Plenary I:
The role of institutional leadership

Plenary I:
The role of institutional leadership

Friday, October 3, 2003
3:00 - 4:30 pm

Facilitators:
Sylvia Bozeman, Associate Provost for Science and Mathematics, Professor of Mathematics- Spelman College
Itzick Vatnick, Associate Professor of Biology, Department of Biology- Widener University

Abstract:
Although the entry of new programs into a university is often a faculty-led activity, the ultimate infusion of new ideas broadly in the academic community requires the support of institutional leaders. Administrators with vision who take the lead in setting campus priorities must recognize and acknowledge--either in word or deed--for each new major initiative, its value to the institution and its consistency with the strategic plan. This session will present administrative perspectives on the value of instituting programs which attract, retain and provide positive growth experiences for students of color, women, the physically challenged, and other groups currently under-represented in the science, mathematics, engineering and technology studies on their campuses and in the nation's workforce. The session will also point to the kind of commitment required, the obstacles to overcome, and the long-term implications for an institution which institutes such initiatives. Some guidance will be given, based on institutional planning and experiences, for those seeking to create a campus culture which supports new programs targeted at small numbers of students in order to increase those numbers. In this national climate of indecisiveness over affirmative action, this session will detail some institutional and community visions and values which are advanced by focusing on issues of under-representation in STEM areas.