HOLGER W. HENKE
As an experienced leader in higher education and academic administration I place a premium on creativity and innovation as the definitive hallmark of effective change agents and successful thought leaders in the 21st century economy. I encourage and promote the design of pedagogy, academic programs, and strategic planning which foster these characteristics in higher education.
As a scholar, full-time college faculty, and senior academic administrator, Holger has been committed to producing the highest standards of work. Before moving into college administration full-time, he published six books over the period of just eight years, in addition to numerous scholarly articles in his fields of expertise. In his role as senior academic administrator, he planned and executed intensive capacity-building and institutional change agendas.
Holger has studied at and worked with universities in Europe, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean & Latin America, as well as in China. With his extensive expertise as international and domestic higher education administrator, he has given numerous presentations, lectures, and keynote addresses at conferences, served as president of a professional scholarly association, led strategic planning, institutional self-assessments (both formative and summative) and accreditation reviews, facilitated research and scholarship, as well as implemented and evaluated academic and student support programs.
SPEAKING & CONSULTING ENGAGEMENTS
MY PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACHES TO HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE 21st CENTURY
I offer a well-grounded combination of experience in hands-on execution as well as executive stewardship and capacity-building which is familiar and comfortable with establishing best practices, performance benchmarks, and quantitative and qualitative metrics for assessment and operational up-scaling. I also have a penchant for innovative dimensions (e.g., predictive analytics, Guided Pathways approaches, touch-table technology) and institution-building ventures in higher education (e.g., strategic community partnership planning, diversity & inclusiveness strategies, international student recruitment).
As a “potential wanderer” (Robert Park, 1928) I profoundly enjoy and appreciate the benefits of working in diverse groups, and I always promote team approaches in administrative work, as well as in my teaching and research. I am fond of having been able to observe over the last 35 years three different university systems close-up – the German university system with its roots in Humboldtian ideals, the post-colonial British system in the Caribbean, and the increasingly corporate American university model with its emphasis on applied research and need for various cost-efficiencies. I also benefited greatly from learning about the educational challenges and opportunities of students in China.
During past Fulbright and Harvard-MLE awards, I had an opportunity to reflect with other senior administrators on some of these experiences. This background experience enables me to pragmatically adopt the best features that work in a specific context and to reject aspects that may work to some degree, but whose improvement may have been prevented for reasons of convention or habit. Particularly in academic institutions engaged in intensive change and/or capacity-building, where “filiopietistic entrenchment in the status quo […] sometimes represents a major impediment to the further evolution” (Michael M. Crow & William B. Dabars, 2015), this work is often a recalibration exercise of trial-and-error that has to be driven with intentionality and purposeful design in mind. As well, it often requires an impetus to re-imagine the strengths and value propositions made by the institution.
As I consider engaged faculty to also be engaging faculty, and driven by my own inter- and trans-disciplinary interests and pursuits, I have a firm commitment to faculty research and creative activities, and I always enjoy to share their pride of accomplishment, particularly where it also involves the students we are teaching.