Technology as a transforming tool for leaders

Agenda Outline

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - October 8 - 10, 2004


Workshop Schedule Overview:
The workshop begins at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 8 and concludes at 12:30 p.m. on October 10, 2004.


Workshops are a center-piece of PKAL's leadership initiative; they are an opportunity for collaborating teams to:

  • learn about promising practices in institutional transformation from faculty and administrators having demonstrable and sustainable success in leading change on their home campus
  • gain new knowledge about shaping and reshaping the various dimensions of the undergraduate learning environment- programs and budgets, the human and the physical infrastructure
  • begin to see patterns of change that make sense in their local circumstances, given the experiences of peers
  • gain confidence in the role in shaping their institutional future
  • understand how to lead change, as a team and as an individual member of the team.

The RPI workshop is designed as an introduction to the content and the pedagogical approach for PKAL's leadership initiative. The pedagogical approach is based on what works in the undergraduate classroom in shaping strong learning- building collaborative, problem-solving teams, confronting teams with real world problems, having learners take responsibility for their learning- in essence, having active and reflective engagement with real issues. Basically, this will be an introduction to leadership development!

These pedagogical approaches will be incorporated in:

  • three case study sessions
    • (Friday morning) a generic case study on institutional transformation. This case study, prepared by PKAL leaders, will be distributed prior to the workshop, for review and study by participating teams. This session at RPI will illustrate how case studies will be used to advance the work of individual teams throughout this multi-year initiative
    • (Saturday morning) with a twist on the case study approach, RPI faculty and administrators will present their story of the evolution of a technologically-intensive learning environment that is also research-rich and supports interdisciplinary efforts
  • sessions on a "framework for planning"- taking the kaleidoscopic perspective
    • (Friday afternoon) administrative and faculty leaders from RPI, and members of the PKAL leadership task force, will lead discussions on how to tackle key decisions in regard to developing faculty, program, and facilities, including decisions about budgets- all basic questions for leaders
    • (Friday afternoon) tour of RPI facilities- how spaces affect program
  • sessions on leadership- on setting and articulating a vision, on dealing with the politics of change, on understanding the personal dimensions of leadership
    • (Friday morning) plenary on leadership: a vision for undergraduate STEM
    • (late Friday/Saturday afternoon) leadership initiatives
    • (Saturday afternoon) panel: leadership in using technologies to enhance a research-rich learning environment, to build strong interdisciplinary programs, to enhance the learning of all students
  • time for fun: poster sessions (from each of the initiative institutions- getting to know the community), receptions and dinners, with a potential show and tell from RPI's program on Electronic Arts and Media.

The consulting sessions that will be a regular part of workshops on the other three initiative teams will be modified for the RPI weekend. The two "technologically-intensive" teams will have assigned consultants who will work with them in developing their agenda for action.

Planners and presenters for this workshop include (as of August 25, 2004)

Members of the PKAL National Steering Committee

  • Ishrat Khan, Professor of Chemistry- Clark Atlanta University
  • J.B. Sharma, Professor of Physics- Gainesville College (GA)
  • Ann Smith, University of Maryland College Park
  • Jim Napolitano, Professor of Physics- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Members of the RPI community

  • Gary Gabriele, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • John Kolb, Chief Information Officer
  • Brad Lister, Director/Center for Innovation
  • Sharon Roy, Director/Academic and Research Computing

National leaders

  • Doyle Daves, Provost Emeritus (RPI)
  • Priscilla Laws, Professor of Physics emeritus- Dickinson College
  • Frank Wattenberg, Professor of Mathematics- U.S. Military Academy