Provost’s Leadership Academy

andy provost leadership academy

diane o'dowd

What is the Provost’s Leadership Academy?

This program is geared towards faculty at UCI who show promise as future leaders in positions including department chair, research center director, associate deans, deans, and vice provosts. Academia is in the midst of significant change with respect to funding, accountability and perceived relevance. One motivation for the PLA is to help educate future leaders who are knowledgeable about the changing external environment and are equipped to meet the challenges.
Co-developed with Professor Andrew Policano, former dean of the Merage School of Business, the program will provide participants with an introduction to strategies for leadership in the academies and activities to develop skills for successfully leading an academic unit.

What can participants expect?

The structure of the workshop is based primarily on Professor Andrew J. Policano’s book, From Ivory Tower to Glass House and is intended to advise faculty members who are contemplating an academic leadership role. To expand their knowledge of the university and its challenges, each participant will also work in smaller subgroups on a topic of campus wide interest that involves the practice of leadership.

Academy Goals

Participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the tradeoffs associated with moving from a traditional faculty role into a leadership position; (full panel and monthly meeting).
  2. Categorize contrasting leadership styles and develop an understanding of leadership traits and one’s own style and comfort level with alternative views of leadership; (full day panel and monthly meeting).
  3. Recognize the skills needed (including strategic planning, financial strategy, human resource management, managing conflict, development, and fundraising) in today’s environment to be an effective academic leader; (full day panel and monthly meeting).
  4. Describe the external environment facing higher education and gain a sense of how to communicate this reality to faculty, staff and the external community; (monthly meeting).
  5. Discuss key issues related to university budgeting, external relations and development; (full day panel and monthly meeting).
  6. Identify personal concerns and challenges associated with a leadership role; (monthly meeting).
  7. Discuss strategies for affecting change within a formal structure of faculty governance; (monthly meeting).
  8. Describe the background associated with a campus wide challenge and develop a set of recommendations for the Provost (Subgroup work).
  9. Form a campus wide network of colleagues involved in leadership at a variety of levels who they can continue to interact with after the academy; (entire program; website with participant names, photos).
  10. Decide whether or not a leadership role is a realistic personal career path and at what level and at what time; (entire program).
  11. With the help of the program leaders, identify a mentor who can provide advice concerning alternative leadership paths and responsibilities.

Office of the Provost should be able to:

  1. Identify faculty who have the ability to think deeply and creatively, and work effectively as a team to address broad campus wide challenges; (subgroup work; website with subgroup final reports).
  2. Develop solutions to campus wide challenges that are informed by input from all of our schools/units (subgroup reports).
  3. Identify a cohort of faculty who have an interest in leadership positions in the academy (entire program; website with participant names, photos).

What is the commitment?

The program will be comprised of a one-day workshop led by Professor Policano, followed by six 2 hour sessions, one/month between December and May. Monthly sessions will include activities by leadership development professionals as well as time for subgroups to coordinate work on one of several campus projects. Each group will provide a set of recommendations to the Provost in May.

Who pays for the program?

The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor covers all expenses for the program.

Who can participate in the program?

Faculty participants are selected from a pool of nominations from deans, school equity advisors, and department chairs. Criteria for nomination are faculty who have leadership potential, are positive role models and have demonstrated or supported an activity to advance inclusive excellence at UCI.


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