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.


  1. Karen Shook
    April 24, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Thank you very much, Ken, for so many years of an informative and valuable newsletter. I cannot imagine how much work and dedication it must have taken to produce this resource so diligently and reliably, and for so long. I am sure I speak for thousands who know that this newsletter will keep them in the loop. Best of luck in your future endeavours.

  2. Martha Nelson
    April 24, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Many thanks, Ken. My best wishes and hope to see you “on the trail”. Happy Spring!!

  3. Cheryl Wardell
    April 24, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Ken, I will surely miss seeing your name in my inbox first thing in the morning. Thanks for continuing on your mother’s tradition of sharing. Best of luck in your future endeavours.

  4. Doug Dolan
    April 24, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Ken I have followed your newsletter for several years. It is an excellent resource for Canadian educators. I am glad your mom shared her great idea. Good luck and take care.

  5. Molly Morris
    April 24, 2015 at 8:46 am

    All the best to you, Ken.

  6. Ron Woodward
    April 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    THANKS Ken for your “pioneering leadership” to connect post secondary educational leaders across Canada on a daily basis! Your Top Ten has provided interesting and useful information that gets us talking with others about the trends and issues in our field. It also helped me to stay in touch with valued colleagues and friends across the country, and to know who to call when I had issues. In my “new career” as a “sometimes consultant struggling to be more retired” I read the Top Ten every day. I wish you all the best in your next adventure, hope our paths will continue remain connected.

  7. Joel Ward
    April 24, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Ten years of Top Ten and ten years of being a President seems symmetrical somehow. It was the first thing I read each day and without fail caused an email to my team alerting them that some place somewhere was doing something interesting and we should try it. (It may not have been as enthusiastically received as sent as they would often eye roll and sigh.) Thanks Ken. And in the words of our mutual hero Spock, “Live long and Prosper.”

  8. Tricia Donovan
    April 24, 2015 at 10:00 am


    Your Top Ten has become part of the fabric of post-secondary education across provincial boundaries! Its a ‘go to’ first thing each morning and I hope the legacy you leave will continue to evolve and grow. It’s been a pleasure to work with you, to fwait for your news and to feel part of the wider community. Thank you for that Wishing you the very best!

  9. Anna Kae Todd
    April 24, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Congratulations on 10 years of inciting discussion, occasional dissent, possibilities and excitement among our ranks,Ken. With best wishes for the continued success of your many ventures and for the future.

  10. Louise Hargreaves
    April 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    A big thank you from down under – I have really enjoyed your posts about HE in Canada – being passionate about HE and sharing I would also like to thank your mother :-). As always your point of view depends on your field of view. All the very best for your future adventures

  11. Ross Paul
    April 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm


    You have persisted for an amazing number of years after pioneering the Academica Top 10. I find it invaluable in keeping in touch quickly, always having the opportunity to pursue issues that particularly interest me in more depth elsewhere. Congratulations on a terrific innovation, huge thank yous for your dedication and persistance and best wishes for new successes in everything you undertake. Canadian higher education is much the better for your contributions.


  12. Elaine Cunningham
    April 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I remember the pre Ken days. Thanks for illuminating the darkness.

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