Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • RiSE Steering Committee 11:40 am on April 13, 2016 Permalink  

    Road Trip To Cleveland Clinic 

    IMG_2589On a dreary Sunday morning in mid-March, a cross-divisional team of AU leadership trekked through the Bender Arena tunnel, coffee in tow, to board an Adventure Tours charter bus.  With a six hour ride on the horizon and the threat of snow looming, the bus was filled to the brim with turkey jerky, Lärabars, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment Sharon Alston’s famous mint chocolate Oreos.  Off to a rocky start, the bus’ wifi was malfunctioning.  Good thing Associate CIO Kamalika Sandell was aboard to immediately troubleshoot – no helpdesk ticket needed!

    Once the AU team arrived, they met AU alumnus, Steve Lau, for dinner. Lau, an Ohio native who served on the Cleveland Clinic’s board of directors, shared his passion for the Clinic’s transformed service experience and his excitement that representatives of his alma mater were in town to learn how to apply the Clinic’s lessons to higher education.

    Monday morning began bright and early.  SOC Dean Jeff Rutenbeck and SOC Associate Professor Larry Engel led an impromptu walking tour of the neighborhood, whereas the less adventuresome folks boarded the hotel shuttle toward our destination.  The full day’s event was held at The Office of Patient Experience in the historic home of Francis E. Drury, creator of the first internal-gear lawn mower and who made his fortune by bringing the kerosene stove to market.  Bright eyed and with great anticipation, AU’s leadership group sat around a formal dining room table and spent the next eight hours earnestly hearing of what embodies The Cleveland Clinic Experience.

    The Clinic’s mission: Better care of the sick, investigation into their problems, and education of those who serve, is exemplified throughout their model, which beholds the goal of giving every patient the best outcomes and experience.  The evidence of their success rests in two important metrics. The Clinic, already one of the nation’s best hospitals, saw health outcomes improve further, while patient satisfaction rose dramatically. The AU visitation team sought to understand how they even began such a remarkable transformation.  “Rest on what you know and just start somewhere,” was the straightforward answer. IMG_2695

    There are many learnings from this trip, one of which is the Clinic’s practice of Rounding—standing monthly meetings that occur at every single level of the organization.  These sessions engage employees with rotating topics such as information technology and communication, and are also used as a forum to celebrate successes.  Additionally, the Clinic seems to have mastered its collection and use of data.  Employing a 360 degree, transparent feedback loop, they have a Data Intelligence Team with four dedicated FTEs who drive the data strategy and keep it standardized throughout the entire organization.

    Not only does the Clinic seem to excel in its use of metrics, they have creatively designed a highly effective means of communicating and managing their complaints through an Ombudsman team that is housed within the highest levels of the organization.  This office serves as a neutral party and is not a patient advocate.  Interestingly, in order to best understand the language of the patient, no one in the office even has a clinical background; instead, the team is comprised of attorneys, therapists, and social workers.

    Minds overflowing with valuable insight, the team promptly departed Cleveland at 4:30PM with high hopes of arriving back in D.C. before midnight.  Jeff Rutenbeck crawled through the aisle of bus, stopping by each passenger to ask what their key takeaways were and writing them on a large post-it.  On the way home, the team stopped in Pittsburgh for dinner.  Jeff’s large post-it was propped up in the restaurant with the help of Chairman of the Board, Jack Cassell, and robust dialogue ensued.  With tired eyes, the Adventure Tours bus rolled back onto campus at 1:30AM—well past our bedtimes.

    — Bridget Cooney, RiSE Project Manager

  • RiSE Steering Committee 1:14 pm on January 15, 2016 Permalink  

    Keeping Students at The Forefront of Our Plans 

    BriannaWhat is it like to be an AU student today? This is a key question the RiSE Assessment Subcommittee grappled with in our efforts to better understand the student experience. The Subcommittee wanted to be sure that we understood what how services work from a student perspective. So, we tried to put ourselves in students’ shoes by using an approach based on the principles of “human centered design”.

    How did we do this? The main thing we did was listen. The team held seven focus groups with students. In addition, we asked a group of students to journal for us each week about their experiences on campus, from the excitement of meeting new friends and experiences in the classroom, to the challenges of financing their education and living in a residence hall. There were clear patterns in what we heard, and themes that seemed to cluster around four distinct types of student experience.

    We decided to share what we learned by describing four different types, or personas, of AU students. The personas illustrate the fact that different students have different goals, challenges and needs. Are these the only types of students at AU? No. Can a student be in more than one category? Absolutely. The purpose was not to be exhaustive but rather to provide tools that help us keep the experiences of AU students front and center, as we think about adapting to address the varying keys to their success.

    The personas will guide us as we try to develop new models of student services. For each proposed model, we can test it against these personas. How would this model work for a financially focused student? For a first year student? The personas create a common shorthand that will help us to craft services tailored to the varied needs of AU’s diverse student population.

    How well do these personas meet your view of  AU students? Do you fit into one of the personas? Do you know students who do? What persona is missing? Let us know what you think!

    — Karen Froslid Jones, Assistant Provost, Institutional Research and Assessment
    RiSE Assessment Subcommittee Chair

  • RiSE Steering Committee 4:24 pm on October 12, 2015 Permalink  

    A Retreat to Advance 

    CQ4INp0W8AESmae How will we know that the RiSE Project has been successful? Of the many possible answers to this question, I like this one: We will know that RiSE has succeeded when AU faculty and staff see themselves as a single, multi-faceted community, wholeheartedly dedicated to helping our students thrive.

    We saw the foundations of that community in the 154 colleagues who attended last Friday’s Fall Leadership Retreat. The day had many highlights: stirring injunctions from President Kerwin and Provost Bass; Dr. Eugene Tobin’s remark that the Mellon Foundation views RiSE as “potentially the most innovative and transformative work” in higher education today; a compelling panel by key project leaders on RiSE’s progress to date. But the true highlight of the day was “shown” not “told,” as faculty and staff from across the university worked their way—with creativity, vision and great good cheer—through facilitator Darin Eich’s engaging exercises in “breakthrough innovation.”

    Over the next several weeks, we will learn a great deal about how other complex organizations—including Wegman’s, the Cleveland Clinic, and two dozen peer universities—are approaching their twenty-first century service challenges. But here at AU we see programs, longstanding and emergent, that already bear the seeds of the support community we aspire to build. If you were implementing RiSE at a peer institution, what aspects of AU’s practice today would you consider exemplary and worthy of emulation? Why? Comments welcome.

    — Peter Starr, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
    RiSE Task Force Co-Chair

  • RiSE Steering Committee 4:32 pm on October 7, 2015 Permalink  

    A Clean Sheet of Paper 

    RiSE-for-blogWhat if you had the opportunity to redesign student services to help today’s undergraduates, from scratch? If you could consider the needs of the population of current students–diverse, talented, goal-oriented and driven digital natives, who are more likely to be far from home, more likely to be stressed and less likely to be resilient than college students of the past–what would your services look like?

    That’s an AU proposition that the Mellon Foundation found compelling. So they provided a grant for the university to explore the question. A task force and steering committee have been hard at work, collecting the information that will help us imagine a new framework for student services and support for student success. Recognizing that our current support systems are vestiges of a design formed nearly a century ago, we’re assuming that the design for Twenty First Century student might look different.

    There have been and will be multiple occasions to provide your ideas and input into this project. This blog is one way to share your input and creative thinking.  So if you started with a clean sheet of paper, what would your design for student support and success look like? Where would you start?  Comments welcome.

    — Terry Flannery, Vice President for Communication
    RiSE Steering Committee member

    • weil 11:57 am on October 9, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Every Student should be assigned their own human guide and budget – creating a true student centered budget and set of systems, in addition to a technological interface (one-stop shopping) – AND building more peer mentoring into the systems. Students need to be empowered more – it is not just about staff and faculty.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help