Gene Roche Home

Gene Head ShotI’m currently serving as Executive Professor of Higher Education and a faculty fellow at the Center for Innovation in Learning Design (CILD) at the School of Education at the College of William and Mary.  My current project at CILD is a multiyear interdisciplinary study exploring the use of self-directed professional development to foster innovation and support personal productivity among college and university administrators.  My current goal is to try and revive this old WordPress site and use it to consolidate my materials and document any progress we make in carrying out the project.

Center for Innovation in Learning Design Fellowship

CILD itself is a brand-new initiative at the School of Education to bring together researchers and practitioners to explore, prototype, and test new learning designs. The future of the center is very much in flux as the co-directors (and the members of my planning class) are working to find and clarify a vision of what this new Center might bring to the SOE.  There is more detail about the project located on its own page.

Teaching and Learning

I’m currently developing and teaching courses in our doctoral core, including the inquiry courses Data-Driven Decision-Making and Action Research, as well as the doctoral course in Educational Planning.  I also teach a number of other courses including Technology Planning for Administrators, a new course on understanding and facilitating human learning, adult education and emerging technologies.  All of my courses are grounded in a fundamental philosophy, adult learning based on my experience with andragogy and self-directed learning, coupled with a fascination with the future impact of robots, artificial intelligence, deep learning and the Internet of Things.

The Scholarship of Integration and Application

As an executive professor, my research agenda is a little different than those of my tenure-track colleagues.  I tend to focus on what Erie Boyer, former chancellor of the State University of New York and President of the Carnegie Foundation, called the “scholarship of integration” and the “scholarship of application”, rather than the scholarship of discovery.  Within that framework, I try to ask questions about how we can help administrators improve their practice, how we can develop systems that foster creativity and innovation and how managers and administrators can use technology to become more productive in ways that help them achieve their personal and career goals.  I make my scholarship public by involving my students in the design and implementation of the course using an action research model.

A Little About My Educational Background

I jointed the SOE faculty full-time after 15 years as a senior technology manager at William and Mary and 14 years as Director of the Career Center at Hamilton College.  I completed an AB degree at Hamilton and my MS and EdD degrees at Syracuse University – staying way longer in the snow belt of upstate New York than any rational person should have.  After finishing my doctorate at SU, I taught in graduate programs in Adult Education at Syracuse University and Elmira College.

Before moving to the School of Education in a full-time faculty position, I worked as the Director of Communications and Organizational Development and Director of Academic Information Services for the IT organization and as Director of University of E-Learning Initiatives for the College of William and Mary.  During my time as director of University E-Learning Initiatives, I set up shop on the 3rd floor of the Mason School of Business and spent the better part of a year working with faculty and staff on planning and launching the online MBA program.

First Hand Exploration of Old Age

At this stage in my life, I’m also learning more than I want to about topics such as osteoarthritis, atrial fibrillation and dealing with the aftermath of total knee replacement.  Janna and I spend our summers at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York where a number of other old timers gather for good music, good conversation and, hopefully, a little less humidity than we have in Virginia during the summer.