Two department heads from UGA have been selected to participate in the University System of Georgia’s first Executive Leadership Institute, a program to enhance leadership among academics.
Mark Farmer, of the cellular biology department, and Denise Mewborn, of mathematics and science education, are among the program’s 60 scholars for 2009-2010. Throughout the seven-month program which began Oct. 12, they will spend 100 hours attending classes, shadowing senior executives, building connections and more.
The program emerged from the sixth goal of the board of regents’ strategic plan: Increase efficiency, working as a system. It targets those in leadership positions such as chair, dean, executive director and above who aspire to move into senior leadership roles. UGA’s Tom Gausvik, associate vice president of human resources, and Ron Cervero, professor and associate dean for outreach and engagement in the College of Education, served on the board of regents committee that developed the institute.
For Farmer, the institute presents an opportunity to help his department in a new way.
“All of my colleagues at UGA are gifted in teaching and research, but few have an interest or ability in academic administration. If I can contribute to their success and the success of our students by contributing to effective administration, it makes my colleagues that much more productive,” he said.
The ability for professional development and a chance to learn from those beyond her immediate environment led Mewborn to apply for the institute.
“I wanted the opportunity to interact with a variety of leaders from across the university system and to learn about leadership styles and skills. Being a department head is a position for which one gets no formal training. One learns by observing those who held the role before them and by trial and error,” she said.
For more information, visit www.usg.edu/executive_leadership_institute/.