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Evaluating Online Instruction
CIC Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction II

Since 2014, the Council of Independent Colleges, with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has organized a consortium of faculty and administrators from its member institutions who design and teach online courses in humanities. The members of the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction first offer the course to students from their own institutions and then to students from any of the Consortium institutions. The second two-year Consortium cohort just completed its first year of work, designing and teaching courses for students from their own institutions. From the beginning of the project, Ithaka S+R has provided technical support and…


Library Leaders and Talent Management

The recent Ithaka S+R/Mellon publication on equity, diversity, and inclusion in ARL member libraries expanded coverage of these issues to include all library employees, rather than focusing exclusively on “professional” employees, uncovering patterns that are only visible when examining employees more broadly. My colleagues Liam Sweeney and Roger Schonfeld found that racial homogeneity increases with every step up the management ladder–from support staff, to professionals, to managers, to leaders–library employees become less racially diverse and increasingly white. While some individuals described the results as “sobering” or “depressing,” the results indicating a lack of diversity in these organizations should surprise no…


Community College Library Support for Student Success
Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College Launch New Research Project

Ithaka S+R regularly and extensively studies the perspectives, practices, and needs of faculty and students at four year colleges and universities to inform future roles for the academic library. Today, we are excited to announce that we will be expanding this work over the next 18 months to partner with seven community colleges in assessing and improving library support of student success within a community college context. We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for providing support to make this project possible. Community colleges are vital engines of our higher education system, with special emphasis on…


Understanding Library Acquisition Patterns
Large-Scale National Study Launches

Several years ago, Ithaka S+R began developing a new methodology to gather data about library acquisition patterns. Today, we are excited to announce that we have received support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand this into a large-scale, national study. The project, as it was originally conceived by Joseph Esposito, hoped to gain a better understanding of how distribution channels were changing. Our interest was piqued by the knowledge that libraries were often purchasing publications through Amazon rather than through traditional wholesalers, whose metrics university presses used to gauge their sales to academic libraries. This led to a…


The Value of Collective Impact for Higher Education Institutions

Over the past decade, collective impact initiatives have emerged in cities and communities all across the country. Collective impact refers to a cross-sector collaboration which brings together a broad spectrum of organizations to solve a specific social problem in a community. Collective impact efforts are typically geographically-bounded, to either a city, county, or region, and are different from traditional collaboration in that they are designed to drive sustainable change in entire systems. In addition to the organizations that work within the space, a “backbone organization” (typically an independent non-profit) takes on the task of facilitating the initiative’s working groups, collecting…