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Ten with Ken (Video)

Ken Steele is Canada's most trusted higher ed monitor and futurist, and in this webcast he rounds up emerging trends, research data, best practices and innovative new ideas for higher education. (For HD version see YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo or Facebook. Audio only podcast version available separately.)
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Now displaying: 2017

For more information about Ken Steele's speaking and facilitation services, an archive of articles and white papers, and a database of bright ideas, please visit www.eduvation.ca

This podcast is also available on iTunes or on YouTube. For exclusive early access to future episodes, please subscribe to our free email newsletter, the Eduvation Loop

Jul 14, 2017

 

Ken Steele completes his review of 12 higher ed rebrands in the past 2 years that sparked a backlash from campus stakeholders and alumni.

 

In part 1, we looked at half a dozen new visual identities that caused outrage, either because they were too crazy creative or deadly dull. https://youtu.be/khrMeE_hngs

But there were also some competent rebrands that nonetheless met remarkable opposition, often because stakeholders were too emotionally attached to what they had before:

 

Western Sydney University (Australia):

When its name changed from “The University of Western Sydney” in 2015, WSU also abandoned its 13-year-old logo, which featured a “bluebird” icon. Although the former logo felt pretty cool and corporate, students nonetheless had become emotionally attached to the bluebird, and launched a #SaveTheBlueBird campaign on Twitter. The new identity was more contemporary, and pretty conventional: a deep red shield with the letter “W”. Comedian Aamer Rahman mocked the expenditure for student audiences, but the administration stuck with the new look.

Aamer Rahman - https://youtu.be/5Bg90nkRL3c

 

Penn State University (PA):

When one of the largest universities in the world changes its visual identity, plenty of people take notice! Penn State, with almost 100,000 students on more than 20 campuses, had been using the same brand identity for 30 years when it finally launched a rebrand in 2015. The new look was much cleaner, focusing the shield on just the head of the “Nittany Lion” shrine, and using a modern slab-serif typeface. The illustration was fairly realistic, of the stone shrine itself – but as a result the lion’s eyes seemed blank, unblinking, almost zombie-like. Football fans were relentless in attacking it, and a petition on change.org attracted about 4,000 signatures – but remember, that’s just 4% of Penn State’s enrolment. They rightly stayed the course.

 

Berklee College of Music (MA):

Berklee’s former logo was barely a logo at all: simple type in the corner of a red block. It didn’t reproduce well at small sizes, and in 2015 Berklee unveiled a rebrand that focused on the single word, “Berklee”, with a new icon (the “natural” notation). 500 students signed a petition objecting to the new identity, and particularly the loss of the word “College” – about 10% of the institution’s enrolment. The administration ignored the minority opinion.

 

University of Leicester (UK):

The former shield, in use for 20 years, was an awful orange colour, with intricate details and a Latin motto, and used a very dated typeface for the wordmark. Anything would have been an improvement, and although some students objected, the new identity features more sophisticated typography and understated colours.

 

Linköping University (Sweden):

Since its founding in 1975, Linköping (pron. “Lingschoping”) has used a variation of its official seal as its visual identity. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, LU hired Stockhold design firm Futurniture (who yes, does some work for IKEA) to develop a radically new brand. The result was a bright blue block containing bold initials, “li.u” – much to the chagrin of almost 5,000 students, who expected something more conventional. Even though the students collected alternatives and held a poll on their Facebook page, the administration stuck with the bold new look.

 

Wheaton College (MA):

This private liberal arts college near Boston is almost 200 years old, so students and alumni were naturally shocked when it unveiled an industrial-looking new identity in early 2017. The look does little to convey the desired brand attributes (forward-looking, inclusive, personal). It’s cold, impersonal, and reflects a design aesthetic from the 1970s. A change.org petition attracted 1,200 signatures – 75% of the school’s enrolment! Unfortunately, the administration is stubbornly planning to launch this ugly new identity in August 2017.

 

Wright State University (OH):

After 20 years, WSU revised their cherished logo featuring the Wright brothers and their biplane. The designers tried to simplify it, moving to some sans-serif type, eliminating the shadows, and darkened the colours – so far, so good. But they also eliminated the figure of Wilbur Wright, and added some inexplicable swooshes that made it look like the plane was tumbling out of control. And from then on, the rebrand tumbled out of control too. Despite spending a reported $250,000 on the graphic design alone, administration abandoned the rebrand and stuck with their former logo.

 

So to sum up: you can’t please everybody when it comes to a university rebrand. You can expect 20-30% of your stakeholders to express displeasure. If it’s less than 10%, you’re doing really well! If it’s more than 70%, you should probably reconsider the design.

  

Check out other Ten with Ken episodes about Branding at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLodJ8ParJmYWtpFIkmuPeZ1h2SDI5LI5Y

Jul 7, 2017

Ken Steele starts reviewing the 12 higher ed rebrands of the past 2 years that caused outrage and opposition among faculty, students and alumni. Odds of a backlash are 10% overall, 20% at universities (4-year colleges), 0% at community colleges -- and 50% at arts institutes!

This week, 5 disastrous rebrands that pretty much deserved what they got. 3 of them were overly ambitious, taking bold and daring approaches:

Loughborough University (UK):
A well-ranked public research university founded in 1909, that launched a hot pink octagon "LU" logo in 2015. (Yikes!) A protest petition gathered 13,000 signatures -- 76% of the school's enrolment! The administration backed down and 5 months later unveiled a much more conventional coat of arms approach.

Loughborough U Year in Review - https://youtu.be/TDfVHTtcl7g
How to Make the LU Logo on Photoshop - https://youtu.be/4IZSAl4giQ4

Emerson College (MA):
This liberal arts college focuses on communications, media and arts programs. In April 2016 Emerson proudly unveiled a preliminary new identity that featured a large, hand-drawn purple "e". A student leaked a photo on social media, and sparked immediate protest of the "glorified scribble" that looked like "a breast cancer ribbon." Lee Pelton, the college president, compared misperceptions to the presidential primaries. But a year later, Emerson is still using its former logo.

Emerson Reacts to New School Logo - https://youtu.be/VkT8E3Opciw

Ravensbourne College (UK):
In 2010, this arts institute launched a radical new identity that shattered the word "Ravensbourne" into 3 fragments, based on the anodized aluminum tiles that covered its new purpose-built building. Students protested, but the logo stayed for 6 years. Finally, in June 2016, Ravensbourne unveiled a much more professional logo, using a flexible "container" for student art. (Like the 2011 brand identity for OCAD University.) The latest Ravensbourne logo sparked some mockery, but the designers embraced the satire.

Ravensbourne Brand Film - https://vimeo.com/168322138

Other redesigns are so uninspired they spark well-deserved opposition, too.

IE University (Spain):
The Instituto de Empresa ("Business School") is an open university teaching business programs across Spain. The original monogram and olive branch had become streamlined to the point of absurdity, so in 2016 the institution launched a new, totally bland logo. Students complained that it lowered the reputation of their institution, but the new identity continues to be used.

We are IE: Reinventing Higher Education - https://youtu.be/pFGIMstrOk0

Quinnipiac University (CT):
When this institution abandoned its elegant small-caps wordmark for a funky, 1970s-style logo, students protested the lack of a capital on "university." The "capitalize this!" campaign got media attention across North America, accusing the university of making a grammatical error in its new identity. After months of protest, the administration backed down and revised the logo, to include the word "University" in all caps. (They pretended the student protest had no effect).

Q30 #THAT 9/13/16 - https://youtu.be/9AIxjxVo9Jo


Whenever a university opts for a less-formal brand identity, it's likely to spark outrage. All the more reason that your concept needs to be creative, your typography professional, and your design polished.

Next time: we'll look at 7 brand redesigns that sparked a backlash whether they deserved it or not!

Jun 29, 2017

Based on our recent global survey of more than 100 higher ed brand identity redesigns over the past 2 years, Ken Steele counts down the 10 best rebrandings – those that are professional, memorable, balanced and well-designed, AND that didn’t spark a backlash from faculty, students or alumni.

In Part 1 last week, we looked at #10-6 - https://youtu.be/bkrxAD0AbbE

Now, the countdown continues:


#5: East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania

Plenty of higher ed brand identities feature mountains, but ESU pulled off a slick rebrand that continues to emphasize its location near the Delaware Water Gap in the Pocono mountains. In 2017, ESU replaced a 24-year-old logo with a new one using a ceremonial banner shape. The ESU Warriors finally got a polished new mascot too, a Spartanesque warrior in the same banner shape.

The New ESU - https://youtu.be/kzpNCsaSsYE


#4: Colorado College

Colorado College, ranked the best private college in the state by Forbes magazine, is particularly notable for its setting near the base of Pikes Peak, and its revolutionary "block plan". (Students take a single course at a time, for 3.5 weeks, before moving on to the next "block".) In early 2016, CC unveiled a striking new identity that replaced a 20-year-old calligraphic logo. The new logo integrated circles (for Cs and representing the campus community) and triangles (suggesting mountains), within square blocks (for the unique pedagogical approach).

Colorado College - A New Look, A Unified Voice - https://youtu.be/iXz_Mlj2J6c


There were also a couple of "runners-up" that featured mountains: California's Feather River College, and BC's College of the Rockies. Both were massive improvements, and show creative promise, but somehow came up just a little short.


#3: SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary

After 18 years, SAIT finally jettisoned their swooshy, "Jetsons"-like identity for a bold new brand that is a breath of fresh air! It added 3 new colours to the traditional red and blue, and created a 3D spherical icon, "the Catalyst," as an "activator of change."

SAIT's New Brand Revealed - https://youtu.be/KpV9QBi5JaE

SAIT Unveils Centennial Art Sculpture - https://youtu.be/hJmZi1Ysg34


#2: University of Suffolk, UK

University Campus Suffolk got independent university title in May 2016, adopting the new name "University of Suffolk", and launching a new visual identity by Only. The simple black square represents a shield of sorts, with a yellow triangle in the corner pointing to its location in the southeast of England. 45-degree angles create a sense of momentum throughout marketing materials.

uSuffolk - An Introduction - https://youtu.be/zAGy2eY-3ZU


#1: Capilano University, BC

Since it gained university status in 2008, Capilano has revamped its visual identity twice. First they abandoned a stack of blue books for carved blue letters that evoked indigenous tradition. In 2016, they unveiled a much more dynamic, colourful identity that masterfully combines traditional academic shield and eagle feathers in the Coast Salish indigenous tradition.

Capilano University Brand Refresh - https://youtu.be/4b7hnLBCYiU

Alberta's Northern Lakes College likewise leveraged the traditional symbol of the eagle in their new identity, a runner-up for this episode.

Finally, honourable mention goes to Minneapolis' Augsburg College, for an extremely subtle rebranding unrolling this fall as Augsburg University. Alumnus Samuel Gross showed great attention to detail and significantly improved upon the former wordmark.

Augsburg University logo - https://youtu.be/DlNBv1l0Oa4


Check out Top 10 Identity Trends for a review of overall higher ed branding trends in the past 2 years – https://youtu.be/8lD3PUQLBnw

Jun 23, 2017

Based on our recent global survey of more than 100 higher ed brand identity redesigns over the past 2 years, Ken Steele counts down the 10 best rebrandings – those that are professional, memorable, balanced and well-designed, AND that didn’t spark a backlash from faculty, students or alumni.

 

#10: Saint Louis University, Missouri

Design firm Olson of Minneapolis created a streamlined new logo using a vastly simplified coat of arms and an “ownable” fleur de lis. The branding system includes specs for consistent iconography, a variety of wallpapers, and a wide range of subbrands – including a new logo for Billken Athletics.

This is SLU - https://youtu.be/CYMBLYkEsPQ

About SLU’s New Logos - https://youtu.be/oc1tCyzm0_c

What is a Billiken? - https://youtu.be/xmaxVk8lakY

 

#9: Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina

Another Catholic college redesigned their steeple-focused identity with the help of Rickabaugh Graphics in Ohio. The result is a dynamic shield emblem with fresher typography and a slightly brighter crimson, and a new mark for Crusaders Athletics.

 

#8: Augusta University, Georgia

In 2012, Augusta State University merged with Georgia Health Sciences to create Georgia Regents University – and then, apparently after a lawsuit from Regents University in Virginia, it changed its name again in 2015 to Augusta University. The new identity features a slick illustration of a colonial belltower (which doesn’t actually exist) that is simultaneously clearly a letter “A”.

Augusta University Identity in Depth – https://youtu.be/CIBKWkF9DMY

 

#7: Stanislaus State University, California

It was known by far too many different names: CSU Stanislaus, CSUS, California State Stanislaus, Stanislaus State, Stan State, and even “Turkey Tech.” But with the help of the Jeffrey Scott Agency in Fresno, Stan State unveiled a snazzy new “split shield” logo system in 2015 that standardized its name. Departments and individuals can now choose from “CSU Stanislaus” or “Stanislaus State” logos, and even “Stan State” is officially endorsed for internal audiences.

 

#6: Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona

The 10 colleges in Maricopa County had startlingly different brand identities, but in 2015 the Maricopa System unveiled “One Maricopa,” a new unifying logo system that would create consistent subbrands for each campus, while retaining their former colours and visuals. It was a masterful effort at compromise… but so far, there’s little sign that the colleges have actually adopted the new branding system.

 

That’s the first half of our round-up of the world’s top ten recent rebrands. Next time, we’ll complete the countdown with the top five!

 

Subscribe so you don’t miss it, or check out Top 10 Identity Trends for a review of overall higher ed branding trends in the past 2 years – https://youtu.be/8lD3PUQLBnw

 

 

May 26, 2017

Based on his global study of more than 100 higher education brand identity redesigns over the past 24 months, Ken Steele offers up these tongue-in-cheek samples of utterly conventional, unobjectionable logo designs following the latest trends. If your new identity had to be approved by 100 branding committees, this is what it would look like, for each of 4 categories of institution:

Community College
Religious College
Public University
Arts Institute

Check out the top ten trends in brand identities in this 13-minute summary: https://youtu.be/8lD3PUQLBnw

May 18, 2017

Brand strategist Ken Steele sums up the results of his global survey of 105 higher ed brand identity redesigns completed over the past 24 months, from May 2015 until May 2017. Examples from the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia -- and ultimately, there are 10 clear trends.

We identify the most popular recent colours, shapes, and imagery for universities, community colleges, religious colleges, and arts institutes, and we look more closely at several examples:

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
University of Georgia
Oregon State University
University of Nebraska
SUNY Buffalo
University of Kentucky
University of New Mexico
Bradley University
University of Detroit Mercy
Tennessee Tech
Upper Iowa University
Michigan Technological University
Maricopa Community College System
Tel Aviv University
University of Findlay
Winston-Salem State University
Augusta University
Otis College of Art and Design
Manor College
Emmanuel College
Wycliffe College
The King's University
Calvin College
Whitworth University
Emmaus Bible College
Dominican College
College of Saint Elizabeth
Feather River College
College of the Rockies
East Stroudsburg University
Sierra College
Northern Michigan University
Allegany College of Maryland
University of Greenwich

We also look at several logo approaches that seem to be falling OUT of favour, from circular seals and blocks of colour to explicitly religious imagery. And self-confessed "typography geek" Ken also spends a few minutes discussing trends in typeface selection among the four different categories of institution.

Videos excerpted:

uFindlay - https://youtu.be/ax_cUVMhMnI
Winston Salem State U - https://youtu.be/fu0K1_VfKHs
Otis College - https://youtu.be/3e5taaIV028


Coming up: we'll develop 4 "committee-proof" logos, look in depth at the top ten rebrands of the past 2 years, and look at 12 branding misfires that caused campus outrage.

Apr 23, 2017

While the "Ten with Ken" team was at the University of Waterloo to profile the Velocity incubator, we sat down with President & Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur to discuss the overall innovation ecosystem at what has been ranked Canada's #1 most innovative university for the past 25 years.

UWaterloo started off in the 1950s as a revolutionary idea - an Engineering-focused university created by local industrialists. From the beginning it focused on co-operative work-integrated learning, and to this day co-op experiences prepare UW students and faculty to think more innovatively. The institution has been building momentum for decades, attracting more and more innovative faculty and students.

Dr Hamdullahpur emphasizes the importance of outward connections with the world -- international, applied research, industry connections, co-op, research commercialization, and entrepreneurship. Innovation doesn't come from turning inward, retreating into the library or the lab, but from interacting with the world outside the university.

Some of UW's advantage has sprung from its creator-owned intellectual property policies. UW could benefit in the short term by taking a percentage of new discoveries and startup companies, but Dr Hamdullahpur believes UW, and the country, benefit more from allowing creators to retain complete ownership of their ideas.

Many colleges and universities want to know how to nurture a more innovative or entrepreneurial culture. Dr Hamdullahpur admits that it is a huge advantage for an institution to have been born that way, but suggests that it is possible to grow later. It cannot be partway, however: it must penetrate all aspects of operations. He also firmly believes that if institutions do NOT embrace innovation, they will become "insignificant" in another 15-20 years.

Dr Hamdullahpur is very proud of Waterloo's reputation and track record, which only makes him more determined to ensure the institution continues striving to stay on top.

Check out out site visit to the University of Waterloo's Velocity incubator to learn more, and hear from some of the student entrepreneurs who have recently founded startup companies on the strength of their co-op experiences. https://youtu.be/lj1AnCfYRMk

Apr 17, 2017

Ten with Ken recently went onsite at the University of Waterloo, to learn more about the world's largest free business incubator, Velocity. For the episode, we spoke to 4 young entrepreneurs, including Ian Tao, Founder and CEO of Sesame. This is our complete interview with him.

Sesame provides competency-based assessment software to primary, secondary and tertiary educators (licensed on a per-student basis). It allows instructors to upload visual, video and text records of a student's acquired skills and competencies, such as in nursing labs or performing arts courses where narrative text and a summative grade are insufficient. As more and more college and university programs gravitate towards competency-based assessment, tools like Sesame will be required.

For more information about Sesame, visit: https://sesamehq.com

Apr 16, 2017

Ten with Ken recently went onsite at the University of Waterloo, to learn more about the world's largest free business incubator, Velocity. For the episode, we spoke to 4 young entrepreneurs, including Rachel Thompson, Founder of Marlena Books. This is our complete interview with her.

Marlena Books is a social company producing reading material for individuals with Alzheimer's and Dementia, to improve their quality of life and their dignity. Currently they have 5 hardcover print books, but they are also developing e-books and hope to add 5 more titles each year.

For more information about Marlena Books, visit: http://www.marlenabooks.com

Apr 15, 2017

Ten with Ken recently went onsite at the University of Waterloo, to learn more about the world's largest free business incubator, Velocity. For the episode, we spoke to 4 young entrepreneurs, including Steven ten Holder, CEO of Acorn Cryotech. This is our complete interview with him.

Acorn Cryo sends collection kits to individuals who want to cryogenically preserve their own young cells, for use in medical breakthroughs in the future. Young cells will be much more resilient for use in various stem cell therapies, or even to grow new organs for implantation.

For more information about Acorn Cryotech, please visit: http://acorncryotech.com

Apr 14, 2017

Ten with Ken recently went onsite at the University of Waterloo, to learn more about the world's largest free business incubator, Velocity. For the episode, we spoke to 4 young entrepreneurs, including Daniel MacKenzie, the Chief Technology Officer at HealthIM. This is our complete interview with him.

HealthIM has built upon PhD research to create a software tool for front-line police officers to record details of a mental health crisis and share that information quickly with other community partners, such as hospitals and mental health professionals. The company is in field with full-paying customers, police forces in Southern Ontario.

For more information about HealthIM, please visit: https://healthim.com

Apr 12, 2017

Ten with Ken goes onsite at the University of Waterloo, home to the world's largest free business incubator, Velocity. The program's facilities include a campus Residence, Science facility, Start lounge, and the downtown Garage. In this extended episode, director Jay Shah gives us a tour of the Velocity Garage, explains the 3-stage model of business incubation, and introduces us to some exciting new companies:

Maluuba, an artificial intelligence company recently acquired by Microsoft.
Innovative Protein Technologies, which makes FrostArmour spray foam to protect crops from frost damage.
Alchemy, which is creating nanotechnology films to protect windshields from impact damage.
Vitameter, whose desktop device provides realtime analysis of the vitamins in your blood.
Qidni Labs, which is developing an implantable artificial kidney, which could make dialysis obsolete.

We learn about the tight connection between Velocity and Waterloo's longstanding co-op program, and the critical importance of mentorship and peer community as supports for startups. We hear about the funding model for Velocity, which charges companies no rent and takes no equity. (The Start-Up Pledge encourages companies to give back when they make it big.) Jay tells us what brought him back to Velocity after he sold BufferBox to Google: the exciting promise of major breakthroughs based on hard science.

We also got the chance to interview 4 dynamic young entrepreneurs:

Daniel MacKenzie, CTO of Health IM, which has produced software to help police officers record details of mental health crises and share them with community partners. (Full interview at https://youtu.be/GZUkzEOwjv4 ).

Ian Tao, Founder and CEO of Sesame, which provides competency-based assessment software to primary, secondary, and tertiary education. (Full interview at https://youtu.be/rwc4Pd5es6I ).

Rachel Thompson, Founder of Marlena Books, which publishes titles specifically designed for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia. (Full interview at https://youtu.be/T5dbA0C5610 ).

Steven ten Holder, CEO of Acorn Cryotech, which preserves your young cells so you can use them for life-changing medical procedures in the future. (Full interview at https://youtu.be/WAuS8ly2zD8 ).

3 of these CEOs never even contemplated entrepreneurship until they were immersed in the innovation culture at the University of Waterloo. They were surrounded by entrepreneurial role models, had the opportunity to work in startups as co-op students, and gained the confidence to launch their own ventures.

Next week, Ken sits down with President & Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur, to discuss the broader innovation ecosystem at the University of Waterloo, and to explore just what other institutions might have to do to nurture entrepreneurialism on their own campuses.

Mar 25, 2017

In this special double-episode, Ken shares hilarious highlights from last year’s April Fool’s Day around the world. If you’re curious, looking for laughs, or seeking inspiration for your own pranks this April, check out the collection!

Some colleges and universities put real energy into prank media releases, hoax videos, or absurd webpages each April First. Last year, in “Ten Kinds of April Foolery,” we inventoried the basic categories, from minor name changes or new mascots to outrageous infrastructure announcements or bizarre new program offerings. We also analyzed the typical structure: begin with something almost reasonable, build credibility with authoritative sound bytes, pile on the absurdities and puns, and finally (often) deflate the whole hoax. Check out last year’s special at https://youtu.be/v-dSiWr3KHM

On April 1 2016, we carefully monitored thousands of higher ed news releases and video feeds, and here are some of the highlights we found. (This summary doesn’t do the jokes justice at all – watch the episode!)

Thompson Rivers University tweeted that they were dropping the “S” from their name.

Ohio State University’s colours were being renamed “ruby and porpoise.”

The University of Oregon announced an incredible upgrade to their playing field.

SAIT Polytechnic almost unveiled their new visual identity. (But not quite.)

Bryn Mawr College launched a replacement for campus email, Bananagrams.

Biola University Math professor Matthew Weathers got into a tussle with his videotaped self.

Sheridan College announced a new Bachelor of Modern Media Consumption degree.

Lethbridge College unveiled the Canadian Centre for Excellence and Innovation in Northern Hemisphere Coffee Bean Cultivation.

Simon Fraser University released the new Canadian taste sensation, Poutine Lattes.

Animals:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced a partnership between their Farrier program and campus security.

SAIT Polytechnic became an official “Kitty Campus.”

Duke University added a squirrel video to their homepage.

The University of Nottingham built an urban gym for tubby squirrels.

York University’s Glendon Campus announced a new Wildlife Communications program.

Canadian Mennonite University launched a new major in Equestrian Studies.

Acadia University announced that livestock would return to the campus farm.

Iowa’s Luther College added sheep and goats to its grounds crew.

University of Victoria announced mixed results for their interactive petting zoo in the campus library.

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast created dragon eggs.

Oakland University brought grizzly bear cubs to campus.

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum announced a one-day tribble breeding program.

Campus Infrastructure:

The University of Saskatchewan held a lottery for a luxury loft on campus.

Durham College got an interdimensional portal.

Langara College’s demolished its famous rock to make room for a park bench.

West Virginia University replaced stone staircases with weatherproof escalators.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison installed pneumatic tubes to bypass elevators.

MacEwan University installed magical staircases.

The University of Glasgow installed a “helter-skelter” inside its historic clock tower.

Oakland University was repurposing miles of underground tunnels.

Dalhousie University announced “Dal-Kea” furniture.

The CERN LHC uncovered music inside the Higgs Boson.

Library & Archives Canada acquired the journals of Wolverine.

Oberlin College replaced student pics with preschoolers.

The University of Rochester went full-on Harry Potter.

Fanshawe College’s library was closing to become a movie theatre and Starbucks.

Best of Show:

The government demanded UK universities rent out underused space to AirBnB guests.

The “Fortunate 500” ranked world universities at completely random.

The University of Florida and Florida State University announced a merger, in the tiny town of Perry.

Virginia Commonwealth University launched their “Tats, not SATs” program, requiring tattoos for admission and graduation.

To watch the originals of any of the videos excerpted in this webcast (at least, those that are still on YouTube), check out our playlist at https://youtu.be/v-dSiWr3KHM?list=PLodJ8ParJmYXiHt5dDGxr-7Vf3-ob87Ko

Mar 18, 2017

Last episode, Ken's 10th annual "Year in Review" continued with a look at some of the bigger PR headaches afflicting North American colleges and universities, with a focus on cultural insensitivity and its consequences. (Think Mount St Mary's, Missouri, Yale, Ithaca, and Harvard.) Check out Part I: Budgets & Bunnies at: https://youtu.be/1fnN8QOFrWs

This week, he profiles 2 major PR migraines in more detail, which occurred at UBC and the University of Toronto. Both attracted international media attention, hundreds of articles and blogs, millions of views and outrage on both sides.

At the University of Toronto, Psychology prof Jordan Peterson ignited a firestorm by insisting that, should a gender non-binary student ever ask him to use non-standard pronouns like "ze" or "zir" or even singular "they," he would refuse. He went on to repeat himself ever more loudly, aggressively, and insistently. Opponents called him transphobic and insensitive to human dignity. He called them biology-deniers and left-wing social justice warriors. The debate continues well into 2017.

Video clips:
Jordan Peterson on why pronouns aren’t about respect. Davie Addison. https://youtu.be/EXvU8DEbyAw
Jordan Peterson speaks at University of Toronto protest. Genuinewitty https://youtu.be/HAlPjMiaKdw
Genders, Rights and Freedom of Speech. TVO’s Agenda with Steve Paikin. https://youtu.be/kasiov0ytEc
University of Toronto Free Speech Debate. Jordan B Peterson. https://youtu.be/68NHUV5me7Q


At UBC, the Galloway Affair was unquestionably the heavyweight champion headache of the year. It started in November 2015, when the university temporarily suspended the head of its creative writing department, bestselling novelist Steven Galloway. The official announcement of “serious allegations” made thinly-veiled references to campus “safety,” and advised “counseling” for anyone affected. Throughout 2016 there were media exposés, and the rumour mill generated tales of bullying, sexual harassment, threats, and more. UBC appointed a former BC Supreme Court Justice to lead an impartial investigation. After 5 months, her report dismissed all but one complaint against Galloway, but still resulted in his termination for a “record of misconduct that resulted in an irreparable breach of trust.” Major donors withheld funds, renowned authors like Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje called for another investigation, and witnesses for the complainant objected that the process had been unfair. A grievance from the UBC Faculty Association is heading into arbitration shortly.

Video clip:
http://globalnews.ca/video/2351577/ubc-creative-writing-program-head-suspended


Watch the video for all the details! More great content is coming up next week - please subscribe or follow on any of a dozen platforms so you don't miss it! http://eduvation.ca/subscribe/

 

Mar 12, 2017

This week, we start our annual look at college and university PR challenges and controversies with politically incorrect remarks, budget crises, workplace bullying, racial tensions and presidential resignations, across North America. 2016 Higher Ed Headaches, part I: Budgets & Bunnies!

Bad luck, bad decisions, and even poor choice of words can derail an academic presidency. Last year started with president Simon Newman at Maryland’s Mount St Mary’s University. In January he made international headlines for his colourful metaphor to describe his approach to improve student retention statistics: drown the bunnies! He then demoted the Provost, fired two faculty members, and was beset with protests, AAUP objections, and an investigation by accreditors. After weeks of chaos, he resigned.

CBS Baltimore news: https://youtu.be/mUjkVwJ-RCs

Kevin Nagel resigned as president of Keyano College in Alberta, after plunging oil prices took a toll on the region’s economy, and the college budget. (Even before the wildfire.)

Cape Breton University’s board dismissed president David Wheeler over his attempts to avert a faculty strike (without involving the board negotiating committee).

Brock University announced a “mutual decision” not to proceed with the appointment of its new president, just 3 days before she was to take office. The national media reported on an investigation into her department at Ryerson, based on anonymous allegations of a “toxic workplace.”

Cultural insensitivity and political incorrectness can be capital offenses on campus. Racial microaggressions have roiled many US college campuses in recent years.

The University of Missouri was rocked by hunger strikes, a faculty walkout, and a tent city in the crowd – but made international headlines when the football team went on strike. Within weeks, system president Tim Woolfe and the Chancellor both resigned. Undergraduate recruitment suffered immediately, with new students dropping 24% in a single year.

USA Today – Resignation - https://youtu.be/0DCgJZ7_oEE

KMBC News – Enrolment decline - https://youtu.be/3eaRzGsFo-A

Black Lives Matter protestors at Ithaca College in New York held a walkout in solidarity with Mizzou, and 72% of students and faculty voted no confidence in president Tom Rochon. In January he announced that he would step down – in 19 months!

Ithacan Online – Walkout - https://youtu.be/OV-wKIK68Ac

Ithacan Online – Interview - https://youtu.be/V5WBn0yGbdU

ICTV NewsWatch - Interview – https://youtu.be/ENCSxvwxl3E

Microaggressions weren’t always fatal to presidents; sometimes it was just the figure-heads who rolled. At Georgetown University in Washington DC, protests against 2 buildings named for former presidents who had arranged the sale of slaves to fund the institution eventually led to them being renamed. Harvard University Law School agreed to drop its official shield, which commemorated a wealthy slaveowner donor.

Yale University was less easily convinced that it needed to change the name of Calhoun College. In April 2016 they insisted the name would not change. But after a year of protests and bad publicity, Yale finally relented in February 2017.

WTNH News – April 2016 - https://youtu.be/_r99qrgHWEg

WTNH News – Feb 2017 - https://youtu.be/FiIGOHGct8A https://youtu.be/Q818EHSlEuY

In Canada, protests over racial insensitivities are more proactive than reactive. At Wilfrid Laurier University, protesters managed to derail a project that would install statues on campus of all 22 former prime ministers. They insisted it was insensitive to First Nations and minority groups.

That’s part I of 2016 Headaches. Next week, we’ll look at 2 of the biggest PR migraines of the year. They caught the public imagination because they involved sex and gender. Next time: Pronouns and Poets. Stay tuned!

Feb 24, 2017

Ken Steele is Canada's foremost higher ed strategist, speaker and facilitator, and for more than a decade he has presented hundreds of keynotes, campus presentations and workshops across North America, every year.

In this brief video, he introduces himself, and the long and winding road that brought him to a unique vantage point on higher education.

For more information about Ken's campus presentations, please visit http://eduvation.ca/services/campus-pd-presentations/

For virtual keynotes, delivered remotely at much lower cost, visit http://eduvation.ca/services/virtual-keynotes/

For committee workshops, see http://eduvation.ca/services/workshops/

Feb 21, 2017

Ken Steele is Canada's foremost higher ed strategist, speaker and facilitator, and for more than a decade he has presented hundreds of keynotes, campus presentations and workshops across North America.

In this brief video, he describes how a combination of rich media, mini-keynotes, audience interaction, group discussion, and real-time polls keeps some of the toughest audiences engaged: college and university professors, front-line staff, senior administrators and governing boards.

For more information about Ken's campus presentations, please visit http://eduvation.ca/services/campus-pd-presentations/

For virtual keynotes, delivered remotely at much lower cost, visit http://eduvation.ca/services/virtual-keynotes/

For committee workshops, see http://eduvation.ca/services/workshops/

Feb 18, 2017

Ken Steele is Canada's foremost higher ed strategist, speaker and facilitator, and for more than a decade he has presented hundreds of keynotes, campus presentations and workshops across North America.

In this brief video, he describes the goals of campus presentations, workshops and PD sessions, to create widespread shared understanding of emerging trends and best practices, and to open eyes and minds to potential innovations in higher education.

For more information about Ken's campus presentations, please visit http://eduvation.ca/services/campus-pd-presentations/

For virtual keynotes, delivered remotely at much lower cost, visit http://eduvation.ca/services/virtual-keynotes/

For committee workshops, see http://eduvation.ca/services/workshops/

Feb 3, 2017

Ken Steele's 10th annual higher ed "year in review" continues with part 3, a look at the fall – and rise – of for-profit fortunes in 2016.

In the previous two episodes, we looked at the proliferation of free college tuition policies across North America, the rise of anti-intellectualism and protectionism, and some of the implications for international education. (Check out part 1 https://youtu.be/CZ6nuznRV_I , and part 2 https://youtu.be/AWuE7EhoejI ).

6) FOR-PROFITS

For decades now, massive for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University have been rewriting the rules of higher education, and transforming the landscape. Last year was their annus horribilis, but also likely marks a turning point to much better times ahead.

For 8 years, the Obama administration aggressively prosecuted for-profit colleges and universities for deceptive marketing, fraudulent enrolments, and high rates of student loan defaults. The GAO’s undercover agents caught recruiters on hidden camera, encouraging students to lie on their loan applications. Major online universities like Phoenix were apparently targeting homeless shelters, and encouraging students with little chance of academic success to apply for substantial financial aid. There was a Senate hearing into For-Profit School recruitment practices, and new, tougher regulations.

Between 2011 and 2015, for-profit universities saw declines of 30% or more in enrolment. Corinthian Colleges faced legal challenges by state and federal agencies, and finally declared it was closing more than 100 campuses in April 2015. In August 2016, ITT Technical Institute lost its accreditation, and it declared bankruptcy within a month, closing 130 campuses and laying off 8,000 employees. In September 2016, Washington revoked the accreditation of ACICS, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. And just last week, in the final days of the Obama administration, it was announced that more than 800 programs failed the Department of Education’s “gainful employment” standards, and therefore risked losing student aid eligibility – 98% of them at for-profit institutions.

But it seems pretty likely that 2016 marks the nadir of fortune for America’s for-profit colleges and universities. President-elect Trump hasn’t articulated his higher education policies, but it seems obvious that the founder of Trump University will have sympathies with other for-profits. The president-elect has made it clear that he is a strong supporter of school choice and charter schools, promising to repurpose about a third of the federal education budget. It seems likely that his administration will deregulate the for-profit sector. He may grant a reprieve to ACICS. In the past, he has threatened to eliminate the federal Department of Education entirely. Federal legislation like Title IX may be weakened. And competency-based degrees will continue to gain momentum.

Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a reformer of elementary and secondary schools, a strong believer in charter schools, school choice, and voucher systems. She is likely to promote privatization, performance-based government funding, and legislation to further reduce the power of faculty and staff unions. She has been a supporter of religious schools and free speech on campus, and an opponent of political correctness, affirmative action, and same-sex marriage.

Decades of growth in for-profit higher ed were largely undone under two terms of Obama’s administration. Whether you think that’s a good thing or not, the Trump administration is poised to reverse much of the regulation and enforcement that has held back the multinational expansion of for-profit colleges and universities. In Canada and around the world, we need to prepare ourselves for a resurgence of corporate players in higher education.

Excerpts:
Dan Rather Reports – https://youtu.be/Pa1DxUWMsEU
Frontline 2010 – https://youtu.be/08_AuakqdXs
Frontline 2016 - https://youtu.be/Cew6EutvAjE
Fox 5 Atlanta - https://youtu.be/2vhFcKIhm4Y
GAO - https://youtu.be/9PbevtrhEKM
MSNBC - https://youtu.be/JUaMFVDV9PQ
NBC - https://youtu.be/S1XUwbtMxfE
Corinthian hearings - https://youtu.be/tkKmjyuoKyY
Betsy Devos highlights - https://youtu.be/Mc2n9uacQq4
Trump’s school choice proposal - http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-school-choice-proposal-227915


Next time, we’ll look back at campus challenges and controversies of 2016, in our annual review of higher ed headaches!

Jan 27, 2017

Ken Steele's 10th annual higher ed "year in review" continues with part 2, a look back at populism, protectionism and post-truth in 2016. (Check out part 1 at https://youtu.be/CZ6nuznRV_I ).

There were some significant, and even terrifying, political events last year:

3) POST-TRUTH

Oxford Dictionaries have declared “post-truth” the word of 2016. It was used 200 times more than any year previous, mostly because of the US election and UK referendum. Thanks to social media, deliberate misinformation and the layoff of journalists and editors, many people no longer know what to believe. Russian hackers and trolls waged cyberwarfare last year to influence elections and destabilize NATO. Propaganda and “fake news” has proliferated. George Orwell’s dystopian vision (from his novel 1984) was set just a few decades too early.

Britain, we heard last year, has “had enough of experts.”
https://youtu.be/GGgiGtJk7MA

Widespread support for Brexit, Donald Trump, Rob Ford and “Boaty McBoatface” exemplifies the anti-intellectualism that is rampant. Universities will be popular targets in this “post-truth” era. President-elect Trump has said emphatically how he "loves the poorly-educated": https://youtu.be/Vpdt7omPoa0

4) NATIONALISM

Across Europe and the US, populist movements have spread anxiety about immigration and led to tougher border enforcement, racist hate crimes, and plenty of xenophobic rhetoric. (From “poisoned skittles” to “extreme vetting.”) Trump campaigned for president on a platform of literally building a wall: https://youtu.be/ZGSAhNZnisk

It is estimated that Brexit will cost UK universities £3.7 billion, and 34,000 jobs. It also led to a 36% decline in international student interest.

A survey conducted prior to the US election found that 60% of international students would be less inclined to study in the US under a Trump presidency. On election night, 200,000 Americans tried to access the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website simultaneously, crashing it for 10 hours. The next day, American Google searches and web hits to Canadian colleges and universities tripled or quintupled!

The US brand for international student recruitment has shifted, and Canada, Australia and New Zealand may be well positioned to gain market share over the coming years.

5) SAUDI

In international education, several other major shifts in 2016 focused on Saudi Arabia. Plummeting oil prices have impacted the Kingdom’s budget, and inevitably the King Abdullah Scholarship program, which has sent more than 200,000 students abroad. Enrolments in US language schools showed the first drop, but overall Saudi students in the US have declined 20%. Universities not ranked in the world’s top 200 can expect Saudi enrolments to drop to virtually zero. And in Ontario, we saw significant controversy last year over gender segregated college campuses operated in Saudi Arabia by Niagara and Algonquin College, sparked by the premier’s declaration that they are “unacceptable.” In the end the controversy dissipated, but the lasting effect came from financial troubles. Algonquin College announced that, after losing about $1.5 million on its Saudi campus, it was pulling out.


Next time, in part 3, we'll look at the pivot in the fortunes of for-profit higher education, triggered by the US election. The policy positions of president-elect Trump and his proposed Education Secretary will pave the way for some interesting years ahead!

Stay tuned until after the closing credits for some bloopers!

Jan 21, 2017

Ken Steele's 10th annual higher ed "year in review" looks back at 2016 and sums up the major news and trends shaping the postsecondary landscape in just 6 words.

In part 1, he reviews the many tragedies of 2016, from the loss of famous celebrities and great thinkers to Zika and Brangelina. 2016 was a year that left many feeling adrift, and the surge towards populism gave us Brexit, Trump, and Boaty McBoatface.

Plenty of trends we identified in previous years continued in 2016, from gender equity and sexual assault protocols to political correctness, indigenous content and "peak campus". But in this episode, we look at a major disaster and an emerging trend that defined the year that was:

1) FIRE!

The biggest news story in Canada was unquestionably the Fort MacMurray wildfire, which swept through 1.5 million acres in northern Alberta. It caused the emergency evacuation of all 88,000 residents in town, destroyed 2,400 homes, and caused about $9 billion in damage. Keyano College was fortunate, in that its campuses escaped structural damage, but smoke remediation still cost about $15 million. Canada is still feeling the economic and labour market impacts of the disaster.

2) FREE!

Momentum towards free tuition programs has been building across North America for several years. In 2014, the "Tennessee Promise" offered students 2 years of community college for zero tuition. In 2015, President Obama proposed a $60 billion "American College Promise" program, and Minnesota and Oregon approved plans of their own. In 2016, Kentucky followed suit, and Bernie Sanders pushed for free university tuition as well.

Obama - https://youtu.be/nFWhzdQcwnk
Sanders - https://youtu.be/c4I2dbTxpqU

In Canada, Quebec CÉGEPs have been offering free tuition for 50 years now, but in 2016 Ontario and New Brunswick launched new programs. The Canadian Federation of Students published a report calling for "education justice," and calculating that it would cost the federal government $10.2 billion. CFS staged a day of protest in early November.

Charlatan - https://youtu.be/5PUQ3L8zBQI

Next time, in part 2, we'll look at the global shift towards populism, protectionism, and a post-truth distrust of intellectuals. The trends pose major challenges, and some opportunities, to higher education.

Stay tuned until after the closing credits for some bloopers!

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