Civic Leadership Academy plans workshops

Civic Leadership Academy logoAre you ready to embrace the challenges of leadership and change?

For the ninth consecutive year, NIU’s Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) is offering timely, in-depth workshops for civic leaders like you who aren’t afraid to tackle the challenges of a changing government environment.

More than 400 government professionals, staff members, elected officials, educators, state administrators and not-for-profit leaders have attended the academy’s workshops.

New to this year’s programing are evening workshops offered at the Rockford campus, complementing those already offered at the Naperville campus. Additionally, more than a dozen new workshop offerings have been added following requests by past participants to add training on grant writing, communicating in crisis, zoning and code enforcement, data applications and uses in government and more.

A full listing of all workshops offered in Rockford and Naperville, as well as several special sessions in Lake County, are posted on the CLA website. Registration is ongoing and discounts are available for groups of three or more from a local governing body (contact tlrogers@niu.edu directly for these discounts).

The academy was established in 2004 by NIU’s Division of Outreach and the Center for Governmental Studies to fill a need in the training environment for governmental leaders. Recognized experts and instructors inspire and develop workshop materials designed to assist participants in becoming leaders capable of addressing today’s issues and complex agendas, while keeping an eye on the future.

Certificates of Achievement and continuing education credits are also available through the academy.

Registration is now open for workshops planned for the month of October. For more information, email CivicLeadershipAcademy@niu.edu.

Photo of a calculator and a ledger bookGovernment Financial Basics

  • Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • NIU-Rockford
  • $49
  • Presented by Adam Simon, Ancel Glink

If you are like many newly elected officials, one of your first acts in office was to approve a multimillion dollar budget with only a brief opportunity to grasp the scope and contents of the document.

And that was just the beginning. Other financial documents requiring your attention, include the audit, annual treasurer’s report, the tax levy and more.

This seminar will explain all the mandatory annual financial documents a public official will review and approve during one fiscal year. In addition, you will learn how the tax cap works to limit the amount of property taxes your community can collect and how you can maximize your municipality’s flexibility to spend tax revenues.

Finally, a brief overview of the economic development tools available to municipal officials will be presented.

Grant Writing

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • NIU-Naperville
  • $119
  • Presented by Gloria Simon

This workshop will help participants identify the range of grant opportunities available to one’s own organization, as well as the benefits and challenges of getting funding from external sources. Participants will also learn about keeping a “data file” which will help to complete grant applications on relatively short notice when they become available.

Class exercises will help start the process of identifying grants and setting up a data file.

This event is also offered May 20, 2014, at NIU-Rockford.

Communicating in Crisis

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Lake Zurich Police Department, 200 Mohawk Trail
  • $89
  • Presented by Melanie Magara, special assistant to the vice president, NIU Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Information Technologies, and Samantha Brunell, NIU Center for Governmental Studies

Institutional reputations take years to build – and can be undone in minutes if leaders are not prepared to manage crises. This workshop uses real-world examples to explore best practices in crisis communications.

Learn how to quickly assess the scope of a crisis and develop messages that can be delivered within an hour or less, how to identify your various audiences and keep each informed at a level that meets expectations, and use communications to help restore order and confidence in your institution.

This event is also offered Tuesday, Nov. 5, at NIU-Rockford and April 15, 2014, at NIU-Naperville.

Photo of a house under constructionLand Use, Economic Development and Zoning

  • Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 to 9 p.m.
  • NIU-Rockford
  • $49
  • Presented by Paul Keller, Ancel Glink

Regulation of land use is a basic and essential function of local government. Because land use law is drawn from constitutional principles of due process and statutory limitations of local government authority, it is critical that local officials have an understanding of their power and responsibilities.

In addition, local officials want to see their communities thrive and grow. Understanding the statutory tools available for economic development will help leaders facilitate the growth and development of their communities.

Practical Applications of Excel and Access for Local Government Users

  • Thursday, Oct 24, 8:30 a.m. to noon
  • NIU-Naperville
  • $89
  • Presented by Sherrie Taylor, NIU Center for Governmental Studies

Would you like to learn how to convert the vast sets of data you collect into useful information?

This workshop will explore the functions within Microsoft Excel and Access that enable you to manipulate and work with large data sets. This hands-on workshop will teach participants new functions and how to use them through practical exercises relevant to local government, including the capability to embed maps directly into a spreadsheet.

The advantages of cost-effective open source products will also be discussed. The ability to manage big data is critical in learning from the data being collected. What will your data tell you?

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