2014 GLA Cohort in Leiden: June Session, Day One

| June 16, 2014
As part of one of the sessions led by GLA members, a panel of Leiden students discussed the student services and curriculum that they find supports their success. GLA members compared these to survey results they retrieved students in St. Louis and Geneva.

As part of one of the sessions led by GLA members, a panel of Leiden students discussed the student services and curriculum that they find supports their success. GLA members compared these to survey results they retrieved from students in St. Louis and Geneva.

The week of meetings began with a video welcome from President Beth Stroble, who challenged the fellows to think about what their role becomes if the word “global” is placed in front of their title: “What is a “global” faculty member? What is a “global” campus director? What is a “global” department associate? And how do each of become a global version of ourselves?”

JPvanMarissing

Leiden director Jean-Paul van Marissing spoke on the experience of leading an international campus and introduced the Leiden leadership team.

The fellows received a warm welcome from Leiden director Jean-Paul van Marissing and his management circle. Marissing was on the curriculum design team that helped bring President Stroble’s vision for the Global Leadership Academy to reality. He presented to the fellows on “A Thousand Thoughts on Leadership,” discussing how leadership is about defining moments, and how leading and following has changed in this age of easy access to information. He challenged the fellows to consider if the assumption that it is better to be a leader than a follower is true.

Marissing cited Barbara Kellerman from her book, The End of Leadership, that “leadership is a creative act for both leaders and followers when both are educated and prepared for life-long learning.” Marissing tied Kellerman’s ideas to how he has approached leadership in the last four years since he joined Webster University and his vision for the campus for the future.

Leadership development consultant Jonathan Lewis led the fellows through a series of exercises to explore how we perceive events and how we must all share these perceptions/understand the perceptions of others to achieve effective, productive teams.

Provost Schuster remarked that the goal of the strategic planning process for Webster is "like life: To become more and more of what you want to be."

Provost Schuster remarked that the goal of the strategic planning process for Webster is “like life: To become more and more of what you want to be.”

The GLA fellows enjoyed lunch with a group of undergraduate students while mapping the reasons and motivations why each person was at the University. After lunch, three fellows, Abbott Chrisman, Margie Muthukumaru and Shelly Sawalich, presented “Tightropes and Safety Nets: Frameworks for Student Success,” debriefing from the lunchtime activity and delving deeper into the research of what helps students achieve¬† their goals and how technology can help.

They wrapped up by examining how the University should posture itself institutionally to balance the needs of the students and the complexities of Webster’s structure to best help our students reach their vision of success.

In the late afternoon, the fellows were joined by Provost Julian Schuster for a conversation about Webster’s international presence and it’s importance in our identity and in our strategic planning efforts. He talked about the need to both fit in and stand out as an institution and as individuals, stating that “leaders fit in but also stand out with high quality.”

The provost also stressed that we need to understand the expectations of our students, and determining which expectations we should strive to meet or exceed. Schuster concluded by sharing his own philosophy of leadership and his process for reviewing his decisions and monitoring academic and institutional progress.

The fellows wrapped up the day attending a dinner with the provost, the Leiden campus director, academic director, department chairs and members of the Leiden campus advisory board.

Wide group shot: The group renewed acquaintances before walking the city and heading to a group dinner Sunday night.

The 2014 GLA fellows renewed acquaintances before walking the city and heading to a group dinner Sunday night.

June 16-20 marks the second meeting of Webster University’s 2014 Global Leadership Academy (GLA) fellows. From locations across the Webster network, 14 faculty and staff members gathered in Leiden, the Netherlands, to learn about leadership, get a deep and grounded understanding of the University and explore trends and challenges in higher education today. The 2014 GLA fellows will work on team projects throughout this year and meet again in October.

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