Five Centre College faculty members completed the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium Academic Leadership Academy and participated in two days of training on Oct. 18 at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Managed by Bluegrass Tomorrow, the Academic Leadership Academy is a presidential initiative, led by 12 college presidents represented in the consortium, to build future academic leaders in the Bluegrass Region.
The academy encourages faculty and staff to consider leadership career paths and to provide guidance in developing the skills that are fundamentals for effective institutional leadership.
This year’s cohort from Centre includes Jay Bloom, associate professor of art history; Sara Egge, assistant professor of history; Lee Jefferson, NEH associate professor of religion; Ellen Prusinski, assistant director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, experiential learning coordinator and assistant professor of education; and Ellen Swanson, assistant professor of mathematics.
The faculty members attended the first conference this past spring at Morehead State University in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. The fall conference consisted of keynote addresses, panels and workshops given by university presidents, vice presidents, provosts, deans and other key leaders.
One of the speakers Prusinski most enjoyed was Asbury University’s President Sandra Gray.
“Her remarks focused on the importance of service in leadership,” Prusinski said. “She emphasized that in order to be a strong leader, you have to want to see others succeed and work to help others achieve their goal. As an educator, this really resonated with me.”
In addition to the trainings, the five Centre representatives were charged with developing a leadership project for the College. The title of their research project was “Investigating Service Responsibilities and Gender at Centre College.”
“Our group chose to study service requirements and expectations at Centre, and we administered a survey to current faculty that we analyzed and presented at the fall conference,” Egge said. “Our results were illuminating, and we plan to present the data to the faculty soon. What’s wonderful is that work we did for our project will complement ongoing conversations about service at Centre, with the goal to make it more meaningful and effective.”
Jefferson said it was great to hear voices from different campuses and hear about the challenges higher education faces.
The group found the conference to be a positive experience, and the conversations that occurred will continue long after the conclusion of the program.
“The Bluegrass Academic Leadership Academy supplied a detailed and informative introduction to the host of issues that Centre and other member institutions negotiate in the attempt to thrive in today’s complicated higher education landscape,” Bloom concluded.
by Kerry Steinhofer
October 31, 2017