Leanne VandeCreek, University Libraries associate dean for Public Services, recently completed the inaugural Mid-American Conference (MAC) Academic Leadership Development Program and was part of a team that received a $10,000 research grant.
“The MAC program offers NIU the opportunity to identify and cultivate people with strong leadership abilities,” said Fred Barnhart, dean of University Libraries. “Leanne is a great example of someone who has not only benefited from the program but in turn, has benefited the University Libraries and the institution.”
VandeCreek was one of 36 faculty and administrators from MAC institutions to take part in the professional development program whose goal is to develop and prepare faculty to eventually take on higher roles within the institution as academic leaders.
“Far and away the greatest benefit of participating in this program was the opportunity to network with both newly emerging and experienced leaders at peer institutions,” VandeCreek said. “The professional relationships and friendships I formed with other fellows have provided me with new collaborative research opportunities and additional avenues for feedback and support.”
In addition to participating in the year-long program, VandeCreek and fellow participants Lisa Hanasono of Bowling Green State University and W. John Koolage of Eastern Michigan University earned a $10,000 grant to investigate the perceptions and biases that occur when university employees transition into administrators.
“Earning the MAC grant is really exciting,” VandeCreek said. “Not only is it providing me an opportunity for further relationship building and collaboration with colleagues at other MAC institutions, but also the ability to engage with the next class of participants.”
VandeCreek will present the research findings to the new MAC cohort in February 2019.