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November 12, 2021

Announcing a New Research Collaboration

Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums and Ithaka S+R Are Fielding the First Art Museum Trustee Survey this Fall

We are excited to announce the launch of Ithaka S+R’s collaboration with the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). BTA, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a membership organization working to increase the inclusion of Black perspectives and narratives in North American art museums to make these institutions more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement. Using programming, research, and strategic communications, BTA is helping its members–Black trustees…
November 12, 2021

Three Questions for Deirdre Harkins

On November 1, Deirdre Harkins joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team through a collaboration with the Black Trustees Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to BTA and what she hopes to accomplish during her fellowship.  What attracted you to the BTA fellowship? I found BTA’s mission statement of increasing the inclusion of Black perspectives in museums especially compelling. It directly coincides with the research approach…
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November 11, 2021

Engaging Undergraduates in Primary Source Research

An Interview with the Authors of Two New Books

Creating meaningful learning encounters with primary sources involves dynamic collaboration between instructors and those who work with cultural heritage collections, including librarians, archivists, and museum professionals. Here at Ithaka S+R we have been engaging in a series of studies in collaboration with academic libraries, archives, and museums to understand instructors’ support needs in this area, including how to support their teaching with digital cultural heritage materials as classes went remote during the pandemic. In addition to understanding instructors’ experiences…
November 10, 2021

Unpacking the Effects of Increasing Pell Grants

The Pell Grant is America’s most prominent tool to promote college access and affordability for low- and middle-income students. With a substantial increase in the maximum Pell award under consideration by Congress, a natural question is how that increase is likely to impact the access and affordability goals of the program. The answer, it turns out, depends a lot on the college or university at which a Pell recipient uses the grant. In a new…
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October 21, 2021

Working with Libraries to Navigate the Streaming Media Environment

The ascendancy of the streaming format has implications for how educational content is used and purchased within universities, even if universities do not appear to be a priority market for media providers. The pedagogical possibilities for streaming content extend far beyond access to feature films and documentaries, providing, for instance, the opportunity to access a wide variety of academic conference presentations, or observe lab demonstrations. Within universities, academic libraries are taking…
October 20, 2021

The A*CENSUS II: All Archivists Survey is Live

The A*CENSUS II: All Archivists Survey launched this week! This is the first broadscale survey of individual archivists and memory workers in the United States in 17 years. Nearly six thousand archivists participated in the original A*CENSUS in 2004, and the overwhelming response allowed the findings to be leveraged across the field in a myriad of ways. For institutions and professional organizations, the data informed the design of new curricula and the assessment of educational offerings; for archival institutions, the…
October 18, 2021

The Future of Scholarly Meetings

Announcing a New Cohort Project Funded by the Sloan Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic forced scholarly societies to reimagine one of their signal offerings: academic conferences. In response, societies experimented  with virtual and hybrid meeting formats on a scale that was difficult to imagine before March 2020. Societies have emerged from these experiments with an equal measure of worry and cautious optimism about the potential of these new forums to replace or supplement the traditional annual meeting.  With generous funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ithaka…
October 5, 2021

Censorship in Prisons

Recording from the San Francisco Public Library's Banned Books Event Now Available

Last week was Banned Books Week, an annual event meant to celebrate the freedom to read and draw attention to censorship and other threats to free expression. As a report by the free expression advocacy group PEN America points out, America’s prisons are the locus of the country’s largest and most extensive censorship regime. While the free and unencumbered access to literature is a challenge for all incarcerated…
September 27, 2021

An Interview with Nyree Gray, Chief Civil Rights Officer at Claremont McKenna

A deep dive on campus climate and how the Campus Climate Survey can help build a more equitable academic and social environment

Nyree Gray is associate vice president and chief civil rights officer at Claremont McKenna College (CMC). She has previously presented on a webinar for the American Talent Initiative (ATI) Academic Equity Community of Practice (CoP) and at the 2021 Academic Equity CoP Summer Institute, focusing on the intersection between campus climate and curriculum. In particular, she’s shared how she evaluates insights gained from…
September 14, 2021

As War Ends, Let’s Ensure Veterans Have Access to Higher Education

The similarities between the helicopters that left Saigon and the scenes last month at the Kabul airport are painful. For whatever reasons, we have not learned to retreat safely for our citizens and allies. We have failed in our obligations and commitments to those Afghans who most importantly assisted and protected our young men and women who we sent in harm’s way.  There is another lesson from Vietnam that I hope we have learned, even if…
September 13, 2021

What Does It Mean to Be Successful as a Student During a Pandemic?

Centering Student Experiences

Ithaka S+R has long explored how students define their own success and how academic and student support services can most effectively advance that success—and our work on these issues has only ramped up during the pandemic. When it became clear that the pandemic was here to stay, students had to face dramatic shifts to their learning, a staggering amount of communication and newly-implemented policies from their institutions, and new expectations on what it means to be a…
September 9, 2021

How Can the Library Best Support Student and Institutional Success?

Perspectives from a National Survey of Community College Library Directors

For the past three years, Ithaka S+R has explored how student-facing service departments—including academic libraries—are organized, funded, and staffed at community and technical colleges across the country. As part of this ongoing IMLS-funded Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem (CCASSE) research initiative, we surveyed community college library directors this past February. Today, I’m pleased to announce the publication of our findings from that national study. In Library Strategy and Collaboration Across the College Ecosystem…
August 30, 2021

Collecting Data on New Debt Relief Programs

What’s the Impact on Stranded Credits and Student Outcomes?

Stranded credits, or academic credits previously earned but inaccessible due to an outstanding debt to an institution, impact an estimated 6.6 million students across the country. Students affected by stranded credits represent nearly one-sixth of the estimated 36 million students who left college with some credit, but no degree, and are more likely to be students of color and from lower-income backgrounds. Recently, the issue of stranded credits…
August 30, 2021

Higher Ed Consolidation and Equity

Across American higher education, institutional consolidations are on the rise. In particular, multiple state systems have proposed or completed mergers of regional universities and/or community colleges with the stated goal of increasing efficiency. The conditions prompting these consolidations have been mounting for years—among them a long-term downward trend in state support for higher education and demographic shifts away from traditional-aged college students, especially in rural areas where numerous public institutions are located. With the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to…
August 26, 2021

Staying Connected Through the Power of Technology

Centering Student Experiences

At the onset of the pandemic, higher education institutions across the country rushed to bolster digital infrastructure, to maintain both instructional continuity as well as academic and financial advising, so that students could stay enrolled and graduate. Many institutions also rapidly developed new services to accommodate student technology needs through device loaning programs and Wi-Fi partnerships, typically led by the library as gleaned through a series of roundtables conducted with library directors earlier this spring. While the initial investments…
August 19, 2021

Questions for Ithaka S+R’s Summer 2021 Intern Cohort

This summer, we welcomed four interns to our team. In this interview, they reflect on what brought them to Ithaka S+R, what they accomplished, and their experiences this summer. From left to right: Raul Armenta, Yuzhou Bai, Tangier Davis, and Jeremiah Perez-Torres What attracted you to Ithaka S+R? What current projects are you working on? Jeremiah Perez-Torres (PhD Candidate, CUNY) Ithaka S+R works towards improving higher education in a variety of ways and ensures that all…
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August 17, 2021

Advancing Strategy through Staffing

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Library Leadership Roles

Following the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have seen a notable rise in academic libraries’ public commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and even more so following the social justice protests of summer 2020. These include drafting statements positioning the library in opposition to hate crimes and police violence and shifting resources towards new programs and services that address the needs of a wider variety of patrons. Overseeing these initiatives—and…
August 17, 2021

“It pushes you down even further”

Documenting the Burden of Stranded Credits Through the Voices of Those Affected

In October 2020, Ithaka S+R estimated that 6.6 million people in the US owe a debt to a college or university they previously attended, and because of that, cannot access their transcripts or credentials. This insidious and understudied form of student debt not only saddles individuals with collections, credit rating issues, and other typical consequences of debt, but also prevents them from using credits and credentials they’ve earned to continue their education or…
August 16, 2021

Building Community During the Pandemic and Beyond

Centering Student Experiences

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem initiative began in 2019 as part of the Ithaka S+R research portfolio focused on understanding, measuring, and increasing student success at community colleges through a variety of departments and service providers. We have had the great fortune to work with a group of outstanding student advisors from across the country who contribute unique and vital perspectives as we shape recommendations…
August 5, 2021

Deadline Extended: Call for Proposals on Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science

Ithaka S+R is currently accepting applications from researchers interested in participating in Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science, an NSF-funded workshop developed in partnership with the Data Curation Network. Participants will receive funding to attend a two-day incubation workshop in 2022, as well as expert guidance from information professionals about how to create sustainable infrastructures to support voluntary data sharing across disciplinary and institutional boundaries. Applications are due October 1, 2021. Please see the following CFP for full…