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The five facets of trust—benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability, and competence…demonstrate the importance of trust to building successful schools. It follows, then, that the absence of trust impedes effectiveness and progress. If trust breaks down among any constituency, it can spread like a cancer by eroding academic performance and ultimately undermining the tenure of the instructional leader. In this day and age, no leader can long survive the demise of trust.
– Megan Tschannen-Moran, Professor and Chief Academic Officer of the Center for School Transformation at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia
The problem in the Campus Chasm is that we advertise a wrong image and standard, setting up perspective of the work done in colleges to prepare students, when at the end, the reality ends up being another one. When it comes down to having to indicate the issue that is causing student to not receive a proper education, we need to step back and look at the big picture, who is really responsible for it.
As a student mentioned in the article, “College is about more than just classroom assignments or activities outside of class.” This quote has a lot of truth in it; as the student stated, it was not something he really analyzed, but something he simply heard.
The solution is simple, lets analyze the situation and lets truly educate our students, provide the necessary tools to be critical thinkers instead of followers or imitators. There has to be enough and strong expectations from students in order for college to truly get them ready for the real world once they graduate. It is a collaborative responsibility to be able to make a difference.
Everyone dreams of being the President, King, Queen, or even just the boss at work. Everyone has their own vision of what (insert country/workplace/arena of your choice) should look like. Unfortunately, most of us won’t get to achieve that dream. […]
In so many words, campus chasm is academic affairs vs. student affairs.
Two major houses in the land of colleges and universities but the issue is they do not seem to work well together. One would think that they understand their role in the business of higher education, but those two affairs continue to separate themselves from each other. On one side, academic affairs points to student affairs and says: College is about learning. From the other side of campus, student affairs points to academic affairs and says: College is about development. The answer to make all this blame game go away is: Collaboration. In an article titled Campus Chasm, author Gwen Dungy writes, “It’s time to move beyond talking, accept responsibility, and take action.” The time for student affairs to create relationships with their faculty and academic affairs to learn about their students outside of the classroom. Then we can all focus on the real subject at hand: the students.
Take a look at the article to read more about campus chasm: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/12/23/essay-lack-understanding-between-academic-and-student-affairs
In a recent reading assignment, my classmates and myself were introduced to the concept that a “chasm” exists on university and college campuses everywhere. That chasm is the distinctly different areas of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. While I have heard horror stories about such a chasm, I personally have never experienced it within my own professional or student experience but I do believe that it exists in some fashion because that is just the nature of both fields. Like Bolman and Deal describe the four frames of looking at an organization, Academic and Student Affairs view the educational journey from two different assumptions and biases. This makes it critical for us, regardless of which frame we natural are drawn, to take a set back and consider new and alternative possibilities, take risks, and most importantly assess and improve. This idea of course will not take off and be 100% the first time and in fact it may take millions of tries to get it right, but bridging this chasm will ensure that the institution is producing students that have a greater understanding of both their subject matter of choice and transferable skills and knowledge for producing a better future.
“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day”
In many aspects of life, there is often the assumption that there is a winner and loser. Individuals thrive on competition and the desire to be one step ahead! The Campus Chasm situation explains how Academic Affairs and Student Affairs feel they are superior to one another, closing with a student explaining that they felt that was not the case. Both aspects play a crucial role in the overall function and success of the institution, and the first step to bridging this gap is awareness. The administration of both areas need to be on board with this realization, and work to communicate this message from the top down. Through unity comes the opportunity for achievement. Living the mission of an institution is an indication that there is some level of awareness present. Exposing staff and faculty to foreign environments/experiences will assist in creating a greater appreciation for the two areas purpose and an opportunity for clarity. In turn, individuals will feel more prepared for the possible conflicts that may arise and have a greater likelihood of how to take action. People have to be wiling to stand up and act on what they/the institution believes in! Acceptance will naturally come from the implementation of all these steps.
The disconnect between the divisions of student affairs and academic affairs remains present in our higher education institutions. I had just been told by a colleague that they were approached by a faculty member who expressed frustration at why there are part time faculty and full time student affairs professional while sharing that he feels it should be switched. Saying this to a full time student affairs professional it may be intimidating because after all, this is your livelihood, your passion, and your drive. Just as the article “Campus Chasm” by Gwen Dungy (2011) stated:
…it’s time to stop saying our programs complement the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom when too many campuses student affairs has no relationship with the faculty and no idea about the student’s experience in the classroom.
We remain in our bubble and remain segregated because it feels familiar and without challenging ourselves to think critically it makes perfect sense to stay there however if we stay we are refusing progress in our field. The university experience is all encompassing but the students are ultimately here for a reason, to get a degree. It is our responsibility to work together and make sure we, as student affairs professionals, learn about academic affairs and embrace the experience student’s are getting inside the classroom. We need to make an effort to sit on committees where faculty members are present, partner with faculty members within our residence halls, share our programmatic efforts with faculty in hopes to connect with one of their passion areas, and so on. We say we are passionate about education, let’s prove it.
Dungy, G. (2011). Campus Chasm. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/12/23/essay-lack-understanding-between-academic-and-student-affairs
Adjunct faculty. A necessity to all college campuses, but not always welcomed with open arms.
There is a need for adjunct faculty on campus. Some adjuncts are part time who teach because they love it, they leave the hustle and bustle of their 8-5 to come and make a difference in the life of a college student. A number of adjuncts teach to scrape by and make a living, while others teach to get experience in hopes of one day becoming a full-time professor. Regardless of why they choose to be an adjunct faculty, we need them.
Working in a job that puts me in contact with adjunct faculty and full-time faculty – I can attest that both make a difference on a college campus. When standing side by side, one looks no different than the other. Both are passionate about their job and usually go the extra mile to help students. I often see adjuncts getting the short end of the stick. As a new campus, we’re still new and embracing the idea of evening and early morning classes. When I build class schedules, it’s usually the adjuncts teaching these sections. Sadly, they’ll take what they can get, and if offered an extra section – crappy time or not – they’ll take it.
Also, newly hired professors are granted release time. So even though they just started, they already get 3 units off per semester! Guess who fills up their empty sections? Adjuncts.