2006 PKAL Leadership Seminar

Break-Out Session C

Kansas City, Missouri, November 17 - 19, 2006

In an early paper for PKAL, P. Uri Treisman, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzed the process of change in ways that helped reinforce PKAL’s persisting ‘kaleidoscopic’ perspective. The integrating theme in this break-out session will be (in Treisman’s words): ...that at the same time as projects continue to evolve, the internal and external environments also change. Everything is volatile; leaders have to monitor and respond to such changing environments to ensure that innovative solutions do not have short lives. It is the responsibility of leadership to be able to capitalize and leverage reforms, to support the innovators on their campus by signaling that the results of working together can be sustained. Visionary leaders generate such a community.

These are issues of leadership: getting people to collaborate is political work. Faculty and administrative leaders need to think collectively about the linkages between the mission and the practices of the institution. What difference will the collective vision of an institutional future, of goals for student learning make to the process of determining budgets, of building a faculty, of designing and redesigning programs? Collectively these individual sessions address the kaleidoscopic approach to realizing creative and sustainable change.

Break-out Session C1: Budgets & Institutional Issues
Jeffrey Abernathy- Dean of the College & Professor of English, Augustana College
James E. Swartz- Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College & Professor of Chemistry, Grinnell College

This session will address the critical process of funding from the long-term perspective of the institution as well as the shorter-term view. We will examine and discuss how budgets affect institutional issues and can have a direct impact on the process of faculty development and institutional transformation.

Break-out Session C2: Faculty Issues
Klod Kokini- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
Paul Kuerbis- Professor of Education & Director of the Crown Teaching & Learning Center, Colorado College
Michael Palis- Associate Dean of Arts & Sciences & Professor of Computer Science, Rutgers University- Camden Campus

The faculty represent the core of any academic institution. In this session, cases about hiring high quality interdisciplinary faculty and improving the diversity of the faculty will be presented. Issues related to retention of faculty and climate will also be discussed. In what ways can a faculty teaching center support faculty who engage in STEM pedagogical reform? Are there models of faculty centers and student learning centers that can serve as focal points for supporting an institution’s emphasis on learning?

Break-out Session C3: Political Issues
David Christopher Arney- Program Manager for Mathematics, United States Army Research Office
Elizabeth S. Boylan- Provost & Dean of the Faculty, Barnard College
Daniel Sparling- Dean, School of Liberal Arts & Professional Programs, Maryville University

Creative and sustainable change is all about people and interpersonal dynamics. This panel will frame the leadership challenges in terms of cooperative as opposed to competitive systems and in terms of trust (earned and betrayed), and will offer examples of the political dimensions of faculty hiring, facilities planning and capital campaigns.
Recommended reading:
- Five qualities of Leaders We Can Trust, Diana Chapman Walsh, President, Wellesley College

Break-out Session C4: Programmatic Issues
Katayoun Chamany- Associate Professor, Science Technology & Society Program, Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
Donald G. Deeds- Professor of Biology, Drury University
Carl S. Luciano- Professor & Chair of Biology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

How can members of a department take a pro-active approach to institutional transformation? How can a department work to promote positive change? What strategies should faculty employ to avoid change that is not in line with programmatic vision and goals? If change is being forced, is there any potential for gain, or can a department creatively minimize negative outcomes?

During this session, facilitators will briefly describe experiences at three very different institutions during times of institutional transformation; downsizing of a department; curricular reform; changing university leadership. These case studies will set the stage for small group discussions in which LI Teams identify local curricular/programmatic challenges and barriers to change. The teams will report out and obtain feedback from other teams about how best to meet these challenges and overcome or circumvent barriers. Teams should come prepared to work through the following list:

  • identifying the issue/establishing a unified vision
  • pinpointing the actual problem/setting concrete goals
  • determining what can be done now
  • identifying resources needed for the future
  • targeting barriers
  • creating the action plan
  • delegating strategically (know your strengths and weaknesses)
  • monitoring accountability within the team
  • establishing an effective communication system
  • making and assessing impact
  • disseminating success.