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October 18, 2018

Universities Are Changing and So Are Their Libraries

New Report from OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R, both known for exploring the implications for libraries of changes taking place in higher education, joined forces to work on a research project, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that examines variations in institutional missions and how those missions affect the services offered to library users. The resulting report, University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning Library Strategies with Institutional Directions, has just been published. Our hope is that both academic administrators and librarians…
September 19, 2018

Evaluating Online Instruction and Cross-Institutional Course Sharing

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), in collaboration with Ithaka S+R, recently concluded its four-year initiative with the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction (2014-18), which provided opportunities for two distinct cohorts of private liberal arts colleges to first design and teach online humanities courses in their own institutions and later to revise and offer the same courses to all students in the Consortium.[1] The second Consortium just completed its final year of work and participants shared valuable insights…
October 5, 2017

Lessons from Save America’s Treasures

New Report Provides Case Studies of 21 SAT Grantees

Every now and again it is useful to take a look at past programs and reflect on what we learned. I had the great pleasure of working on such a project over the last several months. The American Architectural Foundation asked us to assist with an evaluation of the Save America’s Treasures project that was funded by the federal government from 1999-2010 through the National Park Service and its partner agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment…
June 27, 2017

Ithaka S+R and the UCLA Senior Fellows Program

Ithaka S+R is proud to be a new sponsor of the UCLA Senior Fellows program and we are delighted that Brian Schottlaender, retiring University Librarian at the University of California, San Diego, has agreed to lead the program. I have been tangentially connected to this leadership program for most of my career. When I was the Library Education program officer at the Council on Library Resources in the early 1980s, we funded the first class of the UCLA Fellows…
January 19, 2017

LYRASIS and its Inclusive Leadership Model

Before being named CEO of LYRASIS, Robert Miller was the General Manager of Digital Libraries at the Internet Archive, where he oversaw the scanning of millions of books in both the United States and in a host of other countries. It is my opinion that librarianship was a contagious disease that infected him. He simply fell in love with the mission of libraries, so it was no surprise when I learned that Robert had been tapped to lead LYRASIS…
January 4, 2017

The Future of the Print Record

Recommendations from the MLA’s Working Group

The Modern Language Association’s Working Group on the Future of the Print Record released its report last month and I urge the library community to consider it carefully and respond. As a member of the working group, I have been impressed with the collaboration of scholars and librarians in dealing with an issue that is both important and complex. Librarians have witnessed a dramatic change in students’ and researchers’ use of print materials housed in their collections. The convenience…
December 13, 2016

Lessons for Scholarly Communication from The Next Wave 2016

Since taking part in ITHAKA’s The Next Wave 2016 a few weeks ago, I have been reflecting on what I heard and what it means for the libraries and publishers we work with every day. As higher education changes to meet the needs of 21st century students, libraries and publishers must also adapt. Here are just a few of the big takeaways from my perspective. We need to align behind student success. The student is no longer the 18-22-year…
November 15, 2016

Developing a Policy for Technology-Mediated Content

As colleges and universities continue to develop and invest in online courses, have their policies kept pace? In An Academic Policy Framework for Technology-Mediated Content, published today, authors Randal C. Picker, Lawrence S. Bacow, and Nancy Kopans argue that clear policies—on governance, conflicts of interest, and intellectual property—are critical to promoting innovation in the development of new educational technologies. As the authors caution “without adequate policies, the development of potentially interesting and valuable new educational technologies…
September 15, 2016

Online Courses Meet Specialized Needs of Small, Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, invited its 700 members to apply to be part of the Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction. Even though the hallmark of CIC member institutions is their personalized learning for their students in small classroom settings, many of them wanted to understand more about online learning as it was receiving so much press coverage at the time. Twenty-one institutions were selected from 100 applications in the spring of…
July 20, 2016

Ithaka S+R Welcomes Catharine Bond Hill

Dear Friends, I am thrilled to share the news announced today that Catharine (Cappy) Bond Hill will be the new Managing Director of Ithaka S+R. Cappy, who has served as president of Vassar College for the past decade, is a passionate believer in high-quality education for students at every socioeconomic level. Having served on the ITHAKA Board for the past several years, she knows Ithaka S+R quite well already and her interests, research, and leadership align well with our…
July 14, 2016

Libraries’ Role in Global Education

Nearly any conversation about higher education includes the need for global engagement. Some universities have addressed this by building international campuses; others have recruited heavily to bring international students to their American campuses. All have focused on adding global perspectives to the curriculum. How are university libraries assisting in these globalization efforts? Anne Kenney and Xin Li of Cornell University Libraries in their issue brief “Rethinking Research Libraries in the Era of Global Universities” look at the kinds of services…
June 15, 2016

Reacting to Reacting to the Past

Last week, I had an opportunity to visit a few sessions at the Reacting to the Past conference held on the Barnard campus. Faculty from many different disciplines gathered to rehearse the games they have developed to engage their students in past events and times. All of the games are set in the past, and students, after reading classic texts and doing their own research, are assigned roles. The students are responsible for conducting class sessions that will illuminate…
April 26, 2016

Notes from the CRL Collections Forum

@Risk: Stewardship, Due Diligence, and the Future of Print

The Center for Research Libraries’ spring forum, @Risk: Stewardship, Due Diligence, and the Future of Print, sought to remind librarians of the stewardship responsibilities we bear for preserving library collections and transferring them safely to the next generation. Bernie Reilly, CRL’s executive director, assembled a group of speakers on the first day to offer perspectives on a range of preservation-related topics, and the second day was devoted to panel discussions on trusted repositories, vendors’ roles and responsibilities, academic and independent…
April 13, 2016

Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Facing Higher Education

New Issue Brief from William G. Bowen

Rutgers University is marking its 250th anniversary this year with, among other activities, a series of lectures on the future of higher education. Opening the series on April 7, William G. Bowen, president emeritus of Princeton University and president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon foundation, and now valued advisor to ITHAKA, delivered a lecture on “Issues Facing Major Research Universities at a Time of Stress AND Opportunity.”  Drawing from his recently published Lesson Plan: An Agenda for Change…
March 28, 2016

What’s Different about Digital Leadership?

Is leadership for a digital organization any different than any other kind of leadership? I think so, and that is the topic I chose to address when the National Federation of Advanced Information Systems (NFAIS) named me the 2016 Miles Conrad Memorial Lecturer last month. At this late stage in my career, I have the luxury of reflecting back on the growth and change I have seen in the library profession and thinking about why certain types of leadership have…
March 7, 2016

Helping Students Save Money With Open Educational Resources

Reducing the cost of a college education is a frequent topic in higher education circles, but often the focus is on capping the cost of tuition, or, occasionally, reducing the cost of tuition for students and their families. Some colleges and universities have been trying to find other ways to reduce costs, as well, such as offering online courses during the summer or a regular academic term, for a reduced fee, or using open educational resources (OERs) as an alternative…
February 5, 2016

Looking at the Cost of Publishing Monographs

When Peter Berkerey was named executive director of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP), he undertook a listening tour of the membership. From this experience, he commented that he was struck most by the diversity of the membership and how that made it difficult to establish common programs for the organization. That diversity among university presses is clearly illustrated in The Cost of Publishing Monographs: Toward a Transparent Methodology, a report just concluded by Nancy Maron, Christine Mulhern,…
February 1, 2016

Leadership for Academic Libraries

Developing leaders for academic libraries is an urgent need, especially at a moment when roles and responsibilities of these organizations are in such flux. One of the longest-running and successful programs, the UCLA Senior Fellows program, seemed to be at risk, only because it is totally dependent upon the extraordinary efforts of a single individual. After extensive discussions with Beverly Lynch, UCLA Professor and head of Senior Fellows, Ithaka S+R commissioned former Senior Fellows participant, Karen Calhoun, to carry out…
January 21, 2016

Love and Measurement: Online Learning in Small, Independent Colleges

Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and interim chairman of the department of medicine, University of California, San Francisco, wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times on January 17 in which he argues that measurement in both the health care and education industries has failed us. He concludes by saying, “The secret of quality is love.” He worried that our efforts to measure and improve quality somehow block the altruism that motivates both doctors and teachers to do their…
December 21, 2015

2015: A Retrospective

The end of 2015 is upon us, and it seems a good time to look back on what we have done well and to identify areas in which we can do better in the new year.  The good news—this has been a stellar year for Ithaka S+R publications. In the two program areas—Educational Transformation and Libraries and Scholarly Communication—we have issued 21 research reports, case studies and issue briefs. The Educational Transformation program has focused on case…