GCC’s Interim Chief Academic & Student Affairs Officer, Mary Ellen Fydenkevez, and Dean of Humanities and Interim Dean of Engineering, Math, and Science, Leo Hwang, attended the Institute for Management and Leadership Education (MLE) at Harvard Graduate School of Education this summer, a program designed for experienced administrators who are responsible for thinking strategically about their institutions’ change agendas. The course was attended by academic leaders from 33 states and over 15 countries, representing an estimated 2 million students in higher education. The collective experience of the diverse group of leaders was both broad and incredibly expansive.
The landscape of higher education is changing at a dizzying pace, so administrators and academic leaders must be thinking strategically about the future of higher education and how to effectively pivot away from conventional methods. The majority of higher education is facing similar challenges and pressures as they relate to key factors such as institutional scale, location, and model. The focus of the intensive two-week on-campus program was leading through change and determining the best strategies to guide an organization through a significant period of change with a focus on financial sustainability and innovation. Key themes that emerged included the need to communicate simple and often, as well as the power of listening and astute observation.
Highly respected leaders in the field of higher education shared their insights with the program’s participants, including Dr. Lee Bolman, Dr. Matthew Miller, and Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, to name a few. Dean Leo Hwang shares some of his reflections from the program.
“The whole course inspired me to grab hold of an ambitious idea and work to reinvent how to enact that idea in ways that draw in the community of faculty, staff, and students to revolutionize how we think about education at GCC. The most innovative ideas are enacted by groups, not individuals, but it is the leader’s duty to help keep people engaged, motivated, and empowered to enact those changes.” Dean Leo