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Student Retention: Whose Responsibility Is It?

In light of current challenges facing higher education, student retention is more important than ever. Though challenges may be new, far too often our ways of thinking are old. Our own Dr. Marylouise Fennell and Dr. Scott D. Miller note, “When it comes to student retention, it turns out that what we thought we knew ain’t necessarily so. Current research reveals that many key assumptions on which we have often based enrollment management practices need to be challenged and modified.” Institutions have identified that students are most at risk of dropping out in the first 90 days. Student cohorts and staff mentors have helped, but often still come up short. The old adage about one bad apple is

Vice President for Academic Affairs Opening

Elmhurst College is climbing in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of schools. This year it came in number four in the Midwest’s Best Value Schools, up from ninth last year. Elmhurst ranked tenth in Best Regional Universities. Elmhurst is currently seeking a Vice President for Academic Affairs. Learn more about the position and apply at Hyatt-Fennell’s website.

Retreating from Retreats: Why Employees Hate Them

Meetings are eating us alive. Some reports indicate that workers spend as much 40% of their workday in meetings. It’s little wonder why workers would balk at a workplace retreat. Retreats often bring the worst parts of meetings—redundant, unclear, non-collaborative communication—in an elongated format. Rob Kramer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill points out some of the ways retreats can go wrong, and helpful guidelines to keep them on track. He relates a story of a troubled campus where he was hired to facilitate a retreat: “The staff had separated into fiefdoms, morale was low, and there had been frequent turnover with their administrative managers. The associate dean had h

Starting Strong: How to begin an Effective Presidency

The first 120 days of a new president's term is laying an essential foundation. The steps they take in their first quarter will either set them (and the university) up for a strong career, or hamper—perhaps even sabotage—future success. Our own Dr. Marylouise Fennell and Dr. Scott D. Miller write: “It’s when the critical foundation for future success is laid: town-gown relationships are created, and action agendas are outlined. During this “honeymoon” period—often before a president’s official arrival on campus—new CEOs are most vulnerable to missteps, many of which can be prevented. Because receptivity to innovation can be at its highest at this time, the honeymoon period can also be a favo

Ending is Just the Beginning: Finishing an Interview Strong

One of the most memorable images of the 1996 Olympics was gymnast Kerri Strug landing on one foot in an athletic feat that secured gold for her team. If you want to win, always stick the landing. This is true of job interviews as well as olympic vaults. A good first impression can, unfortunately, be tarnished by a poor final impression. Many people struggle to conclude the conversation. Here are four tips to a winning ending: 1 Thank them for their time. Express your appreciation for the opportunity. Avoid gushing and stock phrases. Offer genuine gratitude, being as specific as possible. 2 Reinforce your message. Individuals often flounder at the end of an interview because they second gue

“Do You Have Any Questions for Us?”

An interviewer perennially ends by opening up for questions from the applicant. What are the best interview questions to ask a potential employer? Here are ten to get you started: 1 “What do you most enjoy about working here?” 2 “How do you think the history of this organization influences its future trajectory?” 3 “Can you give me some examples of the most and least desirable aspects of the company’s culture?” 4 “What would it look like if someone exceeded your expectations in this position?” 5 “What can you tell me about this job that isn't in the description?” 6 “What is the biggest challenge facing the organization and how does this position address that?” 7 “Do you have any hesit

Hyatt-Fennell announced new Associate Partner: Dr. Robert L. Head

Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search has expanded their team, naming Dr. Robert L. Head Associate Partner. Dr. Head has more than 40 years of experience in executive and organization leadership, with 24 in higher-education administration. Dr. Head served as president of Rockford University for eight years, and continues as President Emeritus. Rockford University looked markedly different as a result of Dr. Head’s leadership. He led a robust rebuilding of Rockford University geared to create distinction. The results included growing undergraduate and MBA Program enrollment to the highest in the University’s history. International student enrollment grew twenty-fold. Endowment growth surpassed fifty

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