Reflections from Chicago: Message from CASE Europe Executive Director John Middleton

John Middleton is the executive director of CASE Europe.

606 Chicago

The Bloomingdale Line is a former, 2.7-mile elevated railroad running east-west on the northwest side of Chicago, converted by the city of Chicago into a greenway called The 606. Photo by J Middleton

I hope, as this academic year comes to a close, that it has been one of great success for you personally and for your school, college, university, charity or business. Our data at CASE Europe shows us that as a sector we are improving across the board, and also that we face a number of challenges especially with increasing financial constraint across Europe.

I’m writing this post in Chicago. I am here for a series of meetings, and to experience American-style advancement first-hand. I have been really impressed. At its best it’s highly strategic, fully integrated and completely focussed on outcomes. I have also been advocating the values of advancement in Europe while here—explaining our different cultural contexts, increasingly competitive environment and the extraordinary skills we must all have to deliver our targets. I have also been understanding how colleagues here have been successful in securing additional resource as an ‘investment’ for future returns. This will become a major piece of work at CASE Europe. Shortly, I leave for Washington for a series of meetings with CASE headquarters staff, especially important given their collective expertise during this early stage in my work with CASE.

I was struck by the generosity, creativity and talent of those in our network.

June was another month of travel as I try to meet and listen to as many people as possible. I’m doing this to better understand your needs and ambitions. In a meeting with colleagues in Amsterdam, I was struck by the generosity, creativity and talent of those in our network. The commonality of the challenges we face, despite our different languages and environments, was also evident. One of those challenges is even better advocating the value of advancement to academic leaders, whether they be head teachers, principals, deans, rectors, presidents or vice chancellors.

The end of the academic year at CASE Europe actually means kick-starting the first event of the next one. The CASE Europe Annual Conference 2015 is nearly upon us. If you haven’t booked your place, and hopefully some more for your team and other colleagues too, why not? Do it today! It is the most fantastic opportunity to network, learn and share. Julia Hobsbawm, Founder & CEO, Editorial Intelligence, will provide our opening plenary, and those that have seen her speak previously know she will be stellar. Plus, our new President Sue Cunningham will be there all week, and is incredibly keen to meet with you. Of course, that goes for me too.

Enjoy August and see you at CEAC15.


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