Society & Culture

Provost expands slate of leadership development programs

Athens, Ga. – In addition to providing faculty with an immersive, yearlong fellowship through the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program, Provost Pamela Whitten has launched three new programs to support existing leaders and broaden the pipeline of potential leaders.

“To move the University of Georgia forward and to better serve our state, nation and world, we need to make sure that we are tapping into the deep well of talent that exists on this campus,” Whitten said. “Our leadership development programs vary in scope and focus, but they all reflect a commitment to creating a campus environment that allows individuals to achieve their full potential.”

New Administrators Training is offered annually in the fall semester for new department heads, providing training across a range of topics including budget management, personnel issues, UGA policies and student concerns.

Current Administrators Training, which is offered each spring, is open to currently serving administrators. This spring, sessions are focusing on internationalizing activities within a unit, team dynamics, personnel matters and UGA’s budget.

Future Leaders Workshops, offered in the spring, provide information to faculty interested in exploring leadership roles in higher education.

Three faculty members-Melissa Harshman, an associate professor in the Lamar Dodd School of Art and director of the First-Year Odyssey program; L. Stephen Miller, a professor of psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the UGA Bioimaging Research Center; and Judith Wasserman, an associate professor in the College of Environment and Design-are serving as SEC ALDP Fellows for 2014-2015.

The mission of the SEC ALDP is “to identify, develop, prepare and advance faculty as academic leaders.” Fellows are mentored by a senior administrator or dean on campus and participate in two workshops hosted by different SEC schools each year.

The workshops address topics such as conflict resolution, emergency preparedness, structure and operations, budgeting, accreditation and accountability. The SEC ALDP program was initiated in 2008, and UGA has sent 17 Fellows through the program since its inception.

“The SEC program has been beneficial on so many levels,” Harshman said. “We were able to hear a variety of administrators speak to the challenges as well as success stories on their campuses, providing invaluable insight and advice on the career path to ­administration.”

Wasserman said the workshops-held this fall at the University of Missouri and at Texas A&M University earlier this spring-were particularly valuable to her. She learned a great deal about different campus cultures and how special units can be set up to assist students and faculty in achieving their goals.

“It has been an exciting and fulfilling program, and it offered the opportunity to learn a great deal about the multiple layers that keep an academic institution moving toward excellence,” she said.

The fellowship brought the three UGA colleagues together, allowing some insightful conversations and cross-campus bonds. It also created a network of mentors that spans thousands of miles.

“Certainly I think I have grown in my understanding of the role of administrative leaders in an academic setting and have been extremely impressed with the dedication and hard work in which I see our administrators engaged,” Miller said.

Nominations for the 2015-2016 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program are due from senior administrators and deans by April 10.

For information about the SEC ALDP program or other leadership development programs offered by the Provost’s Office, contact Meg Amstutz, associate provost for academic programs, at