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Hello readers, and welcome to both a new year and a new phase for To Improve the Academy. As your editor, I am thrilled to announce that this is our first open access issue brought to you by our new publisher, Michigan Publishing Services. After careful consideration and many conversations, representatives from the POD Network determined that being an open access journal was not only beneficial for our readers (who have better access) and our authors (whose work is no longer obstructed by a paywall) but also most in line with POD’s current strategic priority of enhancing access to the organization and its resources.
As part of our new publishing agreement, POD maintains the rights to the entire To Improve the Academy archive, all the way back to issue one. At the time of writing, our partners at Michigan Publishing Services are busily working to convert all previous articles into accessible, searchable, downloadable PDFs that will be open access as well.
This is an exciting time for the POD Network and especially for the journal, so I want to thank everyone who has assisted in this transition, including the To Improve the Academy editorial board, the POD Core Committee, the ad hoc committee that guided the selection of a new publisher, the University of Michigan faculty and staff that endorsed our new partnership, and the staff at Michigan Publishing Services.
I’m also excited to call your attention to this issue’s opening piece by Randall Bass, who served as the 2017 POD Network annual conference keynote speaker. In this invited essay, Bass takes the provocative question he famously asked of teaching—“What’s the problem?”—and asks it of educational developers, with a call for us to think carefully, expansively, and even differently about the nature and impact of our work. Bass’s article will serve as the basis for an upcoming special issue of To Improve the Academy, for which a call will go out in the coming months.
Thank you all for your continued and/or emerging readership, and welcome to the new To Improve the Academy!
Lindsay Bernhagen, PhD