2014 GLA Cohort in Leiden, Day Four: Academic diversity, effective communication, women in leadership

| June 20, 2014
In the first session, fellows Danielle MacCartney, DJ Kaiser and John Buck presented "Consistent Goals, Diverse Needs," which focused on the development and maintenance of academic programs.

GLA fellows John Buck, DJ Kaiser and Danielle MacCartney discussed the development and maintenance of academic programs.

Consistent Goals, Diverse Needs

In Thursday’s first session, fellows Danielle MacCartney, DJ Kaiser and John Buck presented “Consistent Goals, Diverse Needs,” which focused on the development and maintenance of academic programs.

Kaiser began with an exploration of expanding Teaching English as a Second Language and how the program has been adapted to meet the needs of students in St. Louis, Kansas City, online and potentially in a new international collaboration while maintaining consistent standards and outcomes. He explained issues of state and international standards, scheduling for cohorts while accommodating various religious holidays, and trying to establish partnerships.

MacCartney followed with a higher level overview of how undergraduate programs come to being with examples from the two programs she helped develop: Women and Gender Studies, and Criminology. She spoke of the importance of aligning the new program with the University’s missions, priorities, and goals and consulting with units across campus that will be impacted by/provide support for the program.

Buck examined how he is revising an existing program, WebsterLEADs, a student leadership program that encompasses classes, retreats, practical leadership experiences, service learning projects, and workshops. As the program expanded to the European campuses, more opportunities for flexibility and collaboration have surfaced. A new mission statement was developed: “WebsterLEADs develops a foundation from which students will change the world.” Buck then explained the next steps and challenges to improve the program.

The morning continued with "Communication for Effective Leadership," a session facilitated by fellows Kelly Lyon, Ted Green, Dominik Jansky and Jade Venditte.

GLA fellows Dominik Jansky, Kelly Lyon, Jade Venditte and Ted Green facilitated the session “Communication for Effective Leadership.”

Communication for Effective Leadership

The morning continued with “Communication for Effective Leadership,” a session facilitated by fellows Kelly Lyon, Ted Green, Dominik Jansky and Jade Venditte.

Jansky explained the complexities of communication in higher education and issues of trust and skepticism, the importance of public relations, the role of middle management, as well as solutions to these challenges. He stressed the necessity of considering your audience, diversifying your message and modality, and incorporating story into a message.

Venditte shared the results of a survey of fellows including their preferred methods of communication, the barriers to communication, and perceptions of current communication at Webster. She stated that often there is not as much of a problem with people withholding information as with people not knowing who needs the information.

Green spoke on communication styles beginning with an online survey that gave the fellows a self-awareness of their communication styles before he reviewed them. He talked about communication and politics, transparency and when information must be kept confidential, and motivations for communication with scenarios from his personal experience.

Lyon offered insight based on advice from a mentor – Understand what people need to know and tell them – and  from an institute she attended – Lead with compassion and communicate with insight. She led a discussion of compassion and insight,  the importance of authenticity, and how critical listening is in communication.

Women and Leadership

The fellows spent the afternoon with Leiden faculty member and developmental psychologist Christine Fitzgerald for the session “Women and Leadership,” which focused heavily on gender identity development. She described early studies by sociologist Henry Mintzberg and leadership development consultant Sally Helgesen examining beliefs of male and female business executives. The session generated much discussion among the fellows.

During lunch the fellows explored Leiden's canals on a tour boat.

The GLA fellows explored Leiden’s canals on a tour boat over a lunch break.

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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