Eduvation Blog

Valediction & Commencement

Yes, I know, it's the University of Washington campus...Springtime has finally come to Canada (well, mostly), and as we approach the bittersweet end to the academic year, the natural world is simultaneously erupting with fresh blossoms that emphasize bright new beginnings. Spring is as good a time as any to start new chapters in life, and so the end of April will also be the end of my tenure as editor of Canada’s leading higher education news daily, the Academica Top Ten.

Almost a decade ago, I started emailing interesting links about higher ed developments to my colleagues and a handful of clients.  (I credit my mom, who taught me that sharing news clippings is a way to show you care.)  It proved so popular that it quickly became a daily commitment in my spare time, and months later I trained the first of five successive associate editors, who have helped to ensure uninterrupted publication for more than eight years now. (The current editorial team, Dave Drysdale and Lindsey Hritzuk, has worked extraordinarily well for the past year, and will ensure continuity after me.)  In all, I have personally supervised the publication of some 2,500 issues, each and every day, through weekends, business travel and vacations. To be honest, the daily publication schedule has been relentless, and while I don’t actually have to be awake at 3:30am to press the “send” button, I have certainly spent many late nights in a wide range of times zones proofreading through jetlagged eyes.

Two years ago I started this venture called Eduvation, but I continued to edit the Top Ten long after I had departed Academica Group. I was emotionally invested in the Top Ten, and committed to the more than 24,000 intelligent and forward-looking higher ed professionals who read it every morning. But like any overprotective parent, there comes a time when I must reluctantly admit that “my baby” is becoming an independent adult, and it now serves a broad range of readers whose interests are not always my own. Like you, I will continue to enjoy reading the Top Ten and anticipate it will continue to evolve with the needs of the sector.

I will sorely miss the daily opportunity to have “morning coffee” with Top Ten subscribers like you, but rest assured I fully intend to continue the dialogue we have started:

Live Events: I will continue to see tens of thousands of you at conferences and on campuses from coast to coast through my trends keynotes and workshop/retreat facilitation services.

Bright Ideas: I’ll continue to share bright ideas and best practices in pedagogy, marketing, student services and pedagogy through the Eduvation Ideabank, and would encourage you to contribute your own ideas, and to vote for your favourites.

Video Podcasts: My new “almost-weekly” podcast, Ten with Ken, will move beyond the daily headlines to focus on more visual stories and in-depth analysis of trends, best practices, and ideas that really matter. So far, we’ve published five episodes on media relations headaches and visual identity redesigns, with dozens more topics in the pipeline. I think we’ve finally conquered most of the technological learning curve, so now the big challenge is to bring to the podcast the same energy and humour you expect from me at the podium!  Please take a moment now to subscribe on YouTube or iTunes, via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+Tumblr, or through my new email newsletter.

And so, just as valedictions come with commencement, and graduations are often celebrated as a new crop of students begins their academic year, I hope this farewell also marks the beginning of a new relationship with the higher ed community. I want to thank you, in all sincerity, for making me a part of your morning routine over the last decade, and I hope my podcast can become just as valuable a part of your afternoon coffee breaks or weekend entertainment.

Thanks, one last time, for reading!







Ken Steele

Co-Founder, Academica Group Inc.
Founding Editor, Academica Top Ten
President, Eduvation Inc.


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