2009 PKAL Summer Faculty Leadership Institute

Call for Applications

Deadline: May 8, 2009

Baca Campus of Colorado College
Crestone, Colorado

This is a special invitation to STEM faculty engaged with the Project Kaleidoscope Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative, funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation, to apply for the 2009 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute. The 2009 Summer Leadership Institute is designed to enhance the leadership capacity of participants working within their home communities to facilitate the interdisciplinary learning of 21st century undergraduates. The Summer Institute will be held July 18 – 23, 2009 in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at the Baca Campus of Colorado College in Crestone, Colorado. It is the 10th Summer Leadership Institute.

Comments from past institute participants:

    “There are three words on my office wall to guide me: connections, filter, and patience. These three words were identified during the Baca Leadership Institute. To say that experience changed my life is an understatement. The PKAL Baca Leadership Institute provided me with: an intellectual framework to explore and embrace my leadership skills, a vision for my future, a plan to achieve that vision, and access to PKAL mentors who have helped me implement my plan.”

    “I went to Baca in 2004 and it was a life-changing experience. The leadership skills and professional networks I developed in that short week have had an immeasurable impact on my career and on my students’ learning and their careers.”

    “There are days when those of us plugging away at institutions serving at-risk students think about jumping to a world-class research university, to a highly competitive undergraduate college in small town America, or to one of the prestigious HBCU’s with their storied histories. Time and again it is the PKAL network of mentors, gurus, advisors, and friends that supply the necessary confidence, skills, and encouragement to ensure that we continue to make a difference in the lives of our colleagues, our students, and our communities. As I often say to those unfamiliar with this organization: A weekend with PKAL and one is thinking about changing the world; a week with PKAL and one has already started the process.”

Participants will have opportunity to:

  • engage in discussions about national, regional and local challenges and opportunities facing those with leadership responsibility for creating and enhancing STEM interdisciplinary efforts that serve 21st century students
  • learn from experience how to deal with the political dimensions of change: how to influence, negotiate and communicate, as well as the importance of understanding the institutional culture as well as the changing context for leadership
  • reflect privately and with mentors and peers on the personal responsibilities of a leader, and on one’s potential for leadership, to make a lasting difference for the communities of which you are a part.

The Summer Leadership Institutes give selected STEM faculty members an extended (and unique) opportunity to experience what works in serving as a leader in interdisciplinary efforts. They are designed around a carefully coordinated blend of theory and practice, weaving discussions of issues of national import with experiences about the politics of change together with time for conversations and reflections with mentors. Institute mentors have a key role in guiding the conversations, as they bring to the table first-hand experience in leadership in institutional change at the local and national levels. Pedagogical approaches include case-studies, role-playing, field trips and collaborative problem solving exercises, and experiential learning is a significant part of the institute.

This year, a special emphasis will be placed on the importance of leadership in facilitating the evolution of interdisciplinary STEM programs, as a part of integrating the various dimensions of the PKAL portfolio of programs. The emphasis on interdisciplinary programs begins at the point of application, as the applicant are invited to outline a potential leadership ‘project’ involving interdisciplinary efforts that she or he will undertake during the 2009- 2010 academic year, and that has a sign-off by an on-campus administrator who will work with the institute participant in implementing an agenda for action. Mentors will work with participants during the institute in shaping that agenda for action and will continue to serve as mentors to their colleagues during the coming year.