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February 2010 Issue

Update on the USG’s Leadership-Development Program Initiatives

The University System of Georgia (USG) Task Force on Leadership Development has been busy throughout the fall and winter surveying campuses on leadership programs available to USG faculty, staff and students and grooming the 61 scholars participating in its inaugural Executive Leadership Institute.

During the February meeting of the Board of Regents, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional Development Tina Woodard delivered an update on these activities to members of the Task Force on Leadership Development, chaired by Regent William “Dink” NeSmith Jr.

In November, the Regents’ Office of Human Resources queried vice presidents of academic affairs, vice presidents of student affairs and chief human resource officers, among others, about the leadership programs currently available to faculty, staff and students on their campuses, she told the task force.

“We know that leadership development is a priority for all our campuses, and this survey did not capture all of the leadership programs and activities that are currently offered throughout the System. However, it is reflective of the types of programs being offered,” Woodard noted.

The results of this System-wide survey – which identified 18 current student leadership programs implemented as far back as 1992 and another 18 current faculty and staff programs – are detailed below.

Woodard reports that, after four months of participation in the USG’s new Executive Leadership Institute (ELI), the feedback from the inaugural group of scholars is “extremely positive.”

Since November 2009, the ELI scholars have had their current strengths and leadership-development needs assessed and taken part in multiple peer-mentoring group discussions, both in person and by telephone. They’ve also completed online assignments and begun 40 hours of job shadowing outside their usual work areas.

Woodard said surveys of the scholars reveal that:

  • 95 percent find the knowledge they’ve gained to be relevant and useful;
  • 95 percent plan to make behavioral changes as a result of what they have learned;
  • 85 percent would recommend participation in ELI to others;
  • 82 percent feel that ELI is helping them to meet their career objectives; and
  • 80 percent feel that ELI is meeting their expectations.

All together, the scholars will spend 100 hours focusing on their leadership beliefs, values, competencies and goals before they graduate from the program in April. Woodard noted that, following graduation, ELI scholars will meet regularly for alumni group activities that will enable them to continue the learning process through structured activities such as mentoring.

“This will help us to stay in touch with program alumni and keep track as they progress in their careers,” said Woodard, who is already busy planning next year’s institute.

“The USG Executive Leadership Institute, along with campus-based leadership-development programs for students, faculty and staff, provide support to our leaders and will prepare them for leadership roles in the System and in our communities,” she concluded.

System-wide Survey Results

Programs for Faculty and Staff

18 programs reported in System-wide survey

  • 33 percent award 2-18 credit hours to participants
  • 39 percent are based on an established leadership competency model, which identifies the skills, abilities, behaviors and attitudes that define leaders

Major Program Components

  • Mentoring
  • Leadership/personality assessments
  • Volunteer service activities
  • Team-building activities

Top Three Criteria for Participation

  • Academic standing (39 percent)
  • Application only (33 percent)
  • Involvement in campus organizations (17 percent)

Top Five Leadership Competencies

  • Communication
  • Vision
  • Values
  • Ethics
  • Diversity

Top Program Topics

  • Community service
  • Public speaking
  • Ethics
  • Conflict management

Implementation Challenges

  • Funding
  • Time commitment for participants
  • Staffing
  • Recruitment

18 programs reported System-wide (50% of survey respondents reported no program available on their campus)

  • 73 percent combine faculty and staff
  • 71 percent target managers only
  • 28 percent target aspiring or new managers

Top Three Criteria for Participation

  • Current or new management (39 percent)
  • 1-3 years of positive service (33 percent)
  • Recommendations from management (17 percent)

Top Program Topics

  • Conflict management
  • Communication skills
  • Leadership Principles

Implementation Challenges

  • Resources (funding and staff)
  • Recruitment
  • Time commitment for participants

Posted by John Vanchella on February 01, 2010
Published in: Board of Regents

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