Weeks 162 to 166 of 186 (BMAL887)

Doctorate of Strategic Leadership program Robert Forto

Weeks 162 to 166

Well… it has been a few weeks since I have had the time to write a post. There have been a few updates including finally getting Task 7 approved after a few edits and now I can breathe a little easier knowing that I am moving on to BMAL 888 in the fall term!

Next up is to finish the literature review and submit the project for admin review. 

Speaking of this review: There has been much chatter in the Facebook Groups about the possible disconnect between the student, chair, and admin reviewer and I emailed my chair vocining my concerns. 

Almost immediately, we jumped on a call together and worked through the pain points. 

I was surprised to learn that there are 1000 people in the doctorate program for the school of business, 20 chairs and only 6 admin reviewers! 

A post from Facebook

I just wanna take a minute to say thank you. You inspired me to go back to school? And now I am planning my undergraduate capstone. Which is going to be done in Willow.

I am going to be studying insect populations in the aftermath of Sockeye and comparing them to healthy populations that were not affected.

This could lead to graduate work. I am also volunteering in the entomology department at the museum of the North. Thank you again for being an inspiration.

It is always so nice when I receive posts like this. They come in at least once a week and I am happy this blog has reached so many people and hopefully has helped them along the way. 

The Post Regarding Admin Reviews:

This is more for future students that read this blog but I wanted to post my thoughts about the admin review process where a lot of us in the program are struggling. 

This was posted in the DSL FB group by me on July 22, 2023:

A quick update regarding the issues some of us are having with admin review at Task 7.
I am at the point of finishing up Task 7.2 lit review and then it will go to Admin Review–where a lot of us have been bogged down.
There was a lot of chatter here in the group over the last couple of weeks about the possible disconnect between the student, chair, and admin reviewer.
I sent an email to my chair yesterday voicing these concerns and almost immediately she called me and we had a really good chat.
I am a strong advocate for developing a relationship with your chair so that they are your ally in this whole process.
She has been very good thus far at communication and this was our third phone call together.
A couple of takeaways:
  1. There are over 1000 doctorate students in the School of Business
  2. There are 200 chairs
  3. There are only 6 (!!) admin reviewers
  4. My chair is also an admin reviewer and always looks at her student’s work using that hat. She said it is very rare that one of hers requires three revisions at the admin review level and mostly it is just one. She gives feedback on previous tasks to prepare for the admin reviews. For example on my Task 7 she said that I needed to add mitigations to each of the assumptions/limitations and I did so in a closing paragraph for that section. She then said I needed the mitigations after each assumption/limitation (rather than in a summary paragraph) because that is what the admin reviewer is looking for. She also said that the word “mitigation” is a word the admin is keying in on. A little tip like that is gold.
  5. TurnItIn is a huge deal at the university and has ramped up its flags in the program because of AI writing by students. She said that AI is becoming a huge problem not only at Liberty but everywhere and they don’t know how to deal with it yet. She said that if the admin reviewer comes back with that has a reason she will go back and look at previous submissions and “fight” for the student that it is their work
  6. Most of the reasons for multiple admin review submissions is the student is not following the guide.
I said my biggest concern is we have no idea what to expect from an admin review and there is no course of action. I said that this project is probably the biggest thing that any of us has done in our careers and many of us just want to be prepared.
There were several others and of course, these may be different for your process but it was good for us to talk and to see what are supposed to expect. I am sure many of us would agree that these points are helpful while others will say, that’s all great but my admin review had me write the entire section over.
My advice, take the time to reach out to your chair today. Send a quick email and say, hey let’s jump on a quick call and get on the same page. Even if you think everything is great it never hurts to build a stronger relationship with them.
I hope this all helps and I welcome any comments!

A Quick Update on Michele's Progress

As many of you know my wife is also in the program and is in her second course, BMAL 702. She was crazy busy during the dreaded two week summer term overlap but got through it and is working her way through. 

In that course the student is asked to come up with a prelimarlry topic for a lit review and she is interested in holistic leadership.

Also, she attended a training this past week in denver to get certified as a facilitator in Experiential Learning that we are going to offer through our business, Peak Experience in the near future. 

Long time readers will remember that this business has been in the works for the past couple of years now. 

Let’s Connect…

Oh, if you are on Twitter, I highly encourage you to follow the hashtags, #AcademicChatter and #AcademicTwitter both are great threads with advice, motivation, and a very supportive community and if you wouldn’t mind, give me a follow at @robertforto and send me a tweet letting me know you found my blog helpful!


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