Page 54 - Campus Technology, October/November 2018
P. 54

C-Level View
initiative in a way that would inspire, create, and maintain trust. And that’s a strategy for the long term.
CT: So addressing campus culture was central to your initiative.
Srinivas: Yes, and culture is not one aspect of the game ... it is the game. So, we need to understand what our university stands for: What are our values?
At Syracuse, students are our highest value. We are trying to serve our students. Our chancellor and president, Kent Syverud, has a very good mantra that we like to display
as a sign on our desks, saying: “And this would be good
for students because?” So, we ask ourselves how any implementation that we do brings value to our students.
CT: How did you learn from the cultural history of your campus as you approached your Orange SUccess initiative? Where did you look, and who did you ask? And how did you form your team?
Srinivas: We had numerous conversations across campus to learn from the history of earlier implementations — what had worked, yes, but especially what had not worked. Why had some implementations settled for a diluted version of performance? Which systems had low adoption rates?
Upon his inauguration back in 2014, Chancellor Syverud had put in place a “Fast Forward” exercise to examine the status quo. It revealed a need for more systematic data about academic progress. We involved faculty, students and staff, from all schools and colleges, to consider the importance of creating an enterprise-wide system for the future.
So I could say, we involved everyone as our partner. We created shared goals to improve student success on campus, and we built a guiding coalition. We emphasized enterprise benefits over departmental tradeoffs.
And as for our implementation team, Academic Affairs worked hand-in-hand with Information Technology Services — the backbone of any technology implementation — as equal partners, to kick off Orange SUccess by January 2016, have it up and running for all undergraduates by Fall 2016, and then available for all graduate and law students by Spring 2017.
CT: Going forward, what is your most challenging goal and your approach to achieving it?
Srinivas: That’s a really big, far-reaching question. We are trying to build synergy and enhance collaboration between Academic Affairs and Enrollment and Student Experience (which was called Student Affairs in the past). We want to advance a robust and seamless approach to
the learning, counseling, engagement and development of the whole student. We’ll continue our strong collaboration of Academic Affairs with ITS, as we maintain our ongoing work with all our collaborators across campus.
CT: What has been most impactful, when you look back at the cultural changes you’ve seen?
Srinivas: Our work has created both a cultural change and cultural accountability. As we all know, accountability is a measure of, or even the equivalent to, program effectiveness. So an increase in accountability is what I’d want to point to.
But we have time ahead to measure our effectiveness. We don’t want to jump the gun in terms of what we claim to be success. In reality, we are still early in our implementation cycle, because we have only had the system running for five semesters, including the pilot.
We are working with our institutional research group to ask the right questions that may give us reasonable measures of success and of Orange SUccess’s impact on students.
The technology we implemented is both high-tech and high-touch. But we still have to reflect, again and again, that technology is only a tool that makes tasks easier for students. It’s the people who actually support the students. That has to be in the DNA of the system. We’ll find out. We still have so much to do, ahead of us.
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | October/November 2018

   52   53   54   55   56