Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Faculty Senate > September 2011
Summer’s heat has been replaced with cooler fall
temperatures just in time for the on-campus heat of a new semester to kick in.
As is our norm, the FHSU community is thinking about ways to stay innovative
and provide a top-notch education to our students. FHSU is participating in
an exciting new project established by the American Association of State
Colleges and Universities (AASCU) known as the “Red Balloon Project” named
after a Defense Department project that offered a prize to the first group of
people that could locate ten red weather balloons strategically placed around
the country. Using social networking and crowds, the winning group took less
than ten hours to find all balloons. AASCU President George Mehaffey has
challenged member colleges to think broadly and strategically about using the
wisdom of crowds to re-imagine higher education. Using technology, we can
adapt to the challenges of a new higher education environment and lead into a
brave new networked world.
Both President Hammond and Provost Gould have evangelized on
our campus about the Red Balloon Project, and as someone who sees potential to
lead with technology rather than fight it, I am asking the FHSU Senate to
create a Red Balloon Task Force where we will look to using technology to make
our jobs more efficient, innovate in our teaching, and advance our research. A
wonderful new faculty resource, an online portal, has just launched after a year
of hard work by our Computing and Telecommunications Center. We can build on
the new portal, called Tiger Central, to share knowledge, eliminate redundancy,
and be more flexible in our work. Part of the ethic of higher education is to
share and grow knowledge. Online social media provides the greatest
opportunity in world history to collaborate and expand knowledge. We might not
have red balloons to track down, but we do have a fantastic opportunity to seek
the solutions to other mysteries. I intend for the FHSU Faculty Senate to play
a role in this great new adventure.
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