- Josie Ahlquist, Research Associate and Instructor, Florida State University, @josieahlquist, josieahlquist.com
- Dr. Ed Cabellon, Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management, Bristol Community College, @dredcabellon, edcabellon.com
- Mordecai Brownlee, Vice President of Student Success, St. Philip’s College, @ItsDrMordecai
- Angela Batista, Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Champlain College, @drangelabatista
- Dr. Tim Miller, @JMUTimMiller
- Get Connected: A Social Media Guide for Campus Leaders (scroll to bottom of Josie’s web site, link is in the footer)
- #NASPA19 Digital Download: http://bit.ly/NextGenVPSA
This is my first session of the 2019 NASPA conference, and I’m well-rested and ready to learn! When I saw the title “Next Gen VPSA,” I knew I needed to attend this session 🙂 Today’s agenda: facilitated discussion around ” purpose-driven digital leadership.” Any omissions or errors are mine.
Change: digital leaders accept and embrace change, calling on others to fill knowledge and skills gaps with technology.
Connection: digital engagement for campus leaders is built around relationships for genuine community building
Personalization: A holistic approach humanizes both a leaders’ campus position and their use of social media tools.
Strategy: campus leaders need to have a clear, yet flexible strategy that aligns their values and personality, as well as university objectives.
Legacy: the theory, practice, and pedagogy of leadership can be applied in digital context to create meaning, build community and leaves a legacy.
Question 1: How do you define “Next Gen VPSA?”
MB: more courses are moving online. SoMe is important for providing a level of representation of who you are and what your institution is about. It’s going to be a norm soon.
EC: I’m an early adopter and my research was around use of SoMe and tech by leaders in higher ed. When I became a VP nine months ago, I thought I’d be able to continue using SoMe the way I’d always used it…that came to a screeching halt! I’ve had to rethink how and why I use SoMe. It really helps when your president and board “get it.” I’m using MailChimp to help measure staff and student interest.
AB: being intentional and strategic is important. We need to be there for our staff and we need to keep learning. Our communication tools are most useful when we’re intentional about HOW we use them. Using it to share your true self is important because it appears in how you “show up.” I was able to respond to a student recently who had a less than ideal experience who said the campus did not care about students of color. Because I was on SoMe, I was able to respond directly to that student’s post.
MB: we’re able to respond in an immediate way…our students want to hear from us. These are opportunities for us to share that we see our students’ concerns, we hear our students’ concerns, and we care about them.
How do you balance your personal and professional accounts?
EC: I’m in a state role now. Because my FB account is intertwined with my personal life, I had to separate things. I do have an assistant that helps me out with things, but it’s still a lot of work to have multiple accounts.
JA: FB and Instagram allow you to have “branded pages” which are underneath the main institutional account.
AB: I intermingle my personal stuff with my professional stuff. I often will share articles, but that does not necessarily mean that I endorse them. If you’re going to do a branded page, make sure that it actually has value.
MB: make sure your SoMe has purpose! Really look at it! You need to evaluate what you’re looking at…ALL of it. You’re never “off” as a VPSA. SoMe is not a place to rant and rave.
EC: if you’re on Twitter, have a look at what lists you’re on. This is a good measurement of how people view you online.
MB: You need to have purpose behind your presence. You also need to be aware of what kind of interaction opportunities each platform presents. Some do not allow you to control things beyond the initial post. I am not an endorser.
JA: Instagram stories are the biggest ROI for younger people. Different intents for different platforms.
How much time do you spend on your SoMe?
TM: I have an assistant who I’ve given all my favorite books, and she provide motivational quotes M-Th, and I do things on Friday. I spend about an hour a day on mine.
AB: I spend most of my time on FB. I post at every event that I go to on campus, which helps with the student voice. Students who want me to amplify their voice, I ask them to tag me so that I can help them. It’s not about quantity, it’s about intent. It’s my way to build relationships.
MB: I spend less than 30 minutes a day on average. I check at the end of the day for sure.
How do you intentionally connect with staff and students?
AB: I don’t invite my staff to connect with me. If someone wants to connect, I really think about what that person wants from the relationship.
MB: if you’re a VP or senior student affairs officer, you should definitely have a conversation with your PR department. Be prepared to review your own personal material aligns with that of your institution.
How do you interact with your leadership team?
EC: Bring data to the table. Pick a platform that works best for your institution…even if it’s just one thing.
MB: I’m the only member of my cabinet that has a SoMe presence. You need to understand your campus culture…I push my president to be engaged with video and SoMe pictures.
AB: most of my colleagues are on SoMe, and they are growing their presence as a result of the posts that I’m making. In my opinion, it’s important to keep your opinions to yourself.
TM: I was the first on my cabinet to be on SoMe. Our PR team had an intervention with me. Students will pull you into very specific concerns…SoMe back-and-forth isn’t the place to resolve their concerns. However, I DO tell the students that I will meet with them individually to resolve their concerns.