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New Beginnings: LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute Launches Second Cohort

August 24, 2018, @ 10:11 AM
President John Simon of Lehigh University addresses the 2018-2019 cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute at their kick-off event on August 15, 2018 at Lehigh University.

President John Simon of Lehigh University addresses the 2018-2019 cohort of the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute at their kick-off event on August 15, 2018 at Lehigh University.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, members of the LVAIC community gathered to launch the second cohort of the Higher Education Leaders Institute (HELI). The group of 26 participants met at Linderman Library at Lehigh University for the day to begin this year’s program.

Participants were welcomed by Lehigh University President John Simon who offered his story of moving from being a faculty member to a Provost to the President of an R1 institution in Bethlehem, PA. Simon explained his path as “Leadership without a Playbook” whereby each step he took led him down a different path to which he would have never otherwise gone without an open mind. Members of the HELI had the opportunity to have one-on-one attention from Simon while learning from each other as part of the morning session. The morning consisted of group learning whereby attendees gathered in partner groups to discuss their goals for the institute over the next 12 months.

Carol Traupman-Carr, Associate Provost of Moravian College, also offered her expertise with the group, welcoming them to the program and sharing her story of moving from faculty to administration over the course of her career. Carr was part of the leadership group that launched this LVAIC program.

Moravian College President Bryon Grigsby also shared with the group. He offered his story of moving from a faculty member to the role of department chair followed by serving as the Vice President for Academic Affairs before coming to Moravian College as president. Grigsby then offered a presentation on the current state of higher education in the United States. This overview portrayed the cost of college compared to the price of housing and educating a student at a private institution while elucidating the changing demographics to which all colleges and universities will need to adapt over the next few years. This triggered an in-depth conversation on the ways in which this emerging group of leaders can better prepare for the future in this changing landscape of higher education.

Prior to attending this program, participants were tasked with completing their Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) analysis to better understand their preferences around energy levels, time management, decision-making, and information gathering. Charlene Bergstresser, LVAIC Program Director and certified administrator of the MBTI, facilitated the group through understanding their results and planning their future work in application of these measurements.

The day concluded with a panel of participants from last year’s program who shared their insights on the program, their challenges and successes, and their feedback on ways to approach the program for the highest return on time invested. Several members of last year’s cohort have received promotions and are now in leadership roles on their campuses, many of whom have credited the institute with teaching them the skills and holistic lessons on higher education.

The on-going theme of the day, and this program overall, is remaining open to the challenges and opportunities that come up in the course of your career. Every new difficulty is a chance to learn, grow, and evolve in order to advance in the long-term. Accepting adversity is part of the leadership process and is integral in learning how to manage and develop a team, a department, or an entire campus.

For more information on the LVAIC Higher Education Leaders Institute, visit the Leadership Opportunities page of the LVAIC website.

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