Leading Change in Higher Education

Colloquium | November 25 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Berkeley Way West, Room 1102, Berkeley Way West (2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720)

 Susan Singer, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Rollins College

 Graduate School of Education

While research on undergraduate STEM education has yielded robust evidence on improving undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, scaling evidence-based practice remains challenging. Research on how undergraduates learn and how to support and develop instructors in implementing evidence-based practices are now complemented with a growing body of work on implementation and assessment of strategies to support student development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills employers value.

Research analyses are moving on to graduate school learners, including a focus on mentoring. Work on change strategies is in the earlier stages and work on developing change leaders at all levels is emerging. Developing change leaders is an imperative, across the arc of academic careers, informed by the body of research on change leadership. Changing the hearts and minds of senior leaders and empowering their leadership is key. They can facilitate inclusion of new faculty with fresh perspectives on teaching and research. Equally imperative is developing future and earlier career faculty to lead from within, through influence, building upon research on leading from the middle.

We will not achieve our collective vision of excellent, inclusive teaching unless we also attend to developing change leaders. The presentation will provide an overview of progress in building the knowledge base for holistic improvement of postsecondary STEM and the opportunities for developing change leaders and scaling change.

About the Speaker. Prior to becoming Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Rollins, Susan Singer was Division Director for Undergraduate Education at NSF and Gould Professor of Biology at Carleton, where she directed the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching. She pursues a career integrating science and education aimed at improving undergraduate education at scale. Susan is a AAAS fellow, and recipient of the American Society of Plant Biology teaching award and Botanical Society of America Charles Bessey award. She is past-chair of AAAS’ Education Section and serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Systematic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education and the Board on Life Sciences. She chaired the several National Academies’ studies, including Discipline-based Education Research.