The Ukraine Crisis and Implications for Strategic Corporate Management

With no advance notice, Russian armed forces took control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula on February 27. On March 1, Russia’ Parliament granted President Putin authority to deploy Russia’s military forces to Ukraine. Russia’s moves were in contrast to the UN Charter’s principle that all UN members “shall refrain…from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity… of any state.” Nevertheless, they occurred. Furthermore, they occurred despite a U.S. warning that Russia should not...

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My Thoughts on MSCHE’s Revised Standards

At its annual conference, MSCHE unveiled a draft of revised standards that would replace the current fourteen standards. Through January 31, 2014, MSCHE collected feedback on its draft via SurveyMonkey®. During that time, I noted that I would share my thoughts in a future blog. Now that the feedback deadline has passed, this blog contains my thoughts.

Overall, I believe the new standards represent a qualitative improvement over the existing standards. First, they logically consolidate what...

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A Look at MSCHE’s Survey on its Draft Accreditation Standards

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is continuing to collect feedback from those who attended its annual conference in December. Feedback is being collected via SurveyMonkey® and e-mail comments.

The survey asks respondents to provide general comments on the draft. That request is followed by four substantive questions. The focus of these questions likely provides insight into the goals related to the revised standards. The implied goals of the standard revision process...

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The Return of Severe Cold to the New York City Metro Area

While most Lehman College students are off until the start of the spring 2014 semester, the opening week of January has seen the College closed on account of a snowstorm, along with two shots of severe cold that transformed the campus a great outdoor freezer.

Top Left: January 3 snowstorm that closed Lehman College; Top Right: Freezing rain on January 5; Bottom Left: Sunrise on January 7; Bottom Right: Ice at low tide on January 7.

An anonymous 16th Century writer once observed:

This winter’s...

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Facilitating Lasting Learning

My BBA 407 (Strategic Management) course is sort of a capstone course for final year business students. The class provides a framework to students to facilitate thought about corporate strategy development and implementation. That framework works best when students can readily draw upon principles and concepts that they learned in earlier classes ranging from financial statement literacy to the role of supply-and-demand in clearing markets.

However, each semester, a subset of students lacks...

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Petraeus Protests Stir Academic Freedom Debate, Provide Teaching Opportunity

The start of General David Petraeus’ teaching assignment at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College has been marked by protests. During the protests, the retired General and former CIA Director has been pelted by charges that he is a “war criminal,” among others.

Following the initial protests, Macaulay Honors College Dean Ann Kirschner explained, "Our university is a place where complex issues and points of view across the political and cultural spectrum are considered and debated in the hope that we...

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Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Annual Report

Last November, I provided the first of what will be annual reports documenting institutional effectiveness assessment at Lehman College. With the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) placing growing emphasis on Standard 7 (institutional assessment), it makes sense to document institutional assessment activities in a single document. The 2012-13 annual report will again be available in November.

The report noted that assessment is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a...

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The Periodic Review Report: Standard 7

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE’s) Standard 7 declares:

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Standard 7 is an “all-encompassing” standard. It covers all aspects of a college’s or university’s operations and activities, including academic, administrative, and community services. Evaluating an institution’s success in...

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Periodic Review Report Outcomes: Most-Cited Standards and Elements

On April 29, I wrote about Periodic Review Report (PRR) outcomes during the last five years. Briefly, Middle States Standards 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, and 14 have been cited most frequently in requests for follow-up reports. Furthermore, the standards should not be viewed in isolation, as there is overlap among them.

During my review of the requests for follow-up reports, I categorized elements related to each standard. There is a degree of subjectivity involved. In my grouping, 89 elements were cited...

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An End of Semester Note to my Students

At the end of each semester, I provide my students with a closing note about the course. That note seeks to place the course, its content, and its requirements into a larger context. I do so, because I believe it is helpful for students to have one last opportunity to understand why they took the course and perhaps better identify what they gained from the course. Such understanding can perhaps reinforce learning for the long-term.

Below is the note to my spring 2013 students:

With the semester...

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Periodic Review Report Outcomes: 2008-2012

On June 1, 2014, Lehman College will submit its Periodic Review Report (PRR) to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). As the College prepares to launch its effort to devise the PRR, it makes sense to highlight the major outcomes following the submission of an institution’s PRR.

Briefly, MSCHE has established the following goals for the PRR:

It has also set forth the following objectives:

During the past 5 years, MSCHE requested follow-up reports (monitoring reports or...

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ANNY Annual Conference Provides Insights for Lehman’s 2014 Periodic Review

During April 8-10, 2013, the Assessment Network of New York(ANNY) held its first annual conference hosted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. ANNY is a professional network established to assist New York State’s colleges and universities in their efforts to assess student learning and institutional effectiveness. Colleges and universities outside of New York State can participate and have participated in ANNY events. Lehman College’s Assessment Coordinator, Raymond Galinski, played...

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Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

On this day, the nation remembers one of its greatest visionaries and champions of justice, Dr. Martin Luther King. Regular occasions on which the nation can remember Dr. King, his struggle for justice, and his vision of a better world, are important. The historical experience has demonstrated that there is no “resting place” in the quest for civil rights. Civil rights are secured and preserved only through the sustained effort of each generation. With human nature being what it is, faded...

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The Periodic Review Report: Re-accreditation at the Mid-Point

In December, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) held its annual conference. At that conference, MSCHE Vice Presidents Christy L. Faison and Debra G. Klinman discussed the Periodic Review Report (PRR). The PRR is submitted five years after a higher education institution’s decennial review. Lehman College will be submitting its next PRR in 2014.

Briefly, Middle States lists the five goals for the PRR:

  1. To help institutions gauge their progress in achieving their own goals...
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An End of Semester Note to my Students

At the end of each semester, I provide my students with a closing note about the course. That note seeks to place the course, its content, and its requirements into a larger context. I do so, because I believe it is helpful for students to have one last opportunity to understand why they took the course and perhaps better identify what they gained from the course. Such understanding can perhaps reinforce learning for the long-term.

Below is the note to my fall 2012 BBA 305 students:

With the...

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An Insight on Student Use of the Library

The November 15, 2012 edition of Library Journal discussed a survey concerning student use and perceptions of academic libraries. The article reported that even as they enjoy high approval ratings, academic libraries could benefit from improved outreach to college students.

Key findings from that survey included:

  • 90% of students who used their library said that they would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to use the library again.
  • Students’ primary uses of the library included study...
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Assessment in a Challenging Higher Education Environment

The combination of relentlessly rising college tuition that is pushing student debt steadily higher and creating entry barriers for qualified college entrants, a dramatic rise in federal and state government debt in the aftermath of a severe recession, a relative decline in U.S. educational attainment, and the job market challenges currently facing new graduates is increasing pressure for colleges and universities to demonstrate value-added. 

That pressure is not likely to abate anytime soon....

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Lehman College to Submit Progress Report to Middle States in April 2013

Lehman College will be submitting a Progress Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the College’s Accreditor) on April 1, 2013. The Progress Report will document that the College has maintained the “organized and sustained assessment process to evaluate and improve student learning and institutional effectiveness” that it had documented in its Monitoring Report of April 1, 2011.

Assessment is vital to a college’s ability to maintain its accreditation status. Every unit...

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