Michael Harris head shot

Spotlight on Strategy with Dr. Michael Harris

At the IEHE, we are always excited to have the opportunity to highlight the incredible work being done by our colleagues. As part of the launch of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: From Understanding to Implementation, edited by our own Kristina Powers, we’re bringing you a series of profiles of the higher education professionals who share their knowledge and expertise in the book.

Head shot of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities author Dr. Michael Harris.

Dr. Michael Harris serves as Associate Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Southern Methodist University. He co-wrote Faculty Perspectives (Chapter 9) which delves into the multi-faceted role of faculty as both producers and consumers of data in higher education. In the chapter, Dr. Harris and his chapter coauthors (Molly Ellis and Kim Pryor) make the case that faculty are uniquely positioned to be strong partners and avid supporters of a campus data culture.

Key Chapter Takeaways

Faculty commonly receive requests to provide data to institutional systems. In writing the chapter, Michael and his co-authors grappled with issues these requests present to faculty, and successful ways to address them. In this and the many other ways faculty manage data, the value of an institutional culture supportive of data strategy cannot be understated.

Dr. Michael Harris On the Process of Writing

At SMU, Michael participates in a weekly faculty writing group with a focus on writing productivity. He suggests that successful writers first get their ideas on paper. Focus on getting that first draft, and work on editing later.

“There is nothing better than getting into the flow where you look up after a productive writing session and it has been a couple of hours but it only feels like you’ve been writing 15 minutes.”

An Excerpt from Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities:

Excerpt from Chapter 9 of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: There is much promise—and just as much risk—in faculty members’ drive to create, understand, and effectively utilize data. In an increasingly data-filled world, faculty can and should play an active role. In their varied capacities on higher education campuses, faculty both create their own data and use the qualitative and quantitative data of others to make decisions impacting students, assess student learning, and improve academic programs.

Want to read more? Order your copy of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: From Understanding to Implementation now! You can also check out the book’s website and an extended excerpt from the book.

Have you ever lost yourself in your reading or writing like Dr. Harris does? What topics make time stand still for you? Tell us in the comments below.