Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 2 ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs

At the ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs. Dr. Yi Yang and myself.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently attended the ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs. This has been an excellent experience - the facilitators have imparted excellent knowledge and it was wonderful to meet and learn from my fellow department chairs at the workshop. There was definitely more information and knowledge shared than I could ever effectively assimilate in such a short time period. However, I have boiled down a few few key insights from the experience.
The team of presenters. An excellent group!
What I Learned

  • People - Many of the speakers spoke about different topics (diversity, finances, innovation, etc.), but the conversation always seemed to circle back to the importance of working effectively with the department faculty. Being able to work positively with your faculty is critical because without their support and efforts, all initiatives are essentially neutralized.  The ability to influence and lead change is paramount.
  • The Department - One speaker stated that the department is the most important unit on campus. It is where all of the actual student learning takes place. Without faculty, there is no university. Therefore, we  It facilitates the work of the faculty and facilitates the learning of the students.
  • Finances -  In any organization, money is the driver. Without financial resources (which essentially turns into people, space, or stuff) an links directly to our performances. I feel more confident but would like to build my understanding and experience therewith.
  • Franklin has some excellent strengths - Many traditional universities faculty have little understanding of the changes happening in higher education. Franklin seems to be responding effectively through various strategic initiatives and is very active in adapting to change.

A great visual that shows the flow of resources in a traditional university.

What I Want to Learn

  • Budgeting and finances. I realize that this is something that I am very interested in - for an organization's strategy to be effective, it must utilize its resources effectively and appropriately. I would like to better understand how finances are utilized to support and bring about effective strategy.
  • Broader organizational view. I would like to get a larger view of all of the parts of an organization, including how all of the parts function individually and together to achieve student learning and success.
  • A broader view of higher education. I would like to learn more about other universities, how they are structured, how they function, their strategies and problems. I would like to really expand my view of how higher education functions and where I fit within the big picture..

Perhaps my greatest benefit I gained from this meeting is motivation to continue to grow and expand myself. It was definitely motivating to see and learn from people who have done the things I want to do. I'll probably share more ideas and plans as time goes on...

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