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Power of People Podcast

OMNI Senior HR Consultant Roger Dusing, PhD, and Cleveland University’s Dale Marrant, EdD, are joined by leaders and HR experts from businesses, nonprofits, higher education, and more to discuss the full range of issues facing those who lead and manage people in a constantly changing HR landscape. Because at OMNI, we believe that if you manage people, you are a human resource manager. This podcast is sponsored by OMNI Human Resource Management, where we help organizations manage their most important assets – their people.

BONUS Episode: “On Being a College President”

September 20, 2023

Join us as we talk with Dr. Rachel Karstens Keck, President of Grand View University, and Dr. Albert Mosley, President of Morningside University about what makes small liberal arts colleges stand out in the current higher education landscape.

S1 E10: Retirement Plans in Higher Education

September 20, 2023

Join us as we talk with Ryan Rink, a highly experienced retirement plan advisor specializing in institutions of higher learning. He is the co-founder of Two West Advisors, a prominent retirement plan consulting firm based in Overland Park, Kansas. Ryan’s career has centered around assisting educational institutions in designing and implementing comprehensive retirement programs. He is well-versed in retirement plan design, investment options, and fiduciary responsibilities, and ensuring his clients receive expert guidance. Two West has been the “official fiduciary” to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools across the country since 2015 and currently serves 30+ institutions.

S1 E9: The Role of Associations

August 17, 2023

With the number of associations related to colleges and universities, it seems clear that the higher education community likes to join together and affiliate with like-minded people. Today, we’re talking with Andy Brantley, EdD, Chief Executive Officer of CUPA-HR, about why that is. In this episode, we’ll discuss the role of the association in today’s world of higher education and what to expect as college and university leaders and HR professionals navigate a variety of challenges.

Andy Brantley, Ed.D., has served as president and chief executive officer of CUPA-HR since July 2005. With the leadership and guidance of high functioning boards and great national office colleagues, Andy has led the transformation of CUPA-HR. The association has grown from 1,500 member institutions to almost 2,000, and from 6,600 institutional reps to more than 33,000.

Andy completed his Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. He is a frequent keynote and workshop presenter at meetings across the country.

Andy currently serves as co-chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat steering committee and the Secretariat’s representative to the American Council on Education Board of Directors. Before he was employed at CUPA-HR, Andy served as associate vice president and chief human resources officer at the University of Georgia, assistant vice president and director of human resources at Davidson College, and director of human resources at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

S1 E 8: News from the State House

July 25, 2024
Everyone in Higher Ed is familiar with impact of Federal regulations from the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and for many schools, the Defense Department or the Department of Energy. But lately, legislative activity at the state level has been making the national news.
Join us as we talk with Matt Lindsey, President of the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) about what’s happening in state legislative bodies. He’ll talk about some of the current activity and what’s behind it. You’ll also learn about the impact of lobbyists compared to that of individuals at the grassroots level.

Matt has served in his current role with KICA since 2012. As president, Matt represents the interests of the twenty private, not-for-profit, accredited colleges and universities in the state of Kansas. The work includes coordinating state and federal government relations on behalf of the sector, directing consortia work around improving college affordability, access, and completion and enhancing the ability of the unique private colleges that dot the Kansas prairie to thrive in a challenging and ever-changing educational landscape.

Before joining KICA, Matt was the Executive Director of Kansas Campus Compact, working to enhance civic and community engagement activities on college campuses throughout Kansas. He previously served as the senior associate for Freedman Consulting in Washington, DC, where he advised non-profit consortiums and large foundations on effective means to achieve policy change.
Matt was selected as a 2001 Harry S. Truman Scholar while attending the University of Tulsa, where he received degrees in economics and political science. He also received a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Along the path, he also worked with the city of San Diego, California, where he felt the surreal experience of watching a city go through three mayors in four months, the last of which named August 25, 2005 as “Matt Lindsey Day” for his work on behalf of downtown public-private partnerships.

S1 E7: Employee Communications

July 18, 2023

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 7 of OMNI’s “Power of People” podcast. The world of work has changed, as has how we communicate with each other. Do people still read emails? What about newsletters? Is print dead? Will employees listen to podcasts or watch videos? How should we be using social media? How long until Tik Tok is the norm? What are some techniques that institutions are using to share information with their employees and are they being effective?

In this episode, we’ll talk about all this, and more, with our guest, Erik Bergrud, Chief Strategic Communications Officer for Park University.

Erik Bergrud’s life was transformed by his experience as a Park University graduate public affairs student. During that time, he embraced the concept of serving others and has applied it to his career as well as to local, national and international volunteer pursuits.

As Chief Strategic Communications Officer at Park University, he stewards the public face of the institution, oversees constituent-based communications, and advises the President and other members of the University community on communications strategy and opportunities.

Erik has garnered the respect and trust of his colleagues across the country having been elected a fellow of the Congressionally-chartered National Academy of Public Administration and president of the American Society for Public Administration.

Erik has given significant time to several Kansas City civic organizations. He is chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Missouri State Affairs Committee, a past chair of the Parkville, Mo., Economic Development Council and a past president of Kansas City’s International Relations Council. On the national level, Erik is participating in a National Academy of Public Administration panel study of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Erik and his wife, Kimberlee, are actively involved in Kansas City philanthropic causes. They have co-chaired events for the Kansas City Ballet, reStart, and the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. He also serves as a public address/broadcast announcer for Park University soccer, Parkville community events, the Kansas City Comets Major Arena Soccer League Team, and the KC Courage, an independent club in the Women’s Premier Soccer League.

He earned a Bachelor degree in Sociology from the University of Kansas, a Master of Public Affairs degree from Park University, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Baker University.

S1 E6: “Examining the Great Divide

July 5, 2023
Welcome to Season One, Episode 6 of OMNI’s “Power of People” podcast. One of the many things that makes Higher Education different from most other industries is the relationship between faculty and staff. To some they are all simply “employees,” but faculty quite often view themselves as distinctly different. Throw in the facts that they may have annual contracts, tenure, academic freedom, and shared-governance, one could conclude that faculty are somehow other than “just employees.” Are they? Should they be? And if so, what challenges (and benefits) does that cause the institution?

In this episode, we’ll talk about all this, and more, with our guest, Dr. Kimberly Shankman, Dean of the College, Benedictine College. Dr. Shankman received her PhD in Political Science from Northern Illinois University. Subsequently she taught in the Politics and Government Department at Ripon College from 1985-2001, when she left to take her current position at Benedictine College.

Her research interests are American political thought and constitutional law. She is the author of Compromise and the Constitution: The Political Thought of Henry Clay. Additionally, she has published articles relating to the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment and other aspects of constitutional law. She spoke recently on “Truth and Democracy” at the University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy, and on “Human Capital in Caritas in Veritate” at Columbia University in New York.

To maintain her academic relationships and skills, Dr. Shankman continues to teach at least one course per semester in the Political Science Department at Benedictine.

Power of People (S1 E5): “HR Technology

June 20, 2023

Technology is changing the way HR works. Manager and employee self-service, applicant tracking with electronic onboarding, geo-fencing of time clocks, built in Learning Management Systems, and more have taken us a long way from just a “payroll” system. What are the current “cool” features, and what is on the horizon for Human Capital Management systems (HCMs)? In this episode, we explore the answers to all of those questions, and more.

is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in the HCM industry. As Senior Business Development Manager at TruPay, he is responsible for executing the organizations sales strategies and ensuring the delivery of HCM software solutions to mid and large size organizations. Throughout his career, Bryan has demonstrated a passion for HCM technology innovation and a deep understanding of how HCM technology can be used to solve complex business problems. He is the host of two HR-related podcasts, Essential HR, and the award winning Inspired Insights podcast where he interviews HR professionals to discuss the latest HR trends and issues in the Industry.

Power of People (S1 E4): “Employee Engagement”

June 6, 2023

The evidence is clear that employees who are “happy” are more productive, provide better customer service, use less sick time, are healthier, and are less likely to quit. In Season 1, Episode 4 of “Power of People,” we welcome Richard Boyer, Managing Partner of ModernThink. Rich is a founding partner of ModernThink LLC, a management consulting firm that specializes in organization culture, employee engagement and workplace quality. ModernThink co-founded the Great Colleges to Work For® program in partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education and has determined over fifty other “Best Place to Work” programs across the country.

As ModernThink’s top subject matter expert for the Great Colleges program, Rich is widely regarded as a national thought leader on workplace quality within higher education. He has co-authored the 2009 – 2019 Higher Education Workplace Trend Reports.  In this episode, entitled “Employee Engagement,” co-hosts Roger Dusing, PhD, and Dale Marrant, EdD, will talk with Rich about what he’s learned from the Great Colleges to Work For® program about what makes employees engaged and what impact those employees have on their institutions.

Power of People (S1 E3): The Role of the Manager

May 30, 2023

Joining us for the episode is , Interim President at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. Lamkin blends over 40 years of military and academic experience to form his own unique approach to leadership. He served as a professor at West Point, eventually becoming Dean of the Academic Board. After he retired from the Army at the rank of Brigadier General, he then held terms as President at West Virginia University at Parkersburg and twice at Westminster College, and is currently the Interim President at Clarke University in. Dr. Lamkin credits much of his professional success to his emphasis on building trust wherever he goes through careful research and planning, clear communication, and a dash of humor.

Managers used to spend the majority of their time managing – weekly one-on-ones with each staff member, coaching, managing projects, budgeting, planning, directing, organizing, etc. But over last 40 years, things have changed. Organizations have become flatter, with fewer levels of management. Many higher education institutions have also reduced costs by eliminating positions, or not back-filling vacancies. So, supervisors increasingly have become player-coaches, spending a significant amount of time doing the work of the department, rather than managing the other workers. They now often claim they don’t have time to manage – and they may be right. Good management takes time and is an investment in people.

Power of People (S1 E2): “Rethinking Work”

May 16, 2023

Joining co-hosts Dr. Roger Dusing and Dr. Dale Marrant in this episode is Shanna Legleiter, Associate Vice President Human Capital at Kansas State University, where she works closely with the Vice President on strategic initiatives and oversees the areas of Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Organizational Effectiveness, and Learning and Development. She is celebrating her 26th year in higher education this year and she appreciates the energy that students bring to the town of Manhattan, KS (the little apple). Shanna also serves on the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Midwest Region Board as Chair and was one of the founding members of the CUPA-HR Kansas chapter.

A key lesson from the pandemic is that things can change, and they can change rapidly; however, higher education is not accustomed to rapid change. The COVID-19 pandemic closed our classrooms and offices and sent everyone to work from home. That changed the nature of work, and we are still evolving from that. But another component of “work” is the work of a university. If schools are to control and/or redirect costs, they have to know what work they are doing and what work they should be doing. They have to know how many people it should take to do the work that needs to be done. How do we examine our processes and procedures to ensure that we’re doing the right work, and doing that work both efficiently and effectively? We’ll be discussing these questions with Shanna Legleiter in this episode, “Rethinking Work.”