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NIU faculty to participate in the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program

September 20, 2017

Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz, associate professor and director of undergraduate Studies, Leanne VandeCreek, acting associate dean for public services, and Sarah Geiger, assistant professor of public health at NIU have been selected as Program Fellows to participate in the Mid-American Conference’s (MAC) inaugural Academic Leadership Development Program.

The goal of the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) is to offer professional development opportunities to faculty and administrators at MAC universities, and prepare and enhance their academic leadership abilities.

“Through the thoughtful and collaborative efforts of our provosts, other institutional leaders, and Conference staff this professional development opportunity has launched and should provide tremendous value to the participants and the membership,” said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. “This will be an excellent tool to enhance the growth and development of future leaders in higher education and is another way in which the MAC can provide value to its membership beyond intercollegiate athletics.”

The ALDP is sponsored by MAC and will include academic leadership development workshops hosted by one of the twelve MAC institutions each fall and spring semesters, and monthly meetings of the Fellows at their home institutions. The inaugural workshop will be held at Kent State University this fall, followed by a spring workshop at Western Michigan University. NIU is slated to host one of the workshops in spring 2020.

“The MAC academic leadership development program is a good example of collaboration among MAC institutions beyond intercollegiate athletics to prepare future academic leaders and promote excellence in academic leadership,” said Chris McCord, NIU’s acting provost. “Through this program sponsored by MAC, NIU will share its commitment to academic leadership excellence with other MAC institutions and enhance the higher education leadership pipeline.”

Thirty-six faculty and administrators from the twelve MAC institutions will participate in the 2017-2018 inaugural program and each year a new group will be selected to participate in the program until spring 2023.

VandeCreek who recently became the acting associate dean for public services at the NIU Libraries said, “This academic leadership development opportunity has come at the perfect time for me. I am really looking forward to the program and networking opportunities with faculty colleagues from NIU and the other MAC institutions to enhance my administrative skills and better serve the NIU Libraries.”

Contact Whittney Brandon, Diversity, Inclusion, & Leadership Assistant, Mid-American Conference at [email protected] for more information about the MAC ALDP.