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Aug 16, 2019

What is the future of the university and higher education? Will the local, broad-scope, brick-and-mortar campuses that form a critical part of our society give way to a fragmented system of hyper-focused online learning nodes? What is learning, anyways? And what's the purpose of an educational institution in the first place?

Ben has a fascinating chat with a key thinker in this space: writer, strategist and higher education engagement specialist Mark Sollis, whom you might remember from Episode 60.

About the Guest

Mark Sollis is a strategist and creative with D3 Advancement Strategies & Communications.

Noted for his disruptive thinking and willingness to challenge the status quo, Mark served for almost five years as the first Associate Vice-President, Alumni at the University of Calgary. Building on leadership roles in planning within various institutions, he led the creation of, and delivered on, the institution's much-lauded first Alumni Strategy, which set the university as one of the most forward-thinking and performance-driven operations in the field of alumni engagement.

Previously, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Mark served for three years as the project manager for Canada’s leading alumni facility, the $20 million UBC Alumni Centre, while working as the Senior Director, Operations and Planning; and Interim Associate Vice-President Alumni and Executive Director, Alumni Association, for UBC Alumni.

Noted for his considered approach, and his ability to execute with focus, agility, and collegially, his post-secondary experiences also cover media relations; student leadership; finance; major project management; as well as serving as strategic counsel to higher education executives. Mark served on the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations from 2013-16 and the CASE District VIII Board from 2014-16. A frequent presenter in North America and internationally, with significant experience with CASE and the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE), he has also worked closely with institutions and colleagues across Canada, the US, Australia and the UK in the areas of performance management, planning and organisational development. Other leadership roles include successes in two major Canadian political campaigns and serving as a caucus chief of staff, and as a VP Advancement in Scotland.

A proud graduate of Mount Royal (Calgary) with a Bachelor of Applied Communications (Journalism), Mark has recently launched his own consultancy to focus on performance management, strategy development, and business planning in advancement.

Mentioned in this Episode

The Quote of the Week

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."
- Plutarch