Concordia’s new Academic Leadership Institute will cultivate next-generation university administrators
Universities are taking on an increasingly influential role in society. At the same time, they are becoming more and more complex.
This summer Concordia will launch an initiative designed to train top higher-learning leaders to rise to that challenge.
The Academic Leadership Institute, led by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, will facilitate opportunities for university administrators across the country to exchange ideas and join conversations through a variety of training and research activities.
“The institute is Concordia’s next-gen solution to understanding what makes a good academic leader and providing that development opportunity,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard.
“When academics seek out senior administrative roles, we want them to be ready to take them on.”
Inaugural summer program
Focusing on four themes relevant to academic leaders — managing talent, strategic communications, advancement and strategic planning — the institute’s inaugural summer program runs from July 2 to 6.
It will be co-taught by senior leaders with diverse experience:
- Anne-Marie Croteau, dean of Concordia’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB), will co-teach a session with Alistair Summerlee, university professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, on strategic planning.
- Jim Langley, president of Langley Innovations, will teach an advancement and philanthropy-in-higher-education case.
- Gillian Leithman, assistant professor in the Department of Management at JMSB, will lead daily integrative sessions focused on resilience and executive presence.
- Kristin Linklater, executive director of communications and marketing at Simon Fraser University, will co-teach a session with Philippe Beauregard, Concordia’s chief communications officer, on strategic and change communications.
- Dana MacDonald, president of Macticity Consulting Inc. will lead coaching sessions.
- Lisa Philipps, provost of York University, will teach a case based on her experience managing academic and non-academic staff in a post-conflict situation.
Development for next-generation university leaders
The institute’s creation stems from Concordia’s steadfast commitment to being a next-generation university and a belief that academic leadership is an intellectual, moral and practical pursuit. Its programming will blend model learning and leadership development.
“If you take Concordia, with its population of 57,000 students, faculty and staff, and facilities spread out over two campuses, you quickly realize that it’s a large-scale operation — it’s essentially a city,” says Graham Carr, Concordia’s provost and vice-president, Academic.
“For faculty members who take on senior leadership roles, there is little-to-no training available to prepare them for positions that have substantial authority and influence. Universities that better equip professors for their service and leadership roles through customized training are helping to create the next generation of academic leaders.”
The institute will combine tailored programs, applied research and a forum for peer-learning and collective reflection on best practices. It will promote a conversational, pragmatic and intergenerational approach.
It will also provide lifetime access to varied training and thematic alumni programs.