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Forming Strategic Partnerships: New Results from the Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments Participatory Action Research

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Research in Faculty Development

Tagged Topic

Faculty Development Constituency Committee

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30532

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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Cara Margherio University of Washington

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Cara Margherio is Senior Research Associate at the UW Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE). Cara serves as project manager for program evaluation on several NSF- and NIH-funded projects focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion within STEM higher education. Her research interests include community cultural wealth, counterspaces, faculty development, peer mentoring, and institutional change.

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Kerice Doten-Snitker University of Washington

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Ms. Doten-Snitker is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Washington's Center for Evaluation and Research for STEM Equity, where she is part of a team conducting evaluation research for university-level educational and professional training, with a focus on increasing equity and participation of underrepresented and minority students and professionals. She has contributed to evaluation research for a range of programs funded by the NSF, NIH, and USAID. Additionally, she is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Washington, where her scholarship focuses on political processes of inclusion and exclusion.

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Julia M. Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julia M. Williams is Interim Dean of Cross-Cutting Programs and Emerging Opportunities and Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her research areas include technical communication, assessment, accreditation, and the development of change management strategies for faculty and staff. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly, among others.

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Elizabeth Litzler University of Washington

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Elizabeth Litzler, Ph.D., is the Director of the University of Washington Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (UW CERSE) and an affiliate assistant professor of sociology. She has been at UW working on STEM Equity issues for more than 12 years. Dr. Litzler is a member of ASEE and a former board member of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN). She is currently the principal investigator on a dozen different research and evaluation projects focused on improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education. Her research interests include the educational climate for students in science and engineering, assets based approaches to STEM equity, and gender and race stratification in education and the workforce.

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Ella Lee Ingram Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Ella L. Ingram is an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her educational research interests include promoting successful change practice of STEM faculty, effective evolution and ecology instruction, and facilitating undergraduate research experiences. Her teaching portfolio includes courses on: nutrition, introductory biology, ecology and environmental studies, evolution, evolutionary medicine, and research practices in science.

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Abstract

This research paper investigates the process of forming strategic partnerships to enact organizational change. There has been increasing interest in forming strategic partnerships in higher education due to a variety of motivations, such as pooling of resources and improving the professional development process for students (Worrall, 2007). It is important to examine how strategic partnerships form because the process of formation sets the objectives and expectations of the relationship, which in turn impact the likelihood of success and sustainability of the relationship. Further, despite the growing interest in forming strategic partnerships, the majority of these partnerships fail (Eddy, 2010).

This analysis of strategic partnerships emerges from our participatory action research with university change agents activated through the NSF REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) Program. Through an NSF-funded collaboration between [University 1] and [University 2], we work with the change-making teams to investigate the change process and provide just-in-time training and support. Utilizing qualitative data from focus group discussions and observations of monthly cross-team teleconference calls, we examine the importance of motivations, social capital, and organizational capital in the process of forming strategic partnerships.

We find that change-making teams have utilized a variety of strategies to establish goals and governance within strategic partnerships. These strategies include establishing alignment among institutional goals, project goals, and partner organization goals. Further, the strategic partnerships that have been most successful have occurred when teams have intentionally built mutually beneficial relationships and invited their partner into the visioning process for their change projects. These results delineate practices for initiating strategic partnerships within higher education and encourage faculty to build mutually beneficial strategic partnerships.

Margherio, C., & Doten-Snitker, K., & Williams, J. M., & Litzler, E., & Ingram, E. L. (2018, June), Forming Strategic Partnerships: New Results from the Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments Participatory Action Research Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30532

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