June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Engineering Leadership Development Division
24.630.1 - 24.630.12
From Faculty to Change Agent: Lessons Learned in the Development and Implementation of a Change WorkshopChange is hard. Changes affect the status quo, but done well will incorporate innovation.Agents of change face opposition from multiple angles, yet see opportunity in unexploredcorners. In the face of these conflicting forces, making change happen is challenging, yetnecessary. For higher education, pressures are mounting: the global economy is uncertainand dynamic, intellectual content is widely accessible, institutional costs are rising, andalternatives to a traditional degree are growing. In this paper, we describe the evolution ofthe Making Academic Change Happen (MACH) workshop, in which participants - futurechange agents - learn change strategies, develop skills, build a community, and create anaction plan. The objective of this work is to present lessons the facilitator team learnedabout successful change strategies through workshop preparation and working withparticipants. A secondary objective of this work is to suggest key resources and strategiesfor developing change skills that can be adopted by individuals on their home campus.The fundamental learning outcome of our workshop planning and development processwas the realization that becoming a change agent requires the acquisition of skills outsidethe realm of typical experience for faculty members - strategic thinking, creating workingpartnerships, garnering support for far reaching ideas, team management, etc. To besuccessful, faculty must intentionally learn these skills and practice them in advance oftheir deployment. As a result, MACH is a manifestation of the philosophy “you have todo it to know it” (i.e., practice and feedback help develop mastery). Second, a majorlesson from the change literature and from projects developed at the workshop is thatchange doesn’t always depend on funding, especially not new money. Having funding fora project might accelerate change, but understanding the institutional context can be farmore important to successful implementation. For this reason, MACH participants workon their own individual/team projects, applying lessons in each workshop session to arelevant scenario as it would likely play out on their campus. Additional MACH lessonslearned will be described, using examples from five implementations of the workshopmaterials. While we think the in-person MACH experience is invaluable for supportingchange process, we have identified and will share key resources that individuals canutilize on their own. These resources are readily available, inexpensive, and outside therealm of typical faculty development, making them essential in the process of becoming achange agent.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015