Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Special Journal Issue on Branch Campus Topics

If you are involved with branch campuses, then you may want to know about the most recent issue of Metropolitan Universities Journal. It is Volume 22, Number 1, and it is dedicated to branch campuses. It includes ten articles on a variety of topics.

Many of the authors are friends and colleagues of mine, and I know they carry both a strong commitment to the branch mission, as well as valuable experience they chose to share. I have an article on the future of branch campuses, but others provide relevant case studies and survey results that will be helpful to readers.

Ken Shaw’s case study of issues at Florida State University-Panama City captures the challenges of branch leadership as nicely as anything I’ve seen. An article by Norton and Pickus brings attention to what I consider to be a major issue for branch campuses: having the ability to create their own course schedule, in order to meet the needs of their students, and (related) having enough budget control to assure they get those courses.

Articles by gossom and Pelton and by Bebko and Huffman, present new data on leadership and on branch characteristics. Other articles make strong contributions, and I especially like the case elements that enhance the story of branch campuses.

I don’t have space here to describe each article, but you can read the abstracts at You also will find information for subscribing to the Journal, ordering a copy of this issue, or even purchasing a copy of individual articles. Incidentally, Metropolitan Universities Journal also dedicated an issue to branch campuses about ten years ago, in Volume 12, Number 2. That issue may also be found on the web site.

One of the consistent themes for those who care about branch campuses is that we need a more developed literature on best practices, as well as more and better research that focuses on branch issues. We all owe a debt to Jack Krueger and Phyllis Bebko for their work to organize and produce this special issue.

On a much sadder note
: NABCA lost one of its founding fathers and an all around great colleague, when Hal Dengerink passed away, September 14. Hal was Chancellor-Emeritus at Washington State University-Vancouver, and he was one of the best thinkers I know about branch campus challenges. In fact, Hal wrote the lead article for the previous Metropolitan Universities Journal issue dedicated to branch campuses. Hal had a great sense of humor, a sense of fun, and a great deal of savvy. He will be missed.

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