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On the Road

With Mark Smith

In mid-May, I attended the Second annual Higher Education Academy of the Nebraska State Education Association Conference in Lincoln. About 50 attendees from across Nebraska participated in discussions covering a wide range of issues affecting college and university faculty and staff.

NEA’s National Council for Higher Education President Jim Rice opened the gathering with an overview of NEA’s higher education program on Friday, and Professor Henry Lee Allen of Wheaton College in Illinois, an NEA Higher Education Almanac author, spoke at the Saturday luncheon, highlighting themes from his Almanac article, “Faculty Workload and Productivity: The Next Generation’s Plight—and Opportunity” (available online).

Attendees participated in workshops covering faculty collaboration, job security, effective communication, education support professionals, online education, and academic freedom, as well as pedagogical topics such as teaching college reading, popular culture, and the future of liberal education.

Professor Jane Ziebarth-Bovill from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, a recent graduate of NEA’s Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA), led a workshop on the ELA.
Professor Roger Davis, also from UN Kearney, led a workshop on P-16 and dual credit issues, and updated attendees on his fall 2009 article on the topic in Thought & Action (also available on the NEA higher education Web page).

Davis stressed that if faculty want to have input into the P-16 process, they must begin to act. "The train is starting to move, but has not yet left the station," he said.

—Mark Smith coordinates NEA higher ed activities

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