurgence of Higher Ed while identifying and discussing the best practices needed to accomplish that resurgence culture, strategy and tactics planning, and execution people, process, and technology. It’s all on the menu because that’s, what’s required to truly transform. 

Joe Gottlieb: (00:35)
Hello, welcome and thanks for joining us for this special presidential series episode of Transformed. My name is Joe Gottlieb, President and CTO of Higher Digital, and today I am joined by Dr. Bill Coppola, President of Tarrant County College Southeast Campus. Bill, welcome to transformed.

Bill Coppola: (00:54)
Thanks, Joe. Really happy to be here. So what do you wanna talk about today?

Joe Gottlieb: (00:58)
Well, glad you asked. I want to talk about how you have iteratively transformed the teaching, learning, and working spaces at your college over the last 10 years. But first, tell me a bit about your personal journey and how it has shaped your perspective and passion for the work that you’re doing in higher ed.

Bill Coppola: (01:17)
Sure, I’d be happy to. And a whole lot of us are working on this transformation. Um, so I never expected or anticipated being into education. Um, I graduated, um, from Michigan State University with a degree in television and radio, and actually worked for a P B S station until I got laid off after a few years in the early eighties and moved down to Texas looking for a job. And I saw an ad in the paper that they were starting a video technology program at the Dallas Community College District. And I decided to throw my name in the hat to see that, and interviewed, they liked me, and they hired me and put me on a six month contract in order to do it. Um, time went by, put me on a year contract multi-year, and then some people, um, what what leaders do is I identified myself and said, Hey, would you like to be in administration?

Bill Coppola: (02:06)
You’re good at putting things together. Helped me get my master’s and my doctorate. And after about 15 years of leaving a as an assistant dean, uh, went on to the Maricopa Community Colleges for a few years and then got pulled back to Texas. Uh, you, you never quite leave Texas to the Lone Star, uh, system that brought, uh, to be a dean and ended up as a vice president of instruction after 10 years. Um, and then came to Tarrant County College as president 11 years ago. But what the passion part, um, here is that when I got into education, I really didn’t know what I was doing. I thought I was just trying to teach what I know. But I found out that though many of the students there, especially at a community college, were looking for a way out of their personal situation, not just to get an education. And I found that very compelling that they were putting themselves on the line in order to that. So that made my role a lot more, and I really learned early on, and I tried to share this with all of my faculty here, is that we are changing people lives more through who we are than what we do.

Joe Gottlieb: (03:08)
Uh, it’s a, it’s, well, it’s amazing background. And, and, and that last bit is just so, so true. It really, it really is a very rich description of what community college is all about and increasingly being called upon again to deliver. Right? We’ve got a lot of, a lot of chaos, a lot of disruption in the education industry. There’s a lot of call for reform that, um, uh, one could easily argue, has a lot of merit, um, behind it. And yet community colleges are once again, being asked to do even more with frankly, less. And, uh, and yet the role in the community, the, the, the role that they play just seems so important. Um, I I like to call it the workhorse of the higher ed system, but, um, interesting background and, and, and that must give you passion, uh, I’m sure.

Bill Coppola: (03:59)
Yes, it does. And it’s, and, and I’m glad you said that about, uh, being transformed now because for the first time, uh, community colleges, the hardest thing we have to do is tell our story of what we do. And because we’re so, what we have to be is so flexible and nimble, and we gotta change quickly with the change in environment. That’s why this discussion is so important.

Joe Gottlieb: (04:22)
Oh, it’s so fascinating. Right? And, and so, okay, so let’s, let’s set the stage. Okay. Your, your transformation story starts about 10 years ago when some of your faculty came to you re requesting the expanded use of whiteboards. So where does that go?

Bill Coppola: (04:39)
That’s a, that’s a, that’s a, it was a, it’s a great story. I, it is where I learned a lot about leadership. I learned real fast, and I’m not the smartest person in the room. Um, and I, and a lot of people are waiting for the president to say, here’s where our direction we’re gonna go in. Well, some of my senior math people, not my new ones, but my senior math people came back from a conference like they usually do. And they came to me and they said, Dr. Kapo, we just saw an active classroom. And I said, what’s an, what is that? Is that where students can write on all the walls? And we even have tables that they can write on. The tables ish. Furniture was movable. And I said, okay, let’s go ahead and build one. We were ready to transform some classrooms anyway, I’ll let them out.

Bill Coppola: (05:21)
The design, they went through the training themselves, and the, the, the, the design about it was about how students learn, not about how teachers teach. And in math, which is very intimidating to students, students did not like getting up in front of the whiteboard doing a quadratic equation with 20 students watching them. So this put the students a smaller groups working in groups, and they working on that. The faculty then got to work with the students more of a one-on-one basis. And the class did so well that the retention, we had a hundred percent retention in a, a math class, developmental math class. As they moved on to the next section so much that the next semester when those students got put in a traditional classroom, they complained cuz they wanted to go back to that original classroom, which got us thinking in administration that we’re not doing what teachers want to do, what do students want to do? So then we built three more of those classrooms and also build three for our speech sections for students rather than speaking in front of the whole class was in a smaller group. So that really transformed the way we serve our students and just the way we also listen to everybody else that are really the boots on the ground with the students.

Joe Gottlieb: (06:33)
Uh, such a great lesson and, and a memorable story seems so simple, but, but you don’t hear a lot of stories like that where, where two things happened, right? There was an idea coming from faculty in particular, right? They had learned something new and they were willing to change and they brought it to leadership, and leadership let ’em run, and then they found the great results they were hoping for. And then it expanded. I mean, you, you, you, we just, we you wanna orchestrate more stories like that because they, it must have given you an amazingly organic velocity.

Bill Coppola: (07:11)
Yeah. And it gave me, and it gave credibility to the administration that we’re going to listen and change. Um, when I interview faculty, I have hundreds of faculty I’ve hired. I always, when I was faculty for 15 years, the best part of being faculty is if it didn’t work that one semester it’s over. Mm-hmm. You got another semester, you can start over with something new. You’re not, it’s not like administration that could work in 24 7 the whole time.

Joe Gottlieb: (07:33)
Interesting. Um, maybe we’ll get back to that. I love that notion of, well, semester seems long in the grand scheme of, of, of, uh, professor’s careers and certainly institutions trajectories. A semester is a pretty short unit of time where you can learn and you can adapt. Okay. So we’ve got whiteboards everywhere. Campus is enjoying the benefits where those things have shown up. And then around, well, let’s see, four or five years later, about six years ago, parent county college begins its next transformation. So what was driving that?

Bill Coppola: (08:06)
Well, what was driving that is that we were getting ready to change the way we serve students and be a student first strategy that we were doing, I was under, uh, we passed a bond of about, uh, 820 million for the whole district. We’re a six campus district. My campus then, which is the smallest, but the hot, the second highest population was able to get complete transformation. So we got two new buildings going up and our main buildings getting gutted and retransform that allowed us. Then we, we went embarked onto, uh, three goals and eight principles, a strategy that the college put put forth that three goals of is, uh, being one college student ready and serving the community. And then principles in order to do, in order to support those goals. Goals. So the three principles, what we really wanna do with three things. One is have an open workspace environment so more collaboration can happen.

Bill Coppola: (09:03)
So all of our, we got rid of all the offices, we’re getting rid of ’em now, and the faculty are moving into what we’re calling neighborhoods. There’s five of them. And all of the staff are moving into that, including myself. I, I got, uh, a workspace. We, we don’t call ’em cubicles, but I have a workspace that I’ll be working in along with my vice presidents and my executive team all within the same hallway. So we can work more collaboratively on that. And this is a way that they can also work with students. We also are going into an integrated instructional learning environment, or ilie, we call it. That principle, looked at the active classrooms. So now we’re really going to more high tech in those classrooms than I talked about earlier. But the biggest change is we’re, we’re transforming our library, which is a traditional stack book stacks into a learning commons, which is really gonna be the center of the campus.

Bill Coppola: (09:51)
And that is where we’re hoping that all of the action takes place. So all of our faculty and all of our staff are issued laptops that are cloud-based. And when they wanna meet with students, they meet ’em in an open area space rather than having an office hour with one student at a time. All of our classrooms have movable furniture, and we, all our faculty are required to go through a learning institute in order to learn how to use, to, to learn, to lay it pedagogy into learning how to use the classrooms so they can reach students the best way.

Joe Gottlieb: (10:22)

Bill Coppola: (10:23)
That’s not in a short period of time. I know.

Joe Gottlieb: (10:24)
Yeah. So you’ve been able, even as the the president there, you’ve been able to lead by example, by taking a workspace yourself. I imagine you’ve had to solve for what many businesses have also solved for in other industries where for confidential conversations, you go to a, a conference room or a, a, a private, you know, phone booth, what have you. Is that true? Right.

Bill Coppola: (10:45)
Yeah. What, so what we, what we have in our, we were just looking at the plans before this. I had the whole campus. I expose ’em to the plans. We have what’s called huddle spaces. There’s soundproof, you know, it’s kinda like the corner of silence, you know? Yeah. But there’s soundproof room. So when you have to meet with a student privately, you have a whole space to go to. Or if you have to make a phone call, you can go into a huddle space.

Joe Gottlieb: (11:07)
Awesome. So now what started with whiteboards and then became more high tech, but it was more in the instructional learning, um, dimension. You’ve now even taken that on in the administrative side. And so you’re really, you really are transforming your ways of working right. In service to the students via student first strategy, uh, using these evolved methods and, uh, and workspaces.

Bill Coppola: (11:35)
Yes. And what’s really important here is you can’t work in silos anymore. You know, we’re not hierarchal from the top down. Um, we, and if when you work like that, it takes too long because you certain, you know, you, you have an idea, you form a committee who decides that we, we need another committee. It goes on down. This puts us all in the same space at the same time. And we just have a lot of collaborative, um, bounce things off the wall. Let’s bring the right people into place. What we really, um, cherish here at Tarrant College, and I really appreciate is that everybody has a voice of the change. Hmm. You know, we learned this, I think there was a model with Toyota. They said anybody could stop the line at any time.

Joe Gottlieb: (12:19)

Bill Coppola: (12:19)
We have everybody at the table where even I think one of the best stories we have, we were changing the way we were doing advising with our students. And the best idea came from one of our junior level advisors who got to present in front of the chancellor’s cabinet with an idea. And that idea was then implemented rather than bringing it to bringing it up the levels. So all of the administrators are open to here and well, what not. Again, going back to you, you’re not the smartest person in the room. The people are really doing the work, are the ones that know where the roadblocks are and where the students are struggling at. We just read a lot of articles and hear from, hear from disgruntled students whenever there’s a problem.

Joe Gottlieb: (13:00)
Well, so this begs me to ask a question that, um, actually wasn’t on our list for today, but I’m sure you’re up to the challenge. And that is, have you found that this new way of working has also allowed you to remain more strategically agile? And what I mean by that is, what you’ve described is a great way to do problem solving and, uh, and to embrace ideas, you know, from anywhere like the Toyota, uh, assembly line, uh, reference. Um, but that, that serves the moment, the conditions at hand. Right. And, and the way we embrace, let’s say, new things and or problems. Now, what I mean by strategically agile then is wrapping that and maybe your three goals, eight principles framework is doing that for you. But wrapping that with a, with a, uh, specific but flexible strategic framework that allows you to not pursue, predicted, you know, rifle shot targets 10 years out, but instead, uh, themes of progress that are important to you. And you allow the, the practical progress that can be made in collaborative workspaces and new idea harnessing and, and iteration and responding to new information. Is that happening at, at, at Tarrant County

Bill Coppola: (14:31)
Y Yes, it is. And we’re just moving into our new workspaces that are there. Um, but we’ve had, for the, since we started this process, the college has been very much open to hearing everybody’s voice, like I said. So when we have an issue we need to address, covid O was a perfect example. We went away on spring break, literally, hi, we’ll see you in a week and never came back. Hmm. Um, when we had a shut down and we didn’t ingest all of a sudden shut down for the summer to figure out what to do, we opened it up to our faculty, what do you want to do? Got our IT folks, the advisors, everybody came up with their own strategies in order to do it. And the administration level then was just to coordinate everybody’s self efforts. Um, so the collaborative part of it really just means that we’re more listeners at my level than actionaries.

Bill Coppola: (15:26)
You know, you, you know, usually they just look to you. The worst thing that can happen is when I have a lot of meetings. I walk into a room and nobody talks, and I find out that more gets done when I’m not there. So I’ll go in and I’ll leave, and then they get all this work done. So I have, um, for the transformation into our new spaces. I got four work teams that are working on different things now, and I’m not involved in any of those. I just meet with the leaders as a strategic team.

Joe Gottlieb: (15:54)
Interesting. Well, it’s really, it, it’s, I think it’s important to recognize that, right? Where the, as the president, you can’t help yourself but alter the conditions, the context of the room. And so having the, the, the self-awareness there to be able to walk out to the room and to let teams progress, right. Is, uh, is good leadership For sure. Um, so you mentioned Covid. So let’s jump there. And what I want to ask you is, did you feel that the, the transformation efforts that we’ve now talked about that preceded Covid, did it make you, did it make you more prepared for Covid?

Bill Coppola: (16:36)
It made us prepared in that we were comfortable in collaboration. Hmm. See, before that, it would’ve been every, everybody was saying it’s someone else’s problem to solve. You know, no, this is, it’s issue. They gotta come up with the hotspots and the technology to work from home. No, it’s faculty. They have to, this is, we put everybody in the room together and came up with a solution in a very short period of time. But that’s because we have, we, you know, we enjoy that type of relationship of across our campus. I mean, we have, you know, eight, 800 faculty and 8,000 employees. So we were able to have those discussions in order to do it. Um, so the, the preparedness one, like I said, at a community college, we are used to change. And we are used to changing quickly, uh, flipping on a dime is what we call it here.

Bill Coppola: (17:25)
Um, this forced us to really do that and to not, not not plan something so detailed that you’re not gonna implement it until there’s a bow on it. Let’s just throw it out there. Let’s do it, and we’ll fix it as we move. And that’s the best way to do it. That’s how, that’s how I like to do things. Let’s roll it out first. We’ll fix it as we, we go, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen, you know? Yeah. So, you know, you have the, and what we learned during that time, the students were so excited, the faculty will learn from the students. Cause this is the student’s world. It wasn’t the faculty’s world. And they said, this is great. When I have an office hours now digital, I’m having 15 or 20 people in my, in my room, and we’re solving each other’s problems.

Bill Coppola: (18:11)
And the students liked working more with the chat function rather than the talking function. And they’re solving each other’s room. So what I did, they kind, I’m gonna move on. I wanna really, this really transformed into the way I changed the way I do things on campus. When we came back from Covid, then I do a thing called cookies with a polo once a month. It’s a, I know it sounds cheesy, but I did it as I got here. It’s basically just an open form that what questions do you have? Let’s break down any rumors. What rumors have you heard? Let’s break ’em down. And I started doing those hybrid rather than just face-to-face. And instead of having 65 people show up, I’m having over 200 show up every time. And they’re answering, they put their questions into chat, and then they’re answering each other’s checks, solving their own problems with like that. So that’s that whole dialogue of the campus going, you know, with that. And I, that’s one of the best things that really came out of all that.

Joe Gottlieb: (19:08)
That’s, um, what a great thing to harvest. Right? Before you got to that point, I, I, the, the, the nerd in me wants to put a label on what you were describing.

Bill Coppola: (19:20)
Okay. Um,

Joe Gottlieb: (19:21)
And that is, it’s agile. So Yeah. I mean, and you are, you are running your institution with an agile mindset, right? You are not attaching yourself to, and I kind of set you up for this, and I didn’t quite

Bill Coppola: (19:35)

Joe Gottlieb: (19:35)
This, this good, but it worked out. Right. But you, you are not getting attached to things that are so far out. I’m so specific that you have to wait before you know you were right. That is, that’s what agile helps you avoid, right? So it’s, oh, instead of that, let’s let it be more vague, directionally specific, but more vague. Now let’s pay attention to progress we’re making towards that mark. Right. When you, when you’re sailing towards a mark, you don’t need your binoculars. You, you, if you, if you know your mark, your compass heading, that’s good enough. Right? Now, you gotta pay attention to the wind conditions where you are the, the tide conditions where you are, you get the point if you’re a sailor, even if you’re not, maybe. Right. So, back to business, I mean, technology’s figured this out, but this is a lot of the stuff we actually do. And that is, that is business and therefore, higher education, um, operations, strategically minded operations, which balances progress towards long-term vision. And also while balancing, addressing operational necessities. You gotta keep the lights on. You gotta keep services running. You, you know, there’s a lot of complexity to operating an institution. And so how you balance those involves this combination of paying attention to information, being able to adjust, not getting yourself so attached that you make these big bets on things that you can’t possibly know at that level of detail. Right. I,

Bill Coppola: (21:06)
Yeah, but, and the, to be an agile, yeah, they gotta be agile. Um, but I trust I have to trust everybody.

Joe Gottlieb: (21:15)

Bill Coppola: (21:16)
See, when we are, you are throwing people out. I have to trust them that they’re gonna do what’s right. But they know better and they know how to have the, they have to have the, um, my job as a president is to create an environment where people will succeed. Period. That’s it. And I gotta, and it has to come from me down. That’s the only part that’s from the top down, is that No. And which allows people to fail. You have to allow people to fail. And yet people did fail. There were people that did online that never did online before, and it just didn’t work. Um, but we came back around and we said, okay, let’s see how we can help you. We’ll give you a supplemental structure. We’ll give you an instructional technologist to work with you on it. But if I, if they were afraid of failing, we would never would’ve opened. Um, you know, so be an agile. Yeah, we’re agile, but everyone has to be agile in order to do, and I can’t be, I I, I have to make sure that the people have the confidence, um, in order to move forward, to try something new, to see something that they saw on LinkedIn, and I’m gonna add this or a YouTube video of a teacher in another class. And that’s what people did. They were bringing in things I never heard of before into their classes. It was working real well.

Joe Gottlieb: (22:25)
Well, you’ve singled out a really important principle, uh, regarding how to perform well with that kind of approach. You, and, and you’re right, it is the, arguably the singular goal of leadership is to create a trusting atmosphere that lets people fail as long as they’re willing to learn. Right. And that Oh, yeah. The companion, the companion responsibility for leadership is to be prepared to say, Hey, what do we learn here? Uh, and if, if they don’t come up with themselves, you point a few things out, right. And you say, right, this is, you know, let’s do this again, but let’s, um, let’s make this other thing happen next time. So something developed during covid. Um, you already mentioned the increased engagement of both cookies with Bill, uh, or cooking for the ka. Right. Um, as well as, uh, the faculty realizing that when they open up for quote office hours, the virtual office hours took on a new dimension and a, and a and a greater level of engagement that sort of bled into some other areas. I know you’ve got a, a robust dual credit program going on there. Let’s talk about how you leveraged some of the developments that were underway there as your dual credit programs were a blossoming.

Bill Coppola: (23:42)
Yeah. Before we do that, I wanna just, you just said something that triggered one little thing I want to go back, back to Sure. Was when the faculty came back with their, with the experience of their office hours in our new ways of working, the whole idea since the faculty are, are given the laptops, they will hold their office hours in these open spaces to have more students, rather than doing a one-on-one in an office where if student really doesn’t wanna go and shut the door, um, it’s like that. So this kind of led this really propelled that this is possible. So get it with the dual creditor. Um, oh,

Joe Gottlieb: (24:17)
Wait, wait, wait. Now you

Bill Coppola: (24:19)
Go. Yeah. So,

Joe Gottlieb: (24:20)
Uh, we talked about this, right? So, okay. But what’s, what I, what I get excited about pointing out here just because, uh, um, it comes to mind is, is that it is the, it’s the inverse of what happened with the whiteboards, right? So here you had faculty addressing the need for a student in math to be in a smaller group to feel comfortable. And yet in a different scenario, students became more interested if there was a bit of a crowd in an open space.

Bill Coppola: (24:52)

Joe Gottlieb: (24:52)
And it just was, it was just for a different use case, but then sudden, you know, suddenly so much more engaging. Yeah. And, um, fascinating to see how these different modalities are, are being discovered and, and, and being utilized. But,

Bill Coppola: (25:07)
But it’s also looking at our new students. You know, the, you know, I don’t know what gen it is, but you know, the newest students we come in, they do everything in groups. Yeah. You know, they, they go on dates and groups. Yeah. They, they go to parties and groups. They hang out in groups. So why not study in groups and do

Joe Gottlieb: (25:22)
Makes sense. Makes good sense.

Bill Coppola: (25:23)
Yeah. All right. So dual credit,

Bill Coppola: (25:26)
Great transformation that happened with us. So we have a very robust dual credit program. Um, about 35% of my enrollment, I have about 10,000 students is our dual credit. We have, um, I myself have, uh, four early college high schools, b, tx blah, blah, blah. So when we went online, did our dual credit, had to go online at the same time and match up for years, we’ve been trying to get our faculty to offer online dual credit courses because the students can take more dual credit. We know it’s beneficial to them. If they take six hours of dual credit, they’ll graduate high school, go on to higher ed. Statistics. Were there, everybody said, not everybody, but there was a great belief that high school students can’t do online. They’re not, they’re not focused enough. They’re not, they’re all going, they’re gonna do the homework on the last day, they’re not gonna do it.

Bill Coppola: (26:16)
They didn’t do it. We, so we went online. We then took advantage of that opportunity in my principal, which is high schools, and collected data on the students on how well they did online compared to how well they did when they were in face-to-face classes. We also did data on, we also did surveys and interviews with the faculty that were teaching the dual credit students and how they liked it. We found out that students were doing just as well online as they didd the face-to-face coming back outta Covid. Then that propelled us to get past all of that research data we would’ve done years doing to convince people that online dual credit is a viable thing. And we, we have an online college, uh, campus on our college. We went ahead and off started an online program just for dual credit. Right. Um, um, we, it’s been very, it’s, it’s very successful. Um, it is, it is not taken advantage of. It’s for when the different types of students are screened that go into it, but we got over that hump of saying it can’t be done cause it hasn’t been done before. So yes, we know it can be done. Now we got the data to prove it. Now let’s just work on how do we implement it.

Joe Gottlieb: (27:23)
Right. And seems to me, correct me if I’m wrong, but a very innovative way to, given your, the size of your campus, you have some finite, you know, some limitations there. But given that scale limitation, it, this is a very, uh, great innovation to then serve more students and get Oh,

Bill Coppola: (27:46)

Joe Gottlieb: (27:46)
For folks going through this, this, um, enriching process towards greater employability, greater lifelong learning, et cetera. Fantastic. Yeah. All right. So how will Tarrant County College transform next? You’re, you, you must be getting nichey at this point.

Bill Coppola: (28:05)
Well, the itchy part, we’re getting into what we, we, where we’re moving now is to a is to a lot of things. One is a more standardized classroom. Right now we have classes, some classes will have 15 students, and in a government class, others will have 50 in a government class. And we know there is different. So we’re going into a comic. So with the transformation of our classrooms, all the classrooms are being built to hold up to 30 students only. So there’ll be, so we, we can kind of keep that equity and we know that’s better for the students that we do this. Um, what we’re also trying to go to is, um, much more flexibility in our design. Um, so the whole campus is becoming a learning environment. Mm-hmm. not just the classrooms, not just the study areas, but a faculty member or an advisor.

Bill Coppola: (28:53)
If an advisor, students no longer go into an advising office, and if they want to meet with an advisor, the advisor will take their laptop, find an open space that’s quiet or comfortable, meet with the student there, student and their family, and be able to, um, interact with the student to get ’em advised the same way. So it’s, that’s the new way of working that we’re doing. It’s not just that we’re just moving to a classroom with more whiteboards and more technology. It’s really a change in, um, it’s just a change in how we think about what we’re doing and we’re trying to meet those students where they are to, in order to, cause we had to be student ready for them.

Joe Gottlieb: (29:30)
Wow. Well, that sounds like you’re really coming to a point now where you’re leveraging the things that have been put in motion and you’re seeing the opportunities to take the best ideas that are working and standardize on them in, in concert with your new design. And that’s probably gonna then put you in a position where, all right, we’ve got that stabilized. And, uh, you’ll probably be looking for your next thing, even while you’re enjoying the benefits of what that can deliver. Very exciting. Yeah. So probably good time for us to bring this to a close. Let’s give our listeners three takeaways that, um, they can think about when transforming teaching, learning, and work, uh, and workspaces.

Bill Coppola: (30:14)
Well, I think one of the important things we talked about was seized and opportunities that really make progress and change easy. Uh, we ha we had, we gave examples today about, uh, a new approach that has faculty and staff excited facilities plans that de siloed the campus to better serve our students, or even the pandemic that might illuminate, um, a new innovation, which was our online portion that we did. Um, the second one, which I can think of, is to leverage the opportunity to align stakeholders that will need to cooperate. That decisions are made at all levels, not just waiting for the top down. We talked about that in a lot of the way we’re doing work. And then finally put people in positions where they enjoy what they do. Uh, this was a really important part in our transformational change, rather than force them to do something that makes them uncomfortable.

Joe Gottlieb: (31:03)
Wow. Great summary. Bill, thanks for being with us today.

Bill Coppola: (31:07)
Well, thank you so much and for allowing me to join you.

Joe Gottlieb: (31:10)
And thanks to our guests for joining us as well. I hope you all have a great day, and we’ll look forward to hosting you again on the next episode of Transformed.

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About The Host


As president of Higher Digital, Joe supports customers with strategy development, change management, and strategic operations. He is energized by the complex challenges and profound opportunities facing higher education and is motivated to have and share discussions around these topics.

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