EDUCAUSE Home Week 2016

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The last week in May, EDUCAUSE brought back a tradition and brought together staff from all around the United States to enjoy some shared training and to strengthen our internal relationships. Over the years, EDUCAUSE has become a highly distributed organization, with 47 percent of our staff working remotely in 20 states.

However, in 2008 we discontinued home week due to the recession. With many EDUCAUSE member institutions facing travel freezes, we looked for ways to cut our own travel costs. Then, before you know it, it’s 2016 and we haven’t come together in eight years. With 80 percent of the current staff hired after the last home week, the vast majority of staff have never had the chance to meet other EDUCAUSE staff in person.

I thought the week was wildly successful, as measured by the extraordinary connections that were established and deepened. Staff agreed about the success: in a follow-up survey, 92 percent noted that they want to meet F2F annually. We got a lot out of the speakers and the training during the week, but some moments were particularly unique. For instance, at one point all of us who work in locations other than the Louisville, Colorado, home office sang an appreciation to the Louisville staff, who have taken on gigantic projects this year and were feeling the strain. It’s safe to say that our version of “If I Had a Hammer,” with new words (“If we had an aspirin…” ) and guitar stylings provided by Andy Calkins (Deputy Director, Next Generation Learning Challenges), left people speechless. We more than made up for what we lacked in (any) rehearsal (at all) with a recklessness of enthusiasm, and those of us from our various “Otherville” locations enjoyed the chance to thank our Louisville colleagues in an, um, unforgettable way.

Here are your EDUCAUSE staff members, all in one place, saying hello:

EDUCAUSE staff photo

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John O'Brien's signature

John O’Brien is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.

© 2016 John O’Brien. The text of this blog is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.