This Week in LIS - 28 February 2014

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Headline of the Week:  Luther Welcomes 10th President – Opportunity to Initiate a New Relationship

Yesterday we began extending the campus wide welcome to Dr. Paula J. Carlson. We anticipate that by the end of this day the Board of Regents will have elected Dr. Carlson to be the 10th President of Luther College. We will begin as well to build mutually collaborative and supportive relationships with Dr. Carlson.

We enjoy an explicit and essential structural relationship already. The LIS organization reports to the Office of the President. Additionally, with a “dotted line,” LIS reports to the Dean’s Office.  This structure provides essential communication linkages to the faculty leadership and to the administration leadership for enabling our collective ability to provide what I have referred to as the “connected learning platform” for Luther College. I believe it is important to our mission and would desire to make the linkages with LIS even richer. That said, organizational structures are generally better at dividing people than integrating them.  Mutually collaborative and supportive relationships are essential for integrating people especially across functions.

How might one go about building new (or enhancing) trusted relationships? One approach is to spend time, swapping stories, looking for common ground, common interests and shared vocabulary. Trust is developed in relationships as we mutually and iteratively share things that are important to us and make us vulnerable and find that vulnerability is responded to with respected and not misused.

We can be intentional about that with Dr. Carlson. For those in the Luther community I encourage you to study Dr. Carlson’s Resume/Vitae. This is a starting point to finding shared interest, experience or vocabulary. You will find it within Katie, our learning management system. Navigate to the Board of Regents materials folder and within you will find it.

As an example when I was studying it I noticed that Dr. Carlson participated in a two week, intensive professional development workshop focused on issues of higher education, senior leadership and change at Harvard University called the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) in 2011. Looking more deeply into this program one finds a faculty member, Christopher Dede, who is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Dede is part of the Technology, Innovation, and Education Program (TIE).  From his directory page you can see links to two of Dede’s courses, from which one can navigate to the course websites, which are open. One from the Fall 2013 is called “Transforming Education through Emerging Technologies” and one currently underway is called “Motivation and Learning:  Technologies That Invite and Immerse.”

One of the recorded online “motivation” lectures is Dede’s current class, it takes on the topic of extrinsic and intrinsic student motivation. This is clearly something we endeavor to do at Luther College. Learning happens on the student side. It happens best when a student is motivated and engaged. We provide the “structure” and the extrinsic motivation to the degree that students are exposed to ideas and possibilities and connections in such a way that they can tap into natural intrinsic motivations about what they want to create of themselves in service to the broader world.

This sure seems like fascinating stuff for finding common ground between LIS and our new President! I look forward to building a new mutually collaborative and supportive relationship with Dr. Carlson.

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Dr. Paula J. Carlson’s Resume/Vitae


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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

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Upcoming LIS Events   

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This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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