How did the inaugural year of the UNCG Leadership Institute conclude? With an audience of the chancellor, the Executive Staff, other university leaders and institute mentors from throughout the university – as each of six teams presented the results of their studying an issue affecting our university.
Kristen Christman, Jackie Riffle and Timothy Slone composed the first group to make a presentation.
They had been charged this year with investigating particular areas of student need.
“We need to know from the students’ perspective…how UNCG can better serve their needs,” said Timothy Slone in introducing their work.
They identified two areas:
- first-generation student need (Many UNCG students are the first generation in their family to attend college.)
- financial skills and job opportunities. Slone explained there was overlap between the two areas.
He explained what Central Michigan, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Kentucky are doing for first-generation programs.
Kristen Christman spoke about “first generation opportunities” at UNCG. Examples included having a larger student ambassador program and bringing back the Summer Bridge program. She also advocated the creation of an online resource like UNC Chapel Hill’s “Carolina Firsts” web site. Our university has nearly double UNC Chapel Hill’s percentage of first generation students, she noted.
Riffle focused on the “financial piece,” showing what universities such as Bowling Green and the University of North Texas do to help their students learn money management and develop career planning and job search skills.
Then they opened it up for a question-and-answer session, with the chancellor and others who’d served as mentors in the Institute posing questions and offering insights.
The other teams that made presentations on Dec. 13-14 were:
- Brian Clarida, Jacqueline DeBrew, Angela Mahoney, Jason Marshburn, Benita Peace – On finding models, ideas or programs from other universities that could be implemented at UNCG to increase collaboration between divisions, departments or units, that could result in added services or benefit to the campus or that could produce cost saving measures.
- Aprille Black, Lakshmi Iyer, Todd Sutton, Sherry Woody – On Distance Education, best practices at other institutions, and opportunities for UNCG to best make use of it (including cost-saving measures).
- Jaap-Jan van Duin, Keith Gorman, Karla Lewis, Carol Seaman, Amy Strickland – On UNCG’s current budget model as well as best practices at other institutions. Are there models (or components of models) that could offer opportunities for greater efficiency at UNCG?
- Kelly Burke, Eric Marshburn, MaryK McGinley, Stephen Moore – Are there models, ideas or strategies from other universities that could be implemented, at a minimal cost, to increase our visibility, highlight our successes and reinforce our status as a premier institution in the region, state and nation?
- Joella Anderson, Ray Carney, Joanne Jones, Angela Montgomery, Maurice Tyler – How does UNCG’s computing infrastructure compare and contrast with other research institutions? Are there models used by other universities that may optimize our technology, keeping in mind fiscal restraints?
The presentation sessions had opened with an introduction by Dr. Edna Chun, associate vice chancellor for human resources, who particularly acknowledged the contributions of Chancellor Linda P. Brady, Vice Chancellor Reade Taylor, and Bonita Brown, chief of staff, in the institute’s success.
At the conclusion, Brady led a graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of the UNCG Leadership Institute. She indicated she was impressed with the extraordinary talent in this year’s class and the leadership abilities shown throughout the course of the institute. She stated that one of the great values of the Leadership Institute is in the collaboration fostered across disciplines and departments. She thanked the mentors who have worked with the individual participants throughout the year.
The 2013 class will meet for the first time a few weeks from now. The class was selected by an application review panel from all divisions.
Information on the program may be found at leadershipinstitute.uncg.edu.
By Mike Harris