Eleven NIU faculty members have been selected to participate in the first cohort of the new Emerging Faculty Leaders Program, which aims to bolster leadership capacity across campus.
The Provost’s Office earlier this fall launched the initiative, led by Alicia Schatteman, director of the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies and an associate professor of nonprofit management in the Department of Public Administration, and Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs Chad McEvoy.
The Emerging Faculty Leaders Program will deliver an intensive professional development experience to faculty who are ready to expand their capacity for leadership in higher education and who are committed to enhancing their contribution to the university.
Participants in the inaugural cohort, which will run the duration of the academic year, are as follows:
- Christina Abreu, Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- Dawn Brown, Health and Human Sciences.
- Bill Cassidy, Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- Peter Chomentowski, Education.
- Melani Duffrin, Health and Human Sciences.
- Mya Groza, Business.
- Courtney Hughes, Health and Human Sciences.
- Christine Nguyen, Engineering and Engineering Technology.
- Alan Polansky, Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- Bart Sharp, Business.
- Simon Weffer, Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“We’re developing a pipeline of leaders,” Schatteman said.
“Higher education today faces many complex challenges, and we need more faculty leaders across the university,” she added. “Faculty leadership development programs like this one can advance broader institutional goals such as leadership succession, faculty retention, building institutional culture, fostering innovation, and connecting faculty leaders to administrative leaders.”
NIU faculty members can and do serve in a wide range of leaderships roles, including as department chairs, center directors, principal investigators, fundraisers, search committee members, task force participants, professional organization leaders, university council members, faculty senators and expert sources in the news media.
“President Lisa Freeman has made leadership development a priority,” McEvoy said. “This program greatly expands our ability to provide mentoring and support to faculty who are interested in, or are already serving in, leadership roles.”
Other leadership programs at NIU include the Provost Fellows program and MAC Academic Leadership Program, in its fifth year. Schatteman is serving as the 2021-22 Provost Fellow and previously participated in the MAC program. Its current NIU participants are Amanda Durik (Liberal Arts and Sciences), Joseph Flynn (Education), Matt Wilson (Health and Human Sciences) and Daewoo Park (Business).
The new Emerging Faculty Leaders Program is modeled after its MAC counterpart. The cohort of 11 met for the first time earlier this month and will convene throughout the academic year. Participants commit up to six hours beyond each monthly meeting for assigned readings, projects and panel discussions.
Among the year’s topics of investigation and discussion:
- Identifying personal values.
- Exploring personal commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Exploring leadership interests at the unit, college and university levels.
- Examining the skills needed to attract philanthropic funds.
- Determining opportunities for external grant funding.
- Understanding and managing financial resources.
- Conflict resolution and consensus-building.
- The role of mentorship in academic leadership.
- Leadership skill development.
“We hope participants in the program walk away with new skills, a greater awareness of all the opportunities to lead at NIU, a better sense of their own leadership abilities and clarity regarding the direction of their own careers,” Schatteman said.
Faculty who are interested in becoming part of the 2022-23 cohort should watch for a call for applications during the spring semester.