Higher Education Leadership Podcast: A weekly podcast discussing the latest issues and personalities in Higher Ed

Episode 1 – Introduction
April 29, 2019

Center for Higher Education Leadership co-founders Terri Givens and Shelley Seale discuss what CHEL is, why it was founded, and how higher education leaders and institutions can benefit from membership.

Terri Givens: Hi, this is Terri Givens, and we are here for our very first podcast with the Higher Ed Leadership, CHEL Center for Higher Education Leadership Program! We are very excited to be kicking off our new organization and we are very passionate about working with higher ed leaders. I am going to be talking today with my partner, Shelley Seale, who is our content director, and we are going to be focusing on what’s happening, why we’re starting CHEL. But, we’re going to start off with who we are.

First with me, I am Terri Givens, a political scientist, who has been working in academia for over 25 years. I was also the founding director for The Center for European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. I went on to be a vice provost for academic and international affairs at UT. I also then went on to be the provost at Menlo College. I have had a long career in higher ed, so I am really happy to be doing something that is by us, for us, as one of our contributors said. This is really important for us to be able to offer something that really helps higher ed leaders manage their careers as well as provide great information. So, Shelley, could you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Shelley Seale: Absolutely! I’m Shelley Seale, and I’m based in Austin, Texas. I’m an author and journalist and editor, and I’ve had about 20+ experience in that field. I have my degree from St. Edwards University here in Austin. It’s a dual degree in journalism and cross cultural psychology. I have written, edited and contributed to a number of different publications, from newspapers, to magazines, pretty much throughout the world, including some educational publications. I was a regular contributor to Texas School Business and have written for a number of University publications. I met Terri about 10 years ago when I interviewed her for a profile I was writing for her, about her, for Austin Women’s Magazine. I am thrilled to bring my skills in writing and particularly in editing to put together a terrific editorial team of contributors to bring some great content via newsletters, in depth guides, and other community resources to the higher education leadership people.

Terri Givens and Shelley Seale, CHEL co-founders

Terri Givens and Shelley Seale, CHEL co-founders

Givens: Great, thanks Shelley. So I want to talk just a little bit about my motivation for starting CHEL and the higher ed connects newsletter. My experience in higher ed was that I worked my way up the ranks relatively quickly. Particularly when I became Vice Provost at UT Austin, first of all I tell people I was very surprised to be offered the position so early in my career, but actually the first few months, or first year really, was just like drinking from a fire hose, it was just so much information and so many things going on. All the sudden I was having to be a manager, as well as working across campus on curriculum, accreditation, so many issues. So one of the things I am really hoping to do is make that transition from faculty to administrator a bit easier. And particularly when you don’t necessarily have the time or the funds to attend one of these leadership forums that can often be quite expensive. That’s where focusing on providing something that is really manageable in terms of cost with our annual subscriptions, but also offering online courses that will help new administrators and even ongoing administrators some help in managing all the different demands in their job.

One of the things I wanted to focus on today is this whole idea of what is leadership, and just for a couple minutes here, talk about some of the things I think are going to be really important. One of my initial motivations for starting CHEL, is that we are seeing so much innovation going on in higher ed, so I was really getting involved with some different companies like SalesForce, and various ed tech companies, trying to really get a sense of what’s going on in terms of innovation and higher ed because being at a small, private college, Menlo College, I was really hopeful that we could take on the challenge of being an innovator here in Silicon Valley. What I learned is that there is a huge amount of things going on out there in terms of educational technology, different types of innovations, different universities and colleges taking different approaches, and sometimes it was really hard to figure out what made sense, what didn’t, best practices.

It is really important to me that we are able to help guide people to at least know, where do you look? I mean, sometimes you don’t even know the questions to ask. Where do you look for that information that’s going to help you be successful as a leader. For example, this past week I went to ASU GSV conference. I encourage you to look it up, it’s ASU/GSV global Silicon Valley. CHEL is actually working in the incubator and getting a lot of great feedback on being a startup and also being in the ed tech space. And ASU of course, is known as an innovator in higher ed, particularly with their president, Michael Crow, who did many presentations during the conference. That is a great example of a conference where we should probably get more higher ed leaders there to be interacting with ed tech companies with who the innovators are in higher ed. So that’s going to be an important component of what we do, is looking at ed tech. But, Shelley is going to tell you, we have a lot of other areas we will be looking at, particularly in our upcoming newsletters. So take it away Shelley.

Seale: Yes, absolutely. Ed tech is an area that we will be covering. In fact, in our very first introductory newsletter, which came out last month, and you can access on our website, higheredconnects.com, Terri did an ed tech review on Study Tree, which is a tool for using AI, artificial intelligence, for student success. We will be having regular ed tech reviews as well as book reviews, and our upcoming newsletter on May 1st, Chris Mayor will be reviewing a book that also deals with artificial intelligence in higher education. But in addition to the reviews, we’ve got a lot of great topics coming up as well in the May 1st newsletter, we will have an article on faculty development, and our contributor Jim Vanides will be contributing his article on pathways to the real world, which is about workforce development. And we’ll have an article about transitioning from faculty to administration, which of course is a huge topic, and really what CHEL addresses is that transition. Our contributor, Tammi Cooper, will be writing extensively in our May 1st newsletter about making that transition. So we have a lot of great content coming up for the May 1st newsletter!

Givens: Yes, that’s really great. And as we go forward, we also want to put the word out that we are always looking for new contributors, we want feedback…you know as I said at the beginning, this is really an organization that is by us, for us. We’ve got some great contributors already lined up, but we want to put the word out that we are always looking for people to write articles, be on our podcast, and then of course one of the things that I will be focusing on for the next few months is setting up our online courses. We are looking at having a Higher Ed Administration 101 course this summer, but also other webinars and content for people to access that will be in addition to the newsletters. For example, I am looking to have a podcast that will be talking about artificial intelligence, and kind of getting into the nuts and bolts of that. We also actually lined up a whole set of folks to be talking to on our podcast while I was at ASU/GSV, since there was a lot of people from higher ed there as well as ed tech. We’re really looking forward to having a great lineup, not only for our newsletter, but also our podcast, and our webinars.

One thing I really want to focus in on before we end here, is the community component. A lot of people have told me that one of the things they’re really looking forward to with CHEL and the higher ed connects website, is having access to communities. This will be something where you can go in, and if you’re a dean, you can go in and talk to other deans about issues you may be seeing or want to get information on, or ask questions. This will be a really great resource for people to get feedback. I know that when I was a provost, it was really great having a network of other provosts I could talk to when I needed to. This is a really easy way to access other higher ed leaders.

Another component that will be for newly starting higher ed administrators is our mentor system. We will be setting up a system where you can log in, and basically attend office hours with very experienced higher ed administrators. I’m very happy to say that we already have a few folks lined up. We will be kicking this off in the fall, and that’s going to be another key component and really great offering from higher ed connects and CHEL.

So Shelley, did you have any last comments you wanted to make? Anything I forgot?

Seale: I don’t think so in particular, except for echoing inviting people to join in as subscribers, as well as contributors and potential mentors. We’ve got a really great group of folks lined up already contributing and interested in mentoring as you said. We will basically be having themes to our newsletters coming up, so for example, later in May, a theme that we will be having is “Be The Change”, which will be talking about everything from food and housing insecurity with students, to free speech. We’re looking at other themes that will center around topics such as mental health issues, diversity, student success, assessment, that type of thing. I’m really excited about the team we have so far, and looking to get more people on board.

Givens: Wonderful! And so the last thing I will say, we of course would love for you to be a subscriber, so you can go to www.higheredconnects.com, and become a member, a subscriber, and we have everything from individual subscriptions to institutional subscriptions. If you think that your institution or college or university in a subscription that would basically give access to everyone on your campus, then just let us know, we will be happy to sign you up, or if you want to pass on our information to the higher ed administrators, or the people in your institution who would basically be responsible for the subscription, feel free to contact me, I’m at tgivens@higheredleads.com, and Shelley do you want to give them your email?

Seale: Yes, it’s shelley@higheredleads.com, and you can always reach us too through the website, higheredleads.com, and sign up to receive all of the news that we have. If you put your email in there for our general mailing list, you will get notifications on anything that we have going on, whether that’s podcasts, webinars, upcoming newsletters, and of course how to join and be part of the community and be involved.

Givens: Great! So I think that’s all we have for today, and thank you so much for listening, we really appreciate that you are checking into what we are doing, we really have some very exciting things going on, and we hope that you will be a part of it. Thanks Shelley!

Seale: Thank you!

Givens: Thanks, and signing off.

Connect with Terri Givens at:



Connect with Shelley Seale at:


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