NCCI Annual Conference




Thank You for a Successful Virtual Conference


Navigate through the schedule below to view details of each session. All times are Eastern.

Day One: Wednesday, July 8

Welcome & Opening Keynote | 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. EDT

NCCI President Carol Mullaney will welcome you to NCCI’s Virtual Conference experience and provide an overview of the transformed schedule.

Following, Dr. Timothy Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success Georgia State University, will address the NCCI community.

Since 2008, Dr. Renick has directed the student success and enrollment efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students’ race, ethnicity, or income level.  He has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the United States Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House.  His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and CNN and cited by President Obama. He was named one of 2016’s Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly, was the recipient of the 2015-16 Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation, was awarded the 2018 McGraw Prize in Higher Education, and received the 2019 NCCI Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award.

Educational Session Block 1 | 12:30–1:20 p.m. EDT

Building Bridges: Shared Communities Across Campus and Beyond
Presented by: Lisa Klock, Dawn Gregory, and Eura Szuwalski; University of California Santa Barbara
Audience: Beginner, Intermediate
Many silos exist in higher education between administration, faculty and between various departments and colleges. This leads to duplicate improvement efforts and, in some cases, duplicate cost for tools. Change fatigue and ineffective communication methods contribute to a culture where it can be difficult to drive change. Our Process Innovation Team of 3.0 FTE at University of California, Santa Barbara must work diligently to build up a program that serves the campus under the umbrella of the College of Letters and Science IT Department. Our team focuses on creating safe spaces for everyone to share ideas, strategize effective meeting agendas, create gatherings to bridge the gaps that exist on campus, empower stakeholders to embrace change management, and ways to effectively distribute tools for process improvement.

Changing Culture: Using Play for Better…(Everything)
Presented by: Joshua Hartlin, University of Manitoba
Audience: Beginner
This workshop will explore the various ways that play can be implement to further engage members of a tertiary education community in learning new skills, concepts and attitudes. Institutions such as ours tend to be both hierarchal and traditional historically. More often than not that means that change is slow and resistance to it is high. Through a combination of presentation and interactive participants will experience how various “games” can be used to address some of the more challenging topics that we are faced with. Play not only creates a safe environment where participants can talk/act out issues outside of the circumstances in which they exist, but it also allows for the practice of skills in a much more engaging manner. By the end of the workshop participants will be able to implement different methods of play into the workspace, recognize barriers and engage participants more in their processes.

The Power of Positive Planning: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Shape the Future
Presented by: Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Troy Shaw, and Sandi Bramblett; Georgia Tech
Audience: Intermediate
Today’s higher ed communities crave optimism, hope and a positive outlook for the future. While there are many challenges before us, we can galvanize creativity, energy, and problem solving by harvesting positive stories and dreams for a brighter future. Using a technique called Appreciative Inquiry, Georgia Tech grounded its strategic planning efforts in conversations to leverage the best of the culture, and shape new cultural paradigms for the future. This session will engage participants in exploring:
-Appreciative inquiry: how to use it for strategic planning
-Data Analysis: making sense of the stories from 5,700 inputs
-Goal Setting: translating hopes and dreams into tangible, operational goals

Shall We Play a Game? Practical Game Theory for Change Managers
Presented by: Jason Kalivas, University of Washington
Audience: Beginner, Intermediate
The science of strategy, the study of rational choice, Game Theory is a name for the experiments and logic models mathematicians, economists, and social scientists use to understand how people make decisions. “Logic” and “rational choices” can sometimes seem like alien ideas when it comes to managing change in higher-education, where we’re so often forced to react to the decisions of others – donors, grant-makers, state agencies, a distant administration – but Game Theory offers insights for why others play the way they do, and how to make sense of it all.

Networking Break | 1:20–1:45 p.m. EDT

During this block of time, you can choose your own adventure!

  • Head to the Networking area within the platform to make new connections.
  • Attend a yoga session.
  • Visit the Help Desk in the Sessions area to trouble shoot any technology issues or ask questions.
  • Take a quick break to reset for what is ahead.
Educational Session Block 2 | 1:45–2:35 p.m. EDT

Building Resilience Through Acute Shock Events and Chronic Stressors
Presented by: Sonia Alvarez-Robinson and Pearl Alexander, Georgia Tech
Audience: Intermediate
We are dealing with a trifecta crisis: a global pandemic, pervasive racial injustice, and an economic recession. Resilience as individuals and organizations is essential to navigate these challenging times. This interactive workshop will explore ways to strengthen our individual and collective capacity to survive, adapt, and grow through chronic stressors and acute shock experiences.

Leading with Intent: Inclusion and Innovation through Universal Design
Presented by: Rudy Sanchez and Bryan Berrett, California State University Fresno
Audience: Intermediate
It is critical for universities to uplift a growing diversity of students, whether that be race, economic status, ethnicity, cognitive differences, gender, physical ability, and many more characteristics. Fresno State has taken proactive steps in three initiatives using the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Affordable Learning Solutions, ALLY for accessible course materials, and Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT). Creating buy-in from campus leadership, creating faculty awareness, redesigning courses, and program assessment are just a few of the steps necessary to help drive a cultural shift in how faculty approach accessibility and universal design. We believe creating pathways for all students to be successful while providing rigorous content is important, and we are making progress. UDL is one avenue for building our foundation; for raising people up, expanding opportunity, and creating an environment for divergent thinking. At its core, this is what a university should be providing its students.

Blind Automation and Other Process Improvement Failures… How to Avoid Them
Presented by: Mark Nathanson, University of Maryland
Audience: All
We have all stumbled upon a process and wondered “Who could have designed this? How did it get here?” Project and academic work at The University of Maryland has identified common causes which plague process design efforts. This talk focuses on two of these areas – blind automation and autocratic design to explore them in depth to understand what they are, why they happen, and how they can be addressed. Understanding these common challenges, allows us to develop agile approaches to combat these poor designs and create a more user-centric, holistic solution for our customers and all of the involved stakeholders. Come walk through some real life examples of poor process from incorporating an old newspaper deadline in a new process to building a paper form for COVID Medical Leave and how they were redesigned to solve these issues.

Program Agility: How to Thrive During Leadership Transition
Presented by: Sarah Collie, University of Virginia; Maury Cotter, University of Wisconsin Madison; Paula Gill, Belmont University; and Brent Ruben, Rutgers University
During times of university leadership transition, all programs and practices are subject to scrutiny. Continuous improvement, organizational and leadership development, organizational change, planning, and other similar programs are not immune. Some of these programs have demonstrated longevity, others re-defined, and others have been shut down. This session draws upon the vast and varied experience of four professionals at different institutions with collectively more than 100 years of higher education experience. They have experienced numerous presidential, chancellor, provost, vice president, deans and other senior leader changes during their career. Through deliberate strategies, actions, and adjustments some programs have been able to sustain as vibrant programs. Leaders of these programs have also witnessed from close-up the dismantling of other programs. Come hear their tales from the field and learn from them and other NCCI peers about maintaining program relevancy and agility amid change.

Tools of the Trade: One College’s Change Management Success Story
Presented by: Kristen Moreland and Lakshmi Hasanadka; Ivy Tech Community College
This session will take the participant through a timeline of a change management journey for one college that serves over 100,000 students annually and has 18 campuses in the system. The participant will learn the tools in the college’s toolbox that have been utilized to move change forward for the system. Topics covered will include strategic planning, creative problem solving, Lean process improvement, project management, change management, and the four disciplines of execution (4DX).

Networking Break & Sponsor Expo | 2:35–3:30 p.m. EDT

Connect with NCCI sponsors virtually! You will be able to visit desired booths to learn more about products and services. You can either chat with the representatives live or request to connect later.

Educational Session Block 3 | 3:30–4:20 p.m. EDT

Strategic Doing for Change: Building Agile, Assets-Based Action on Day One
Presented by: Lauren Goldstein, New Mexico State University
Audience: Beginner
In today’s world, collaboration is essential to meet the complex challenges we face. Join a certified Strategic Doing practitioner and engage in this interactive simulation game to experience how this structured, agile process might be used to address evolving changes, challenges, and opportunities in an assets-based framework. Learn how to form collaborations quickly, move them toward measurable outcomes and quick action (from Day 1), and make adjustments along the way. A brief introduction to this “Foundations” session will cover examples of successful implementation of Strategic Doing at New Mexico State and other institutions and industries.

Shall We Dance? Assessing the Readiness of the Client/Consultant Relationship for Success
Presented by: Deb Gurke, Jill Ellefson, and Elizabeth Fadell; University of Wisconsin Madison
Audience: Intermediate
Prior to embarking on a project or consulting engagement, it is important to assess the readiness of the client, consultant and organization to participate fully in the consulting relationship. Assessing readiness helps you anticipate needs, identify potential challenges and ultimately pave the way for achieving established goals and outcomes. This session will provide participants with a roadmap for assessing readiness, building upon multiple models and resources in the literature. Several different aspects of readiness will be discussed, including leaders’ readiness, an organization’s appetite for change, and the degree of complexity of the project. The session will include practical application of how to think about readiness from various perspectives. Participants are encouraged to come to the session with a current or future project in mind that they can use to practice working through the readiness assessment.

Fixed Mindset Interrupted
Presented by: Gwynn Cadwallader and Ruijun Wan, University of Florida
Audience: Intermediate, Advanced
How many times have you heard the fixed mindset phrase, “This is the way we’ve always done it!” when facilitating? Practicing continuous improvement requires a growth mindset, at the heart of which, is the willingness to experiment, embracing failure and success. Living through a pandemic we have been forced to adjust every aspect of our lives. This session will explore how the characteristics of a growth mindset will help with this and you will discover ways to interrupt a fix mindset. We will share how a partnership between Finance & Accounting and HR Training & Organizational Development united to foster change agents for continuous improvement with campus units. We developed a large Community of Practice to wrestle with future state solutions and discuss ways to get behavior change. In a large de-centralized institution, each unit has a different culture and implementation can vary. The Community of Practice provides a structured approach where members can plan implementation strategies and share institutional knowledge.

The Science of Stories: How They Alter Our Risk Perceptions More Powerfully than Info or Data
Presented by: Jonathan Klane, University of California Davis
Audience: Intermediate
Stories and narratives are more powerful than data and info. We often wonder why people make decisions based on anecdotes. Yet, when we look at the literature on them and decisions, many strengths come to life when viewed through a scientific lens. Change management and process improvements are chock full of great stories! But do we use them as well as we could? And do we fully understand how exactly they work to form and affect our risk perceptions and subsequent decisions or behaviors?

Social Activites | 4:20–5:30 p.m. EDT

During this time, you will have the opportunity to engage in various activities, including:

  • Community of Practice gatherings
  • Attendee-created roundtable discussions
  • Head to the Networking area within the platform to make new connections

Day Two: Thursday, July 9

Awards Ceremony | 11 a.m.–Noon EDT

Join us to celebrate the recipients of the Dr. Brent Ruben Award and the Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award!

Educational Session Block 4 | 12:15–1:05 p.m. EDT

The (Continuing) Psychology of Change
Presented by: Joseph Drasin, University of Maryland
Audience: All
This talk introduces and builds on last year’s Psychology of Change session to further explore the inherent challenges of change management and how we can better facilitate transformation in our organizations. With the current pandemic and forced business changes, this talk also explores how to leverage this “change shock” without causing fatigue. Despite the growing focus on change management, it continues to be one of the most challenging activities for organizational leaders and change agents. This session explores the psychology of change, how our mental models get in the way, and how we can approach continuous improvement with this in mind. The audience will be introduced to the basics of psychology as it relates to change readiness and how various change approaches help or hinder success. Particular focus is placed on building positive emotion towards transformative change.

The Uniting Impact of Institutional Values
Presented by: Kathleen Scott, California State University Fresno; Richard Boyer, ModernThink LLC; and Susan Coan, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Audience: Beginner
With many divisive factors at universities, it’s more important than ever to have a uniting set of institutional values as a platform to connect people and ideals. Strategic plans and regional accrediting bodies all have goals or standards specifically focused on vision. Having an articulated set of institutional values can provide not just consistency over time, but in the expected behaviors of how administrators, faculty and staff engage with each other. For values to actually shape the day-to-day behavior of faculty and staff, they need to be more than words or checklists. Values need to be accessible, authentic and integrated into every facet of an institution. “Living out” values as the touchstone that should govern every decision is powerfully binding. But what should you include in your values statement? How do you effectively communicate values to your employees? What strategies can help your employees “live out” your values?

Why Office 365? Join to See Six Ways We Use It to Simplify Collaboration and Inspire Innovation
Presented by: Joanne Filley and Josh Ham; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Audience: Intermediate
So many apps, so little time! Have you tried to get Office 365 to work for you and gotten lost in all the options? Or maybe your colleague wants to collaborate using one app and you want to use another? Our team has been through all of this over the last three years, and after lots of experimentation, we have found some great ways to expand our reach, improve collaboration and foster continuous improvement. Let us save you time by sharing what we have learned and how we use the tools today. By the time you leave the session, you will know at least six clever ways you can use Office 365 within your organization.

Organizational Agility in Uncertain Times
Presented by: Elida Lee, University of Texas at Austin
Audience: Intermediate, Advanced
In these uncertain times organizational adaptability is needed more than ever. The rate of change and environmental volatility is one that can feel unmanageable. Organizations can stabilize and adapt by regularly assessing the environment, adjusting priorities, and continuously building capabilities. This session will introduce concepts and research from the field of organizational learning that will help leaders and practitioners build practices that develop agile and responsive organizations.

Networking Break & Sponsor Expo | 1:05–1:30 p.m. EDT

During this block of time, you can choose your own adventure!

  • Connect with our sponsors.
  • Head to the Networking area within the platform to make new connections.
  • Play a game of Name that Tune!
  • Visit the Help Desk in the Sessions area to trouble shoot any technology issues or ask questions.
  • Take a quick break to reset for what is ahead.
Educational Session Block 5 | 1:30–2:20 p.m. EDT

Be a Project Management Mind Reader with Statistical Project Management
Presented by: Paul Krueger and Kalman Zsamboky, University of California San Diego
Audience: Beginner, Intermediate
Managing large projects and all the tasks and resources that go along with them may seem daunting or overwhelming. But what if you could simplify the project management process but get even more successful results? The ITS-PRO methodology stands for Project Management, Reporting, and Optimization. This statistical project management methodology breaks down projects into fundamental components, deliverables and tasks. Don’t let the simplicity fool you; a mountain of valuable data is generated along the way. One look at these metrics and you’ll have a clear picture of the project, making you a Project Management mindreader.

Tetris – Building Research Optimization One Step at a Time
Presented by: Milton Flournoy and Nathan Bohlmann, Indiana University School of Medicine
Audience: Intermediate, Advanced
Faculty engagement in process improvement is a different dynamic than other continuous improvement interactions. Many institutions have focused their improvement efforts on administrative, operational endeavors. Indiana University School of Medicine sought to adequately equip our research faculty to improve the overall research portfolio by enhancing the main drivers for faculty, namely publications and research dollars, via maximizing the contribution laboratory resources have on research. Faculty are actively engaged in adopting process improvement methodology and tools to utilize the limited resources (space, equipment, materials, supplies, and time) in their grant-funded laboratories better and create optimization and efficiency. If you are planning to engage faculty in improvement efforts, the “what is in it for me” question is the core. So how exactly do you get at the driving force for faculty? Is it student outcomes, number of publications, amount of research dollars, or all of the above?

The BA’s 4-hour Workday
Presented by: Kristine Maphis, University of Maryland
Audience: All
Imagine being able to empower a diverse group of people in a short amount of time, while also progressing toward your goals and objectives. A well-facilitated half-day workshop can motivate participants and inspire collaboration. In just 4 hours, you can engage and enable your peers to work towards a common goal and share knowledge that will benefit them immediately. Everyone wants to be productive and make their lives easier in some way, but often we don’t have the time to take a step back from the hustle of our everyday jobs to evaluate what we do and how we do it. This session covers planning, designing, and executing a workshop that can be applied to almost any topic. Drawing from experiences at the University of Maryland, examples include HR, Research, Advising, and IT. Sample workshop activities, techniques, and schedules will be discussed, along with workshop success stories.

Threat to Value, Affect Risk, and What the Research on Risk perceptions Can Teach Us About Change
Presented by: Jonathan Klane, University of California Davis
Audience: Intermediate
Decision-making and risk perceptions can seem odd. We often shake our heads at choices people make. Yet, when we look at the research literature on cognitive biases, risk perceptions, and decision-making, many of the subtleties/nuances of human decision-making make sense as viewed through a scientific lens. The change management process is fraught with challenges from those directly involved and affected. The more we understand the research on risk perceptions, the more prepared we can be to help our stakeholders through the change process. We can also use techniques that don’t trigger a threat to value.

Networking Break | 2:20–2:30 p.m. EDT

During this block of time, you can choose your own adventure!

  • Head to the Networking area within the platform to make new connections.
  • Visit the Help Desk in the Sessions area to trouble shoot any technology issues or ask questions.
  • Take a quick break to reset for what is ahead.
Educational Session Block 6 | 2:30–3:20 p.m. EDT

Beginning with the End in Mind: A Backward Design Approach for Strategic Planning
Presented by: Kristi Reese and Lindsey Wolf, Rasmussen College
Audience: Beginner, Intermediate
How do you avoid the trap of a strategic plan’s goals and objectives becoming a list of loosely connected projects? Recognizing this risk within Rasmussen College’s Academic Affairs department, we identified that the process we use to design our programs could be re-purposed for effective goal and objective planning. Partnering with a Curriculum & Instructional Specialist, we used our college’s backward design curriculum approach to lead strategic planning for Academic Affairs. This presentation will focus on our experience guiding this team through an immersive two-day summit and follow-up activities, which culminated in shared agreement and understanding for departmental goals, objectives, and initiatives. Join us to learn more about the practical approach we used to get started on this often-daunting task and how we built upon this method in the years that followed.

Collaboration for Success
Presented by: Julie Bird and Fredrick Martin, University of Virginia
Audience: All
This session has been developed with the aim of providing information on the implementation of cross-functional, daily stand-ups between HR, Finance and IT to resolve complex operational issues. The University of Virginia, using their recent Workday deployment as the catalyst for bringing these three groups together, initiated their Operational Issue Resolution team. Using real-world examples from this team’s experience, participants will have the chance to learn the methods and techniques presented, both through practical exercises and the discussion of challenges and lessons learned.

Managing Change in Shared Services
Presented by: Kenny Nelson, University of Colorado Boulder
Audience: Beginner, Intermediate
The idiom “change is the only constant” is none more prescient than in higher education and none more important than in shared services organizations. Learn from the University of Colorado Boulder’s experience with change management of organically growing an HR Shared Services organization from one employee to 30. Lessons and concepts realized can be applied to any shared service organization or central office engaging in change initiatives.

A Taste of Our Own Medicine: An Internal Consulting Office Faces Changes
Presented by: Jenny Faust, University of Wisconsin Madison
Audience: Intermediate
This session focuses on several themes of interest to NCCI members and change leaders, including: building an internal consulting office, applying change and transition management principles to our own offices, and continuously improving our own practices. In 2017, after a long and successful run, the Office of Quality Improvement at UW-Madison was merged with another office on campus (Administrative Process Redesign). The newly merged unit felt like a start-up but with two deeply entrenched cultures at play. We’ll use this experience and lessons learned in the process to look at the range of options available to internal consulting offices, how to manage change in a consulting office, and how to innovate without losing a strong foundation. The session will be highly interactive and accessible to participants at any level of experience with internal consulting.

Closing Session & Presidential Panel | 3:30–5 p.m. EDT

The conference closing session will feature our Presidential Panel:

Dr. Ángel Cabrera, President, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President, Texas A&M University–San Antonio
Dr. Mark Becker, President, Georgia State University
Moderated by: Dr. Ralph Gigliotti, Director, Center for Organizational Leadership, Rutgers University
Agility, transformation, and leadership are critical for the advancement of higher education. These qualities take on an even heightened significance during times of crisis. As colleges and universities navigate the complexities posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we find ourselves at a critical juncture for reflection and learning. In this keynote panel, three university presidents will explore the challenges posed by the pandemic and offer strategies and insights on how higher education can best move forward in the pursuit of excellence, improvement, and innovation.