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A Higher Digital Podcast

Exploring the new Whys…in Higher Ed

Higher education is changing, and for good reason. The need for improved student experiences, better-enabled faculty, greater equity in both access and outcomes, increased automation, and more engaged leadership represents a collective necessity that is mothering tremendous invention…and innovation…and inspiration.

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. 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.

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Episode 67

transformed: Liberal Learning and Applied Arts: Higher Ed Blueprint for the Age of AI?

In this episode, Dr. Bryon Grigsby – President at Moravian University – offers his perspective on the value of a liberal learning and applied arts education coupled with faculty who embrace the societal changes impacting students, especially adult learners, in real-time during the age of AI. Grigsby contends higher education has an even greater societal role now, as […]

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Episode 66

transformed: Courageous Leadership for Impactful Transformation

In this episode, Miloš Topić – Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Digital Officer at Grand Valley State University – reveals his actions and approach to higher ed leadership, including acting in the best interest of whole institution vs. holding onto a functional focus, shining a spotlight on institutional relevance, and nurturing flexibility to minimize friction throughout the […]

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Episode 65

transformed: Surviving a Presidential Ouster Through Focus on Transformation Results

In this episode, Dr. Brenda Allen – President at Lincoln University – shares her story about becoming a stronger leader after facing an ouster early in her time as president. In the years since she was an undergrad at Lincoln, through her time as faculty at multiple Ivy Leagues, then her transition back to the […]

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Episode 64

transformed: Overcoming Imperfect Incentives to Serve Learners of All Ages

In this episode, Dr. Lisa Vollendorf – President at Empire State University – highlights her institution’s focus not only on “first-time, full-time” students, retention, and graduation rates, but more importantly on what best serves the four generations of students enrolled. Combine programs that support that driving value with their partnerships with companies, unions, state agencies, […]

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Episode 63

transformed: Organizational Mutations Leading to Higher Ed Evolution

In this episode, Len Jessup – President at Claremont Graduate University – not only is first to ask if he is a “mutation,” but shares how he came to his current role while explaining the evolution of the presidential career path, driven by governance boards’ desires for change agent leaders, and other mutations leading to […]

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Episode 62

transformed: Alignment as a Catalyst for Positive Change

In this episode, Tom Andriola – Vice Chancellor for Data and Information Technology, Chief Digital Officer at the University of California, Irvine – shares how aligning across the critical elements of people, culture, technology and data acts as a catalyst for positive change.   References:  Tom Andriola, Vice Chancellor for Data and Information Technology, Chief Digital Officer at […]

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Episode 61

transformed: Organizational Change to Drive Organizational Change Management

In this episode, Dr. Monique Sendze – Vice President for Information Technology and CIO at California State University, Chico – discusses her approach to effectively driving organizational change by creating a project and change management office to take an overarching view across the institution.  References:  Dr. Monique Sendze, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO […]

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Episode 60

transformed: The CIO as Not-so-accidental Therapist

In this episode, Fred Rocha – recently retired CIO of Coast Community College District – shares perspective on what’s possible when a CIO masters the art of talking (and coffee) with institutional stakeholders. References: Fred Rocha, Senior Consultant, Higher Digital Coast Community College District

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Episode 59

transformed: Leveraging Stakeholder Buy-in for Better/Faster Change

In this episode, Dr. Rafik Mohamed – Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at Cal State San Bernadino – offers suggestions on how best to leverage stakeholder buy-in as a change enhancer and accelerator. References: Dr. Rafik Mohamed, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at Cal State San Bernadino California State University, San Bernadino

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Episode 58

transformed: How Ai Will Catalyze Higher Ed Reform

In this episode, Dr. Saul Jimenez-Sandoval – President of California State University, Fresno – explains how Ai could serve as the critical catalyst for higher education reform. References: Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, President, California State University, Fresno California State University, Fresno

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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.

Interested in being a guest?