Madison 2005: Building Interdisciplinary Programs


Leadership in Building Interdisciplinary Programs
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
October 28-30, 2005
Friday, Day One
8:00 - 9:00 am Breakfast discussions:
What works- overcoming barriers to institutional transformation
Assigned tables
In their application, each institutional team articulated a vision for their campus community, in the context of building a robust STEM learning environment for their undergraduate students; they further identified specific barriers to realizing that vision. This is an opportunity to gather lessons learned about overcoming barriers from the PKAL LI community.
9:00 - 10:30 am Plenary I:
The tasks and responsibilities of leadership

Seminar facilitators lead an interactive session on the theory of leadership, examining how they have translated such theories into practice in their spheres of responsibility as a STEM leader.
10:30 - 11:00 am Break
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Experiential learning exercise:
Considering the challenges of communication- a key leadership responsibility

These exercises help seminar participants explore various aspects of leadership by having "hands-on" experiences from which some ideas and insights about leadership can be distilled. The effectiveness of these exercises confirms that nothing is so personally meaningful than understanding personal observations and reactions to new experiences (or those that might merely be a recasting of one's daily life).
12:30 - 2:00 pm Lunch
Institutional teams meet to share beginning lessons learned from the morning discussions.
2:00 - 3:30 pm Plenary II:
The kaleidoscopic perspective on leadership responsibilities

Building institutional teams with a shared commitment to transform the learning environment requires understanding: i) who should be at the table; ii) the contribution of diverse experiences and expertise; iii) the iterative process of planning, from vision to action, and back.
3:30 - 4:00 pm Break
4:00 - 5:15 pm Plenary III:
Keynote Address

My personal story as a leader- some lessons learned
Each of the PKAL LI seminars spotlights a pioneering leader whose efforts are making a difference for students, for their home institution, for science and for the larger community.
5:15 - 6:00 pm Reception
Architectural firms associated with PKAL are hosts for receptions at PKAL LI seminars.
6:00 - 7:30 pm Dinner
Time for fun and fellowship.
7:30 - 9:00 pm Cluster Planning Session I
Each seminar team leaves with an agenda for action that fits their particular circumstances, one that reflects the vision expressed in its LI application and responds to seminar discussions. Clusters of institutional teams and assigned consultants provide time for exploring and developing these take-home plans. Templates are provided for working through the mission-vision-goals-strategies steps of planning.
Saturday, Day Two
8:00 - 9:00 am Breakfast
Time for birds-of-a-feather discussions, for administrators and faculty at similar career stages and in similar spheres of responsibility.
9:00 - 10:30 am Plenary IV:
Spotlighting the host site

Organizing to achieve systemic reform requires attention to what is working and what is not working across the community– whether the vision is of a learning environment that is research-rich, that is highly interdisciplinary, or that serves all students well (or all of the above). This spotlight on the host site suggests one model for creating a culture of learning that can be dissected and adapted by seminar teams.
10:30 - 11:00 am Break
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Break-out session A:
  1. Considering the global dimension of strong undergraduate learning environments
  2. Considering issues of assessment and evaluation
  3. Shaping interdisciplinary programs that serve all students and foster research-rich learning environments
  4. Building research-rich learning environments that incorporate interdisciplinary programs and that serve all students
  5. Creating a learning environment that gives students first-hand understanding of the world of science (resarch-rich) and of the contributions and connections of STEM to their lives beyond the campus
Each of the seminars will offer opportunities for members of the seminar teams to learn about exemplary programs in undergraduate STEM.

Break-out sessions #1 & #2 focus on two of the key issues that 21st century STEM leaders must consider, These will be an opportunity to explore with leading practitioners– with expertise in the specific theme of the seminar: i) how to incorporate global issues into programs; and ii) how to assess the impact on student learning.

As appropriate, two of break-outs #3 - #5 will be offered at each seminar, again led by leading practitioners. This is to reinforce, in another way, the emphasis on the kaleidoscopic nature of systemic reform– that change in one aspect calls for attention to all other facets of the learning environment.
12:30 - 2:00 pm Lunch
Informal lunch conversations
Posters from the Cluster A session will be posted for critique by colleagues.
2:00 - 2:40 pm Plenary V:
What works in building learning environments- the architect's perspective

Architectural firms with expertise in building learning environments relating to the seminar topic will give snapshot presentations on spaces that work.
2:40 - 4:00 pm Break-out session B:
  1. The politics of change- from the perspective of the dean or department chair
  2. The politics of change- from the perspective of those responsible for faculty development
  3. The politics of change- from the perspective of those responsible for budgets and institution-wide policies and practices
  4. The politics of change- from the perspective of those exploring new pedagogies and technologies
  5. The politics of change- from the perspective of those planning new spaces for science
These will be informal conversations, orchestrated by seminar facilitators, focusing on some of the political arenas in which STEM leaders pursue their work. This will be an opportunity to get pressing questions addressed and to gain further insights about what works for others.
4:00 - 6:30 pm Cluster Planning Session II
Institutional teams will advance their planning, respecting the critiques from the noon poster session, considering the ideas from the plenary and break-out sessions. A template will be provided that suggests the relationship between the mission to strategies steps, and then calls for consideration of actions that are appropriate for their strategies and goals.
6:30 - 7:15 pm Reception
Informal conversations.
7:15 - 8:30 pm Dinner
Time for fun and fellowship.
Sunday, Day Three
7:45 - 8:45 am Breakfast
Informal review of Agendas for Action
Teams will have time, during breakfast, to review and critique plans by colleagues.
8:45 - 9:45 am Plenary VI:
Revisiting issues about individual leadership

Leaders take risks, are comfortable with themselves, but sometimes uncomfortable to be around. This will be a time for small group discussions (Friday groups repeated) about personal barriers and opportunities, and to learn what works for colleagues within the PKAL LI community.
9:45 - 11:00 am Cluster Planning Session III
Formal critique of institutional Agendas for Action
Each team will present its agenda for action for critique by cluster colleagues (teams and consultants).
11:00 - 11:30 am Plenary VII:
In the nation's service- how a robust undergraduate learning environment serves students, science, and society
11:30 am Seminar concludes