By Jane R. Elgass
"Invaluable to a complete newcomer." "Leadership is not a simple matter. The seminar helps you see this." "You look at the University in a different light."
Those are among comments offered by several past participants in a special program for faculty and staff aspiring to academic leadership positions sponsored by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Since 1989, 34 individuals have taken part, and four more are participating in the CIC Academic Leadership Program this year.
The CIC-Committee on Institutional Cooperation-is composed of the 11 Big Ten schools and the University of Chicago.
The primary objective of the CIC program is to "develop leadership and managerial skills of faculty on CIC campuses who have demonstrated exceptional ability and administrative promise."
Designed specifically for individuals at major research universities, the program recognizes the dual roles academic administrators must juggle-providing educational leadership as well as managing large, complex organizations.
Brian Carter, professor of architecture and chair, Architecture Program, participated in the program his first year at the U-M and found it "invaluable for a complete newcomer," not just to the U-M but U.S. higher education.
"I didn't know much about Big 10 schools," Carter says, "having just come from a practice in London. It also was helpful for me just in terms of getting to know people here I might not have met in the ordinary course of things.
"It was very helpful in making connections across departments here, and I would recommend it to other faculty members."
Carter notes that he would like to see the program find a way to "maintain connections" among the participants. "There is a certain bonhomie about the group that would be helpful to cultivate."
The brochure describing the program notes that the administrators are "challenged by tightening budgets, changing student populations and increasing pressures from external sources. To find creative, workable solutions to the problems that lie ahead, our universities must pay serious attention to leadership development."
Anthony England found his fellowship year "very, very useful," noting that it changed his perspective about how the University works. That was what was most valuable, learning that all universities are facing the same thing-new budgets, how to structure research and teaching, what to do about distance learning. It allowed us to see solutions different universities had tried and get some sense of how well the solutions were working," adds England, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences.
England participated in the CIC program in 1996-97, when he was associate dean for faculty programs at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. What really impressed him was the "openness of different administrators in different universities in explaining what was going on [at their school] and what they were doing. They were willing to say, 'We have this problem we're trying to solve, and it's not working well.'" He found the case studies, problem-solving projects, to be one of the most important aspects of the program.
And England thinks the changed perspective about the overall operation of a university also is beneficial. "In casual conversation with colleagues, you understand what's going on at the university level. It's not so much the 'them and us' thing."
Lisa Tedesco, vice president and secretary of the university, says the CIC program is "invaluable" in several ways. "It allows faculty to understand the larger context of their work in relation to the university. You can see beyond the "'discipline perspective' and take on the views of other disciplines and other challenges the university experiences.
"I feel that learning about the larger university and how it achieves all of its goals is important. The program also allows you to see how people outside the university view it in its context to the state, the nation and the world. There are unique aspects to the Big Ten schools, and the CIC represents our complexity and multi-dimensional missions. Having opportunities to have conversations about these issues with colleagues from other institutions is invaluable," says Tedesco, who was associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Dentistry when she participated in the program.
"Leadership is not a simple matter. Participation [in the CIC program] helps you see this. It really gives a test to our ability to suspend our beliefs."
During the course of the year, program fellows participate in three two-day seminars, rotated among the CIC campuses, with homework including readings and participation in related activities on their home campuses. The seminars are designed to maximize interaction among the participants through case studies, workshops and other group exercises.
This year's program included a seminar last fall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that focused on leadership and human resources, a program here last month on long-range planning and budgeting, and an April seminar on "The University of the Future: Motivating Change" at the University of Minnesota.
Topics covered in February, many of them presented by U-M faculty and administrators, included Financing Higher Education; Building Academic Community through Planning; University Budgeting; Approaches to Budgeting: RCM and Alternatives; A Strategic Plan for Better Teaching and Learning: 10 Ideas for Academic Administrators; Diversity, Demographics and Planning; and College-Level Planning and Assessment.
Funding for participants, who are appointed for one-year terms, is provided by the chief academic officers of the participating institutions, and each school establishes its own mechanism for selecting four fellows each year.
Selection criteria emphasize tenured faculty members who have demonstrated leadership ability through administrative assignments or significant leadership positions in public, private or volunteer agencies or programs outside higher education. Institutions may include administrative leaders from nonfaculty professional staff.
In addition to attending the seminars and reviewing assigned readings, many of the institutions have developed on-site components to the program, such as opportunities for meeting regularly with senior administrators, involvement in policy-making committees, and both formal and informal mentoring.
Nominations for participation in the 1999-2000 Academic Leadership Program will be solicited later this spring. For information, contact Katharine B. Soper, assistant provost, 3052 Fleming Administration Building 1340, 936-6236.CIC Academic Leadership Program Participants1998-1999: Elijah Kannatey-Asibu Jr., Jill Becker Luma, R.D. Overmyer Jr., Robert M. Owen1997-98: Frederick R. Amrine, Susan Boehm, Hermalata Dandekar, James L. Hilton, Christophe Pierre, Kenneth G. Powell1996-97: James M. Borders, Anthony W. England, Nair Rodriguez-Hornedo, Suellyn Scarnecchia, Lisa A. Tedesco1995-96: Brian Carter, Sherman A. James, Bernard Patrick Maloy, William R. Martin, Edward West, Karen Wixson1994-95: Lincoln Faller, Robert E. Johnson, Allen Samuels, Leigh Woods1993-94: Bill DeYoung, Carol Loveland-Cherry, Paul Webb, John Birge1992-93: Richard W. Redman1991-92: Paul P. Danos, Richard F. deLeon, Carolyn O. Frost, John E. Tropman1990-91: Shake Ketefian, Thomas D. Landefeld, Harrison L. Morton, Panos Y. Paplambros1989-90: John Matlock