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LVAIC’s Inaugural Higher Education Leaders Institute Celebrates 23 Completions, Plans for Next Steps

June 4, 2018, @ 8:00 AM
The inaugural cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute gathers for a group photo at the completion celebration at Hotel Bethlehem on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The inaugural cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute gathers for a group photo at the completion celebration at Hotel Bethlehem on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The 2017-2018 academic year was the first for the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute, and it certainly won’t be the last. This program was designed as a development opportunity for mid-career faculty and mid-level administrators who have interest and potential for advanced administrative leadership in higher education. Beginning as a project developed out of the LVAIC Chief Academic Officers, this program grew to encompass both faculty and staff in order to maximize its potential for cross-campus collaboration throughout the process.

The LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute is a 10-month program that allows participants to explore multiple aspects of leadership in higher education while building their personal and organizational capacity for leadership. Areas to be explored include:

  • The future of Higher Education
  • Academic Affairs
  • Student Affairs
  • Finances
  • Human Resources
  • Enrollment Management
  • Assessment and Accreditation
  • Role of President and External Relationships

In-room sessions, remote learning, self reflection and mentor conversation are all utilized to provide participants with an opportunity to network and grow their understanding of higher education leadership. Meeting once each month for an in-room half-day session, participants had the opportunity to hear from panels of campus leadership, including Provosts, Chief Financial Officers, Human Resources Directors, Vice Presidents of Enrollment Management, Senior Student Affairs Officers, Institutional Research Directors, and campus Presidents. These panels included breakout discussions and opportunities to apply the knowledge imparted from these leadership groups. Beyond these in-room sessions, participants were tasked with pre-session readings and work, as well as regularly meeting with their assigned mentor from another LVAIC campus.

Dr. Elizabeth Meade, Interim President of Cedar Crest College, addresses the crowd at the completion celebration at the Hotel Bethlehem on May 31, 2018.

Dr. Elizabeth Meade, Interim President of Cedar Crest College, addresses the crowd at the completion celebration at the Hotel Bethlehem on May 31, 2018.

Throughout the year, participants were tasked with completing a group project with the other participants from their campuses. The group project was to focus on improving one aspect of their campus using the knowledge garnered from the entirety of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute, highlighting each aspect of the program and how it would affect the project from their campus. Participants presented their final projects on Thursday, May 31, 2018 while LVAIC commemorated the hard work of these 23 participants with a completion celebration at the Hotel Bethlehem surrounded by campus leadership, presenters from the program, and the program’s mentors.

Presenters commented on the value of this program not just in terms of expanding their knowledge and empathy for all departments across their home institutions, but also regarding how the program has allowed them to create and foster deep relationships with departments with whom they would have otherwise not interacted. Further, these participants now have a cohort of LVAIC colleagues across the Lehigh Valley as part of their network of resources. The diverse backgrounds of participants allow the reaches of collaboration to expand even further including members of enrollment, finance, development, information technology, student affairs, student conduct, and many more.

After wrapping up this inaugural year, the LVAIC staff is already planning the next year of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute with the second cohort already selected. This year’s kick-off session will take place on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at Lehigh University. The LVAIC staff will be utilizing the summer months to organize the pairing of participants to mentors, selecting and booking presenters and speakers, and facilitating the other details of the next year of the program after this successful pilot year. For more information on participating in the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute, please contact your Provosts Office.

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