New Class of Campus Leaders to Hone Skills in Academic Leadership Institute

New Class of Campus Leaders to Hone Skills in Academic Leadership Institute

By Amy WilliamsUniversity Relations – Communications
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Margaret Briehl
Margaret Briehl
Bryan Carter
Bryan Carter
Garth Perry
Garth Perry

Twenty-five employees have been chosen to participate in the seventh year of the UA's Academic Leadership Institute, which helps campus leaders hone their skills and network with others across campus.

The Academic Leadership Institute, or ALI, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Human Resources, is a yearlong program in which current and emerging campus leaders participate in discussions and workshops to help them develop their leadership abilities.

In the first session of the program, fellows will develop a plan for the year based on feedback they receive in a survey completed by their co-workers, evaluating their leadership qualities. Participants receive one-on-one coaching from program facilitators and also engage in peer coaching circles.

Members of the seventh cohort applied to the program for different reasons.

Margaret Briehl, professor of pathology, joined for the networking opportunities the program can provide.

"I'm expecting that the sessions will provide a great way to get to know people who work in other parts of the University, encourage me to stretch my comfort zones, learn new things and perspectives, and provide evidence for how greater diversity fosters greater creativity," Briehl said. "It's an honor to have been selected for this terrific opportunity at the UA."

Another member, Bryan Carter, associate professor of Africana studies and co-chair of the University's Diversity Task Force, joined because he recognized the need for diversifying University leadership.

"Underrepresented students on campus deserve to see someone like themselves in administrative roles," Carter said.

Garth Perry, assistant director of the Budget Office, said he joined with the expectation that he'll be able to serve the University better.

"My decision, hopes and expectations all relate back to my interest in broadening and enhancing my leadership skills so that I might better serve the institution," Perry said.

The new cohort will learn from their peers and also from alumni of the Academic Leadership Institute. A full list of the 2016-2017 cohort can be viewed here.

Many graduates of the Academic Leadership Institute still apply what they learned from the institute to their everyday work life. Some have even gone on to hold leadership positions on campus.

Anthony Muscat, department head and professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, completed the program in April.

"I am more confident leading my department to meet specific goals," he said. "The people in my cohort were from a broad cross-section of the University community, which helped me to see the University through their eyes. I meet regularly with the other two people in my coaching group, as well as a few of the others. When I need help solving a problem outside of my department, there is a chance that I know the person who can help me. ALI greatly increased my campus network."

Former ALI participant James Burns, director of the UA Museum of Art, took on the role of acting administrative director of the Center for Creative Photography halfway through his time with ALI.  He said he was able to approach some of the challenges of the role in a new way, using the things he learned while part of the institute.

"ALI was a phenomenal experience for me in terms of the networking opportunities with colleagues across campus I would likely never have crossed paths with otherwise," Burns said. "I also gained valuable insights about my leadership style, change management, institutional culture and the value of viewing situations through the eyes of other people. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for ALI. My participation in ALI completely changed the trajectory of my career at the UA, and for that I am very grateful."

Visit the Academic Leadership Institute website for more information on how to get involved next year. 

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