Campus News

‘New perspective’

Administrative Fellows program gives faculty opportunity to work with senior administrators

For the past several months, Eric Mueller, director of equine programs and professor of surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been working with Bob Boehmer, associate provost for academic planning, on the implementation of UGA’s 2010-2020 Strategic Plan as it relates to the research missions of the university.

They also are exploring ways to streamline departmental, college and program review processes to reduce the administrative burden on department heads, directors and deans and align the outcomes of these evaluations more closely with those required for the SACS accreditation process.

Mueller is involved in this work as one of two current faculty participants-along with Scott Shamp, director of the New Media Institute-in the Administrative Fellows program. Its goal is to expose faculty interested in administration to the challenges and rewards of such institutional service and to prepare them for potential leadership positions in the academy.

“The Administrative Fellows program has provided me a unique opportunity to experience central university administration in a participatory role,” Mueller said. “Participation in the program has augmented my administrative skills and abilities and provided a new perspective on how collaboration between departments, the colleges and the central administration can maximize efficiency and productivity.”

Shamp, a professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, is working on a project that explores how universities adapt their structure to meet the demands of rapidly evolving fields-specifically looking at how communication programs across the country are adapting to the challenges of new media.

“I am looking for best practices that can inform UGA’s decisions about mass communication,” he said. “At universities, each of us holds a piece of a puzzle and our daily job is to move that piece around. The Administrative Fellows program has given me an opportunity to see how all these pieces fit together.”

Nominations for the fellowship for 2011-2012 are being solicited and may be submitted to the Office of the Provost through March 1.

Senior administrators and deans of all schools and colleges are invited to nominate one individual. Nominees must be tenured faculty members or have a standing appointment as service or administrative faculty.

They are expected to possess strong leadership experience, and outstanding records of achievement in their current and past positions, and have a sincere interest in administrative service.

“For anyone interested in administration or in experiencing the full breadth of the University of Georgia, this is an excellent experience,” said William Vencill, a professor in the department of crop and soil sciences, who previously served as an Administrative Fellow in the provost’s office. “Whether or not a fellow ultimately chooses to pursue an administrative position in the future, the program provides a better appreciation for and understanding of how the university operates.”

The Administrative Fellows program was inaugurated in 2007-2008, with Lonnie Brown, a professor in the School of Law, serving as the first fellow. The program is part of a broader initiative of the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium, known as the Academic Leadership Development Program.

In addition to working with senior administrators at UGA, fellows participate in two workshops hosted by different SECAC participating schools.

Future workshops will be held at the University of Kentucky in fall 2011 and Auburn University in spring 2012.