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World Appreciate Inquiry Conference, Ghent Belgium


Today AI is challenged enormously to contribute to a wider societal application.  Questions and issues in our complex and interconnected society are in essence interdependent: they can no longer be resolved from a single perspective.  To meet the challenges of today, we must find other ways to grow ourselves, to develop the organizations we work in, as well as the communities we live in.  We should excel in the way we connect, learn, collaborate and merge our strengths.  The generative power of AI will lead to sustainable breakthroughs by establishing strong and interconnected relationships with multiple actors.

This conference is focusing on scaling-up the generative power of AI and kicked-off with an opening keynote speaker: David Cooperrider, a co-originator of Appreciative Inquiry.  He kicked off the conference with a wonderful 25 year history of Appreciative Inquiry and its most innovative applications of the way AI has changed our view on change and development.  It shifted our attention from the world of people and organizations as ‘problems-to-be-solved,’ to the world as a ‘connection of people and their strengths.’

World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, Ghent Belgium

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We [Dr. Jackie Stavros & Dr. Anne Kohnke] have arrived in Belgium to participate in the 5th World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Ghent, Belgium.  We are collaborating with Joep de Jong and Dr. Marge Schiller and will be conducting a workshop on Appreciative Leaders: The Social Construction of Generative Connections.  This workshop is designed to address and understand the meaning, characteristics, and actions of appreciative leaders from a variety of cultures and locations around the world.

There are close to 800 participants from over 50 countries.  Tomorrow we will be joining up with Joep de Jong, CEO of Van Harte & Lingsma.  Joep graciously hosted 40 of our doctoral students in May 2005 during their international trip to England and The Netherlands.


The Four Types of Jobs in Today’s Global Economy

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Provost Maria Vaz has provided each Lawrence Tech faculty member with a copy of Friedman and Mandelbaum’s book, “That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.” This provocative book builds on Tom Friedman’s earlier book, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” and argues that the United States is struggling to respond to a world which now operates largely in our own image. In some ways, we are facing Clayton Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma,” where competition in new forms takes incumbents by surprise over time and can cause some incumbents to fail. The twist here is that we have helped invent – directly and indirectly – the new global competitive environment which is causing us to re-examine our own assumptions and will to compete.

Friedman and Mandelbaum argue that there are four types of jobs in today’s economy: creative creators, routine creators, creative servers, and routine servers. Those who are “routine creators” or “routine servers” are in danger of having their jobs outsourced or digitized. Even some jobs formerly considered “nonroutine” – such as attorneys – can be outsourced or digitized if the focus of their work is comprised of rule-based operations – the emerging e-discovery market has taken away a number of legal jobs.

What does this mean for Lawrence Tech students? It’s simple: focus on how to be “creative creators!” Don’t just learn the “theory and practice” of your discipline, but look further. Strive to extend, revise, and innovate within your discipline. Focus on the entrepreneurial aspects of your discipline, difficult problems that require new approaches, opportunities for innovation, and linkages to other disciplines that others have not thought of. Your faculty and student colleagues can help you with this journey, but the creativity comes from within each of you.


Dr. Alan McCord, Interim Dean

Disney Training to Better Serve Our Students


By Donna Kress, Assistant to the Dean, Office Manager, College of Management

In the College of Management, a core value of ours for many years has been to provide the best student service and advising that we can through our SRM/Student Relationship Management team and administrative staff.  Consisting of Amanda Falkenbury, Mina Jena, Sally Erwin, Lori Remlinger, Patty Riney, and myself, we are dedicated to meeting our students’ needs no matter the situation.

As any great organization knows, maintaining high quality requires continuous improvements.  Our desire to take our customer service to the next level brought us to the Disney Institute (  Along with many of our LTU colleagues, Mina, Lori and I attended a Disney customer service training session yesterday which helped us to think of better ways to service our students, our faculty, and the University.

The Disney emphasis is on exceeding our students’ expectations by paying attention to the details.  We feel that by working efficiently and simplifying things, both for our faculty and with the registration process and schedule planning, our students will have an easier and better academic experience.  By streamlining our administrative processes, we can better foresee the challenges and problems our students may face when they are just starting out on campus, or are re-acclimating themselves into an academic environment after being in the workforce for many years.

By defining our purpose – helping our students receive a quality education by providing outstanding faculty and sufficient academic rigor, they can realize their potential and achieve their dreams by earning their college degree.  And by consistently promoting a culture of student focused service, this will help the College of Management achieve the hallmark of quality service.

Disney emphasized NOT going the extra mile – but going the extra inch.  It’s the details – the little things that you can and should do – that make all the difference.  We plan to build on this philosophy in the College of Management in order to give our students the best academic experience possible.  They’re worth it.

Managing Collegiate “Digital Treasures”


I was quoted extensively in the March 2012 issue of “University Business” magazine in the article, “Digital Treasures.” I have been involved in digital asset management since helping to establish the University of Michigan’s “Deep Blue” service prior to coming to Lawrence Tech in 2003.

As we worked on designing and implementing a digital asset management system at the University of Michigan, a couple of key differentiating factors emerged. First, most commercial digital asset management systems are conceptualized from a “top down” perspective, assuming that a central marketing department controls all of the enterprise’s digital assets. The marketing department is the “owner” of digital assets and provide permission to the “users” of the assets in a hierarchical fashion. Higher education uses a completely different model: each faculty member may be the “owner” of their own digital assets, and need to provide permission to other “users” of the assets, including the university. The university itself may own its own “branding assets” which are managed in a hierarchical fashion. This multi-owner environment makes it extremely difficult to manage the use of digital assets.

Another key differentiating factor is the way in which faculty use digital assets. As I related to the author of the article, ” “Most faculty members don’t manage digital assets in particularly complex ways. They may decide something is ‘useful’ or ‘not useful,’ but they’re not going through the whole tagging of metadata. From that perspective, digital asset management systems are overkill for how faculty typically use media.” There are several reasons for this. Tagging any content is very time-consuming and involves first identifying a tagging schema. Furthermore, multimedia content needs to be tagged internally: we need to know what is important at the two-minute marker in a video, while not caring what happens at the four-minute marker.

My closing argument to the author was that large-scale digital asset management systems are overkill for most institutions: “I would argue most campuses don’t capture lectures and re-purpose them. One department may use it more than another department. To have a centralized solution of it at this point doesn’t really align with the way departments do their work.” When a faculty member can quickly tag a YouTube video at its two-minute mark, retrieve a persistent URL from that point in the video, and integrate that persistent URL into a Blackboard class shell, they are able to do something “for free” that would cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) to provide.

The ability for faculty members to use digital media has come a long way in the past ten years, and most of us are only scratching the surface of the potential to use digital media to promote learning. I hope that more faculty members learn to integrate digital media into their on-ground and online courses to provide a richer learning environment for our students.


Dr. Alan McCord, Interim Dean

Looking Back and Looking Forward


The 2011-2012 academic year has been a time of hard work and transition for the faculty and staff of the College of Management. We have undertaken a national search for a new dean, and we expect to be able to make an announcement soon to welcome our new dean to the Lawrence Tech campus. We have also undertaken national searches for new faculty members to replace faculty members who have retired or left the University. We will soon be making offers to new faculty members to start their service to Lawrence Tech in August 2012.

Interim Associate Dean Jackie Stavros and I have worked with our faculty members to re-establish faculty ownership of all of our academic programs:

  • Undergraduate Management Programs (BSIT and BSBM) – Dr. Karen Evans
  • MBA – Dr. Nadia Shuayto
  • MSIS – Dr. Vernon Hoffner
  • MSGOPM – Dr. Sree Raghavan
  • DBA – Dr. Jackie Stavros
  • DMIT – Dr. Anne Kohnke

We also have strong program leadership for our Nonprofit Leadership and Management program with Dr. Jerry Lindman, our Healthcare IT program with Dr. Anne Kohnke, and our Senior Service College Fellowship program with Dr. Tom Marx.

All faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a five-year strategic plan for the College with a focus on achieving AACSB accreditation. We have already implemented a number of AACSB standards for academic and professional qualifications, participating and supporting faculty status, and scholarly output. We have also made significant improvements to the physical learning environment for the benefit of students and faculty, transforming the College of Management space into an inviting business-focused destination.

In my next installment, we will focus on why the College of Management is pursuing AACSB accreditation and what it means for our faculty and students.


Dr. Alan McCord, Interim Dean

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