Dedicated Time for Staff Innovation

Innovation Profile #1

Topics: Student Affairs

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Mona Mogahed

Molly O'Connor, Senior Consultant

This series of innovation profiles is only the beginning of our work to assist members in navigating the decade ahead and all of the challenges and opportunities it will present. For these profiles, we have chosen nine practices that address the challenges we feel institutions—and more precisely, divisions of Student Affairs—will be most pressed to address in the years ahead. We encourage our members to look to these profiles for inspiration in their own work, and as conversation starters on campus around some key considerations to keep in mind as we move forward in addressing the challenges we face in our work, and in serving our own students.

How to Navigate This Document

toolkitThe Challenge
What is the situation we’re facing? What is the nature and source of the problem? Why does this issue matter, and who does it matter to? Furthermore, what is difficult about addressing this challenge?

alert Potential Consequences
What repercussions could come from not addressing this challenge? How will addressing it improve or contribute to serving our students?

universityCase Study
How has one institution successfully addressed, or at least approached, this problem? What are the strategies, ideas, and innovations that have been employed with some success here?

magnify_glassSpotlight Rationale
What is noteworthy about this case study? Why is this example worthy studying? What differentiates it from what others are doing?

QuestionLessons Learned
What can we, as institutions and practitioners, learn from initial efforts in this space? What lessons learned or keys to success can we derive from this one institution’s actions? What can we take home from this example to employ at our own institution?

speech_bubblesMember Brainstorming
What are our next steps? Where do we start? Who will be involved? How do we prepare? How do we navigate through this challenge?

Case Study: Bentley University

In 2011, Andrew Shepardson, Bentley University’s Vice President for Student Affairs, led his division in an exercise that created a dedicated time and space for staff to engage with innovation. The event was a division-wide exercise that allowed staff the chance to get creative, and ultimately resulted in a new campus program that has seen impressive results.