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Training for a Tough Job: The Community College Presidency Pipeline

To say that the community college presidency is in flux is no overstatement. Many existing community college presidents have been reaching retirement age at a time when both the traditional presidential pipeline and rigorous leadership training programs have narrowed. At the same time, there has been a wave of community college president resignations and terminations, leading to warranted concerns about a shortage of qualified candidates who can tackle the increasingly challenging role. Leadership matters. And high-quality sustained leadership is important for educational reforms to take hold and have long-term impacts. On the flip side, leadership shortfalls and transitions are harmful…


Alternative Postsecondary Pathways

Millions of Americans receive postsecondary training through programs that don’t lead to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. What do these programs offer?  Who enrolls in them?  How do the students who complete these programs fare? These are some of the questions Jessie Brown and I sought to answer when we embarked on a research project for the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The resulting paper, “The Complex Universe of Alternative Postsecondary Credentials and Pathways,” has now been published on the Academy’s website. We share the press release about the report below…


Don’t File It Away: Creating Actionable Survey Results

You’ve developed a thoughtful questionnaire, gathered responses, generated meaningful, insightful findings, and now want to share these results to more widely inform decision-making. How do you ensure that these findings are communicated effectively to the right individuals? In spring 2016, Penn State University fielded the Ithaka S+R Undergraduate Student Survey and faced the challenging task of communicating findings from the survey, which covered perspectives from 2,000+ students using 37 libraries across 20 campuses. The Ithaka S+R local surveys, which have now been fielded at 80+ institutions, enable academic libraries to better understand the changing needs of important campus communities, and…


Agricultural Research, Data Management, Funder Mandates: Where Do We Go From Here?

The latest Ithaka S+R report on agriculture scholars summarizes the diverse research being undertaken in across the agricultural sciences and suggests some ways forward for the agricultural information community. One key theme in the report focuses on the work undertaken by researchers in the agricultural sciences around data management. The breadth of the field is reflected in the variety of methods and data generated by scholars, ranging from genetics to economics to field-based biology. Across these domains, a common refrain emerged in the report suggesting that agriculture scholars struggle with data management issues. They are not sure what to do…


Assessing the Information Practices, Needs, and Perceptions of Strategically Important Populations
Partnering to Develop the Ithaka S+R International Graduate/Professional Student Survey Module

While enrollment of international students has grown considerably in the last decade in the United States, investigations into their information practices and library needs are limited in number and are rarely conducted in a manner that enables comparative analysis of international and domestic graduate students. At the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), international graduate students represent a significant portion of the total number of graduate students as well as of the total number of international students and as such are a strategically important population. Gathering information on the information practices, needs, and perceptions of international graduate students is…