Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 2016


Within the higher education community, there are repeated calls for changing the way we educate our students. And yet, despite the development of research-based teaching strategies, innovative co-curricular projects, and many years of funding and development from a variety of foundations and corporations, change in higher education is not pervasive. The lack of systemic change points to an important problem with the approach to change that the higher education community has pursued thus far. Current change approaches have not fostered the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) in motivation, communication, collaboration, and persuasion that are the foundation for change on larger, more institutional levels. In this talk, Dr. Williams will discuss the change management strategies that are the core of successful change and provide examples of applications of the strategies in current practice. These change strategies are well documented in the disciplinary literature of organizational psychology and behavior, but have not been brought into the conversation within broader higher education in a practical, accessible way. This literature suggests that successful change focuses on the change agents themselves in terms of their skills and change expertise. In recognition of this reality, a faculty team at Rose-Hulman hosts the Making Academic Change Happen (MACH) Workshop, a three day faculty development workshop that provides attendees—faculty, administrators, graduate students—with the interpersonal, strategic planning, and collaboration KSAs they need in order to become effective change agents on their campuses. Attendees will experience a few short elements of the MACH experience that can be immediately adopted to promote successful change at Western Michigan.


Dr. Julia Williams, the Executive Director of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, provided this plenary talk at the WMU Assessment in Action Conference, April 8, 2016.