Creating Environments for Change: Strategies for Transcending Fear.Report as inadecuate

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Change is the new status quo in higher education and nowhere is the pressure of change stronger than in student affairs. Some of the innovations and trends confronting student affairs professionals are explored in this paper. Cognitive and affective aspects accompany change, and it is stressed that organizational changes must occur in a safe environment, where no one worries about personal harm. Nine key factors for creating a safe environment for stimulating change in student affairs are presented: (1) the environment must possess an ethos in which the student affairs practitioner is valued, trusted, and empowered; (2) the change-oriented environment must have systematic outcomes assessment data for the purpose of improving; (3) permission must be given for innovation; (4) artificial barriers between people and organizations, which inhibit collaborations, must be dismantled; (5) clear and oft-stated expectations for individuals should be embraced; (6) governance should be characterized by partnerships and not by patriarchy; (7) change comes about from individuals willing and able to shape the future; (8) change typically occurs in organizations which adjust quickly and recover easily from turbulence, upheaval, and other forces; and (9) change behaviors are characterized by continuous communication and negotiation of meaning. (RJM)

Descriptors: Change Agents, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Employee Attitudes, Employer Attitudes, Employer Employee Relationship, Fear, Higher Education, Student Personnel Services, Student Personnel Workers, Work Environment

Author: Ward, Lee; Warner, Mark



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