An initiative designed to help managers, supervisors, leads, senior administrators and faculty leaders to be more effective in their roles launched in the spring quarter. President Soraya M. Coley announced the President’s Leadership Excellence Initiative during her March 6 video message to campus.
“This initiative is designed to create inclusive environments where employees feel valued and have opportunities for professional growth,” Coley said.
Shanthi Srinivas, presidential fellow for leadership excellence and institutional development, will oversee the initiative, which will include:
- Building a leadership pipeline using workshops, learning communities and mentoring;
- Establishing enhanced online and face-to-face orientation and onboarding procedures for newly hired managers;
- Offering ongoing in-house and external professional development programs and training to promote employee excellence.
“Enhancing the leadership capacity of the university is critical for student success,” Srinivas said. “This initiative will provide opportunities for professional growth, greater self-awareness and enhanced leadership for those serving in lead and management positions.”
The president’s leadership excellence initiative is grounded in the university’s Strategic Plan. One of the goals in the plan is to invest in personnel on campus, providing them with professional development opportunities.
“We are in the process of gathering information on the types of professional development opportunities that our managers, supervisors, leads and senior administrators have engaged in which will allow us to determine training areas to target in the future,” Srinivas said. “The overarching goal is to create an inclusive university environment where there is greater collaboration across campus and all employees feel valued.”
A pilot program for staff in lead roles has been launched this spring.
In addition, an existing program known as the Faculty Learning Community on Academic Leadership, launched in 2014 and facilitated by Srinivas will now be a part of the president’s leadership excellence initiative. The Faculty Learning Community (FLC) works to strengthen the leadership pipeline by providing mentoring for faculty members interested in exploring the possibilities of becoming department chairs or leading major committees at the department, college and university levels.
“The FLC has been an effective program for strengthening the leadership pipeline in the academic ranks as evidenced by the number of members who currently serve as department chairs, associate deans and directors. It is exciting that the FLC will become part of this important leadership initiative,” Srinivas said.
A reunion reception was held March 16 for faculty who were members of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 cohorts as well as those currently in the FLC on Academic Leadership. President Coley was the special guest at the reception and shared her leadership journey with the audience and highlighted the unique challenges and rewards of higher education leadership.
The Faculty Center for Professional Development will put out a call soon for applications for the 2018 Faculty Learning Community cohort.