Who Wants to Hire Ed? Why Does TED Talk So Much? OSI Heads to Sixth Street Showcase at SXSW to Find Out the Answers
With all the talk about Higher Education at the SXSWedu Conference & Festival, I couldn’t help but allow myself a Saturday Night Live Roseanne Roseannadanna moment, questioning why the big whoop over two guys named Ed and TED, who seem to instill a lot of passion and fervor in the world of emerging technologically. Why is it important to hire Ed, and who cares if TED talks?
With SXSWedu winding up March 6, staffers in the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) are busy preparing to attend the Sixth Street Showcase at SXSW on March 8. This marks the first time UT System will hold an event during SXSW Interactive.
Included on the docket are the latest-and-greatest technologies – from mobile apps for health- and behavioral-related needs, to identity recognition – all of which are being developed by students and faculty members throughout Texas’ higher education institutions.
The SXSW-associated event is being hosted by the University of Texas System’s Office of Technology Commercialization. Sixth Street Showcase will display interactive presentations, as well as TED-inspired (Technology, Entertainment, Design) presentations to “showcase cutting-edge ideas from higher education institutions across Texas.”
Tomorrow’s three-hour event is jam-packed with an exciting lineup of speakers, presentations, and interactive exhibits covering interactive technology for the health and education sectors. Speakers from MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Austin, UT San Antonio, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and more, are participating and hoping to educate students, as well as to incite interest from venture capitalists and industry representatives.
OSI will live Tweet from the event @UTFactsOnline.
In an endeavor to find a description that better fits the spirit and atmosphere of the “old” Brown Bag Series, the Office of Strategic Initiatives has changed the name to Research Collaboration Assembly (RCA). We even have a new logo:
RCA will meet the last Thursday of each month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in CLB 6.500.
A typical RCA assembly will showcase various presenters, including OSI Director David Troutman, Research & Policy Analyst Cathy Delgado, and various Institutional Research Analysts. This panel of experts will share valuable and exciting knowledge and insights about their research interests and projects.
These one-hour RCA discussions provide a collaborative forum for you and your colleagues to share information. All UT System staff members are invited to attend and/or present.
Fliers and online notifications will alert you to the topics and scheduling of the RCA series.
For more information on RCA, contact David Troutman at 512-499-4400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The utilization of institutional research (IR) is trending right now in the U.S. and is expanding to include valuable data not only for universities, including their students and their families, but also for additional stakeholders such as school districts, business and community organizations, policy-makers, and non-profit groups. The use of IR is also extending beyond U.S. shores to international educational institutions.
In February Stephanie Huie, vice chancellor for the Office of Strategic Initiatives at UT System, traveled to Tokyo, Japan, to attend the 5th Annual Enrollment Management and Institutional Research (EMIR) Conference 2014, which was hosted by Yamagata University. Huie was invited to share her expertise on what makes a good IR system. Of those attending the conference, about 75% were from private universities in Japan; the remaining attendees were from public universities. Also present were a number of representatives from Japan’s MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology), several private companies, as well as high school teachers.
Dr. Huie sat down with UTFacts to share her experiences and insights from the Land of the Rising Sun.
UTF: The demand for transparency and accountability in higher education is trending in the U.S., and institutional research is playing a pivotal role in generating valuable data for many and varied projects. Now, Japan is taking up the data torch. Can you cite some similarities and differences between the two countries’ quests for better institutional research data?
SH: One important difference between Japan and the United States is that Japan is facing issues related to its aging population. There are fewer college-age students and this leads to intense competition among universities for enrollment. Japanese universities are looking to use data to differentiate their institutions, making them more competitive.
Despite this difference, there are many similarities. Both countries want to utilize data to set policy, analyze student trends over time, and establish an open dialogue between IR experts and professors to discuss the findings – all of which are used for college management. Japan also wants a comprehensive system that is easy to use, convenient, and flexible.
UTF: At what level is Japan currently performing in regard to using institutional research data?
SH: At this time, institutional research is not widely known in Japan. In fact, Yamagata staffs only two part-time researchers who were trained through seminars. They report to the president, who is actually the impetus behind the promotion of the IR department in the first place – he wants the data to be improved. However, Yamagata is implementing a new model in April that will include a full-time department member who will report to the vice president. Yamagata University is definitely a leader in the Japanese IR field. In fact, it recently implemented a new business intelligence system to analyze and display institutional research data visually.
UTF: UT System set up its Productivity Dashboard, which then paved the way for seekUT. Are there some specific examples of projects that may have been seminal moments for the promotion of IR by the Yamagata administration?
SH: Yes. The University wanted to get a handle on its dropout rate, as well as what types of students achieve better employment after graduating. They captured data, which focused on first- and third-year students, and compiled it into a central database. Surprisingly, the results indicated a weak connection between a student’s academic performance and his/her ability to get a job. More compelling reasons for low performance pointed to students having to work part-time and attend school, as well as large lecture classes.
UTF: What aspects of your presentation do you think impacted the Japanese audience the most?
SH: One of the major hurdles in moving IR forward in Japan is limited access to data and the lack of shared data available to the universities. The audience was particularly interested when I described the variety of data sources we use in the United States – in particular, the fact that we use non-university sources such as the Texas Workforce Commission. The Japanese universities were also interested in the idea of starting a consortium to share data among universities to facilitate the field in Japan.
UTF: Any parting thoughts?
SH: I appreciated learning the context of how Japanese universities operate – this was very helpful. Due to the abundance of publicly available data in the United States, our IR offices have an easier job from those in Japan, in some ways. One of the most surprising discoveries of my trip was the fact that despite the differences between the education systems of the U.S. and Japan, the universities in Japan face many of the same challenges as our universities face. For example, in the U.S., we are continually looking to improve graduation rates, decrease dropout rates, and address issues such as large class sizes and how best to implement effective classroom instruction. The Japanese universities are looking to tackle the same issues, and they are looking to the field of IR to guide them.
For more information on Yamagata University and the EMIR Conference, please read If You Are Happi and You Know It, You May Be at Yamagata University.
Stephanie Huie, the vice chancellor for the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the UT System is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious LULAC Ambassador Award. Presented by The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council #1 in Corpus Christi in February, the Ambassador Award is given to individuals who share their time and talent and empower individuals to make informed decisions that touch the Latin American community.
LULAC, founded in 1929, is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the U.S. The organization, which serves all Hispanic nationality groups, has 900 LULAC councils nationwide. It endeavors to advance the “economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs.”
A winning week for the vice chancellor, Stephanie was also awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Blake Farenthold (27th District) ”in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community.”
Today (Friday), Stephanie Huie (vice chancellor) is preparing her presentation “Institutional Research and Enrollment Management Practices at the University of Texas System.” Tomorrow (Saturday), which is really today (Friday), she will be delivering it.
Why the confusing timetable?
Stephanie Huie is in Tokyo, Japan, where it is Saturday, and she is about to speak to audiences from Japanese universities, related business enterprises, and Japan’s MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology).
The event is the 5th Annual Enrollment Management and Institutional Research (EMIR) Conference, which is hosted by the Office of Enrollment Management at Yamagata University (located in northeastern Japan). Universities in Japan are beginning to use institutional research and analysis more and more to support decision and policy making and strategic planning, and they are welcoming international guests to share their IR and EM experiences.
Stephanie will be giving an overview of the UT System, explaining the organizational structure, the IR and EM functions, and the use of data at the campus, as well as the system level. She will also focus on the importance of benchmarking, goal setting, and using data to select peers. Additionally, Stephanie will demonstrate the UT System Dashboard, and other data tools, such as seekUT.
Yamagata University was founded in 1878 and is considered a comprehensive national teaching and research university in Japan. About 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend its four college campuses. Yamagata offers general education to teach students to expand their views, think critically, and make sound decisions, as well as to learn fundamental academic skills that will prepare them for advanced study in agriculture, arts and humanities, education, engineering, medicine, natural science, nursing, and social sciences.
As busy as Stephanie has been at the conference, she took a moment to don a happi coat from the annual Hanagasa Festival and have her picture taken alongside Ichio Onuma, the Director for the Enrollment Management Department at Yamagata University. Stephanie will be sharing her experiences at the conference with our readers in the coming days.