The inaugural meeting of the newly formed Berea/Centre Leadership Colloquium took place on Dec. 11 on Centre’s campus. A total of 24 faculty and staff members from both colleges were present.
“The program centers on learning about the different areas of the college,” said Dean Stephanie Fabritius, vice president for academic affairs and professor of biology. “It also seeks to promote collaboration among colleagues on our own campuses, as well as between the two campuses,” she continued. “Finally, the colloquium involves the work of formation mentoring communities — a mentoring group of four colleagues.”
For several years, Fabritius and Chad Berry, academic vice president and dean of the faculty of Berea, have discussed ways the two colleges could work together.
“This past summer, we started imagining the development of the Berea/Centre Faculty and Staff Leadership Colloquium and the rest is history,” Fabritius said. “We worked on the idea together, presented it to our presidents and were encouraged to implement.”
During the meeting, Fabritius and Berry shared their vision for the program.
“Our goal is three-fold: to help create a better understanding on our campuses of how things work — both at our institutions and at others; to develop mentoring communities that will be helpful to colleagues in both the short- and long- term; and to build community among our two institutions,” she added.
As far as working with Centre, Berry is excited about deepening the leadership potential of the participants.
“I’m also looking forward to learning more about Centre and for Centre participants to learn about Berea,” Berry said. “Finally, I am looking forward to the speakers from each institution getting to know one another better, too.”
Ultimately, Fabritius said that through the colloquium, Centre faculty and staff will have a chance to work and learn together and gain a better understanding into the grander picture of higher education.
“It is also good for us to continuously think about the sense of community on our own campus, as well as with neighboring institutions,” she concluded. “We cannot even imagine the kinds of collaborations that might bloom as a result of this.”
The next meeting will take place on Feb. 23, 2018 at Berea College.
by Kerry Steinhofer
December 14, 2017