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NASH Newsletter – October 2017

November 8, 2017

NASH National Association of System Heads logo


In September, Lumina Foundation awarded NASH $1.2 million over two years to support deeper implementation of certain aspects of our holistic strategy for student success, Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3).   Four systems will be selected through a competitive process to participate directly in this work, with a focus on high impact practices and equity-minded learning pathways.

Through this grant we will:

  • Identify and advance promising HIPs models at both the system and campus levels, imbedded in required curricula and/or equity-minded learning pathways
  • Help demonstrate the impact of a coordinated scaled approach to student success, including integration with faculty, curriculum, and learning outcomes
  • Focus especially on access and impact of these innovations for underrepresented minority and low income students
  • Incorporate elements of the new learning infrastructure, with a focus on quality
  • Develop approaches to data collection on participation and impact
  • Create tools for implementing and tracking HIPs for use by systems and campuses in the TS3 Network and beyond

Proposals from systems in the TS3 Network are due October 31, 2017.  For more information, please contact Rebecca Martin (

The work of the entire TS3 Network will continue to focus on all three strands of our work—Math Redesign, Predictive Analytics, and HIPs.  Webinars in all three areas are continuing, and you can look for new tools related to predictive analytics this fall.  All of our systems will benefit from the learning supported by this grant, beginning with initial progress to be shared at the April 2018 TS3 Network Convening.  We are grateful to Lumina for this support.



At the end of August, Nancy Zimpher, one of the most prominent system leaders of the last several decades, stepped down from her role as SUNY Chancellor.  Zimpher and her SUNY colleagues coined the term “systemness,” giving us all new ways to think about the opportunities to leverage the power of our systems and demonstrating just how to do this through her many accomplishments in New York.  Her annual conference SUNYCON became a leading event for the discussion of the most important issues facing our systems today.

Nancy brought the collective impact approach to NASH, where she led the board for three years.  This resulted in the major initiative, Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3), which is now gaining a national profile and significant funding. She was instrumental in moving NASH to the forefront of collaboration with K12 partners on higher standards, and brought new focus to issues of educator preparation.

She gave the keynote address at the annual SHEEO/NASH meeting in July, where she recounted her experiences leading the largest public university system in the country. She challenged her fellow system heads and state higher education officers to “pick a dragon,” a problem that we know needs to be solved, and then work to address it together.  Her choice for the dragon:  Educate America, working with K12 to improve access to college for the 40% of our youth who do not pursue higher education.  Click here for a recording of her remarks:

But fear not, Nancy will not be gone from the leading edge for long.  In January, she will create the nation’s first Center for Education Pipeline Systems Change at SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government.  Here, initiatives she introduced during her SUNY tenure will be further explored and taken to scale, namely the idea of “systemness,” the collective impact approach to education and community building, and the importance of approaching education policymaking and funding across the full continuum, from cradle to career.

Nancy Zimpher put NASH on the map, giving us an important voice nationally and moving us from a membership organization to a leadership organization.  We are grateful that she will continue to be involved in the TS3 Network, serving as a senior advisor and advocate for systems and student success.



College campuses have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in new data analytic solutions with the hopes of improving student success on campuses.  However, the impact of such solutions is moderated by the extent to which the campus has the capacity to understand and use the new data.  So, how do you build a campus culture that embraces data analytics and understands and has the resources to use it to improve student success?

Over the past year, representatives of the State University of New York, Tennessee Board of Regents, and the University System of Maryland have been working to develop tools and professional development activities to assist campuses in building their human capacities to use data analytics to drive student success.  This effort, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allowed campus and system leaders to collaborate on the development of resources that will help institutions build the human capacity to effectively use data analytics.

This work emerges from the data analytics stream of the Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3) initiative. Campuses are investigating significant resources in data analytics platforms that allow them to use data analytics in conjunction with early warning systems, the identification of bottleneck courses, degree planning systems, and other strategies designed to help their students be more successful. Yet, despite being seen as a panacea by some, these new data sources and analytical tools can fall short of their lofty expectations because they lack utility for the end-users. The millions of dollars being spent on data infrastructure and software will be for naught without the human capacity to use them wisely and effectively. Until that happens, these new and sophisticated tools and sleek interfaces will never become what we hoped them to be.

The first set of tools include a set of guiding principles, a buyer’s guide, and guided pathways document to helps leaders link actions to findings.  The network is continuing to develop these tools, which will soon be available to the TS3 network, with more in the works.  For more information about this effort, please contact SUNY’s Jason Lane, project director, for more information at



Registration is now open for the High Impact Practices in States Symposium.  The symposium will be held at CSU Dominguez Hills from February 22 – 24, 2018.  This national symposium is part of our TS3 initiative to improve the delivery of high-impact practices like undergraduate research, learning communities, peer mentoring, and service learning. Many NASH institutions already offer such HIPs regularly and well, but struggle with documenting the benefits, scaling what works, and targeting delivery to the students who most stand to benefit.

Conference participants will present and learn about best practices in the field, with a particular focus on public institutions that prioritize access, affordability, and equity.  Members of the TS3 Network will receive discounted registration.  Please visit our website for more information and to register:

We also hosted a four part webinar series on High Impact Practices.  You can view the webinars on our website:



As part of improving overall student success, many colleges and universities are taking a close look at how to improve the delivery of advising and student support services. Institutions reporting significant improvements in retention and degree completion have changed structures and practices while incorporating the use of data and technology to facilitate an integrated, campus-wide approach to supporting student success. Over the past year, the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU) worked with colleges and universities recognized for achieving considerable gains in student success to identify effective practices in advising redesign and recently launched an online course, A SMART Approach to Student Success, to disseminate and scale these practices to the broader postsecondary community.

To develop the course, APLU conducted site visits to five leading institutions (Austin Community College, Colorado State University, Georgia State University, Middle Tennessee State University and Whatcom Community College) and interviewed presidents, provosts, leaders in academic and student affairs, advisor managers, and faculty to attain a holistic understanding of the processes these institutions undertook to implement large scale change. Based on these site visits and collaboration with leaders in the field, APLU’s six lesson course includes 180 minutes of curated instructional video, resources that highlight the current landscape of research around implementation strategies as well as activities to guide planning, evaluation and communication.

Over 75 institutions are enrolled in the course currently and feedback has been very positive. For additional details about the development and launch of this project including key lessons learned from successful universities please read the recent blog post here:

Redesigning Advising? Online Course Provides Opportunity to Learn from Leading Colleges and Universities

APLU is interested in expanding the use of this resource and is providing a discount to NASH systems interested in purchasing the course for institutions in their respective states. Please contact Lynn Brabender, Program Manager and project lead for A SMART Approach to Student Success at to discuss options or learn more about this new resource.

You may learn more about A SMART Approach to Student Success by registering for APLU’s next webinar on the topic on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 2:00-2:45pm EST: Register Here.  An additional webinar will be hosted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 from 2-2:45pm EST : Register Here.

You may also visit the course website:



In June, SHEEO released the white paper A Federal-State Partnership for True College Affordability, which provides an update to their 2014 Moving the Needle report.

This white paper introduces a proposal for a new federal-state college finance partnership designed to meet established affordability thresholds for low-income students. SHEEO applies this affordability model not only for full-time and traditional age students but to adult and part-time students—two populations commonly left out of traditional college affordability proposals.

The high cost of higher education in the United States limits opportunity, keeping entire segments of the population from receiving the benefits of a postsecondary education. In order to significantly increase educational attainment rates, reducing the cost of higher education for students and their families must be addressed in new and systemic ways.

A Federal-State Partnership for True College Affordability highlights several high-level results:

  • In order for each state to meet the affordability threshold of the SHEEO model (where graduates devote no more than 10% of their discretionary income toward student loan repayment) in the fourth year of implementation, the total cost nationally is projected to be just under $12 billion for full-time, first-time traditional students (with the cost estimated to be $4 billion, half from states and half from the federal government, in the first year).
  • Extending the SHEEO model to part-time and adult students is estimated to cost an additional $21.8 billion nationally to meet the affordability threshold (again, with half covered by the states and half covered by the federal government).
  • On average, states would need to invest an additional five percent investment each year to reach the affordability threshold established in the model (two percent for traditional students, three percent for adult and part-time students).

Under the proposed SHEEO model, federal funds would match any additional funding the states provide to support low-income students, with the goal of each state eventually meeting an affordability threshold of graduates devoting no more than ten percent of their discretionary income toward student loan repayment.

“States don’t have to wait for the federal government to act to tackle college affordability and student success,” said George Pernsteiner, SHEEO’s president. “Students are paying the price now, and for many, the cost is too high. Although each state will approach affordability in a way that reflects its population and budget, our estimates show that nearly every state must do more to ensure that students are not priced out of postsecondary education.”  To download the full report, please click here.



New System Heads

Dr. Kristina Johnson, Chancellor, The State University of New York
Dr. Devinder Malhotra, Interim Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
Dr. Thom Reilly, Chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education
Mr. Keith Saunders, Interim Executive Director, Iowa Board of Regents
Dr. Karen Whitney, Interim Chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Ms. Lesa Roe, Chancellor, University of North Texas System



Type Topic Date Location Meeting
TS3 Predictive Analytics Webinar October 19 Webinar
System Heads NASH Board & Annual Meeting November 12 Washington, DC APLU
Professional Development NASH/ACE Leadership Academy January 17-18 Washington, DC NASH
CAO NASH CAO Network Meeting February 8* San Antonio AASCU
System Heads NASH Board & Member Meeting April 22 San Francisco AGB
TS3 NASH TS3 Convening April 12 – 13 Chicago NASH
System Heads NASH Board & Member Meeting July 9 or 10 Park City, UT SHEEO
CAO NASH CAO Network Meeting August 7* Denver SHEEO

  *Date is subject to change