Much has been written about the on-going development of UND’s new Strategic Plan, and rightly so.  The plan sets the course for our future and proposes investments in priorities and opportunities – investments in marketing to better promote the career-ready academic experience we provide our students, and investments in new ways for faculty to make a difference through their teaching and research.  Today I am writing about a third type of investment happening at UND, investment in our people.  I am delighted to announce that a cohort of ten individuals from Academic Affairs are participating in a new Executive Development Program.

Designed to nurture our employees’ inherent leadership talent and to equip participants with the necessary tools for leading at UND, the Academic Affairs Executive Development Program brings together individuals for a series of workshops and team projects that take place over 13 weeks.  The program brings the type of issues faced by leaders very much to the forefront, particularly those in higher education, and equips our employees with the tools they need to lead in today’s climate of change.  It also identifies resources on campus that individuals may not be aware of, resources that can bring efficiencies and success to teams. 

Individuals from across several Academic Affairs units make up this first cohort of the new program.  These individuals, some of whom are newer to campus and some new to their leadership role, are starting to see positive impacts since the program started a month ago. The networking opportunities and the broad discussions on leadership issues that are taking place in the program are already leading to richer working relationships and new ways of addressing challenges.  The results are encouraging and convince me a second cohort will follow shortly. 

Many thanks to our first cohort for their interest in and enthusiasm for this program. Cohort members are Amanda Boyd, Elizabeth Becker, Scott Correll,  Katie Davidson, Curt Hanson, Lindsay Kuntz, Will Martin, Randy Pederson, Shannon Mikula and Frank Swiontek.  I look forward to hearing more from each of them about the program and to sharing it with you. 



Ex Lead Group v3Shannon Mikula, Academic Affairs Officer, makes her point at a recent Leadership Development workshop.