IHE Report

  • RANDALL L. SWING - 2016

    Randy L. Swing’s career in higher education spans more than 35 years with appointments as executive director of the Association for Institutional Research and co-director and senior scholar for the Policy Center on the First Year of College. Prior to national leadership positions, he worked for 20 years at Appalachian State University creating first-year student success initiatives and founding the Office of Learning Outcomes Assessment. His 2016 Change Magazine article and Aspirational Statement for Institutional Research posits a new student-focused vision for the field of institutional research.

    TRUE CONFESSIONS. I entered the IHE doctoral program thinking that the degree was just a “ticket punch” requirement for job advancement—simply another hurdle to climb over. Instead, I entered into a life-changing educational experience. Even as a student I could see how I was changing my thinking skills, understanding higher education more deeply, and developing statistical and research skills I had long wished to have. My doctoral degree is far more than just mastery of a body of knowledge—it really was life changing. The critical reasoning, multidisciplinary perspectives, and the prestige of a UGA degree opened doors and paved the way for a long career of national leadership in the higher education field.

    I count myself so fortunate to have experienced the faculty and fellow students in the IHE. Both served as colleagues and mentors, rich relationships that have lasted for over 20 years. It is also easy to remember the lean finances of living on a graduate assistantship.

    WHY I GIVE TO IHE. I give to IHE to support the next generation of higher education leaders. I’m confident my contributions will be meaningfully used by student recipients and that IHE graduates will be key players in creating the higher education systems so critical to the future of the world.

    In addition to contributing to student-centered initiatives, I’ve especially appreciated the chance to add to named endowments for past and present faculty members. I can’t think of a better way to thank Drs. Libby Morris, Tom Dyer, Cameron Fincher, and other IHE faculty for their dedication to student passion for higher education.

    To join Dr. Swing in supporting the students, programs and activities of the Institute of Higher Education, visit: www.ihe.uga.edu/giving.