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Three Ohio University Faculty to participate in Mid-American Conference’s inaugural Academic Leadership Development Program


Three faculty and administrators from Ohio University have been selected as 2017-2018 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) fellows.

Christopher Hayes, director of the School of Music, Sara Helfrich, a Teacher Education associate professor and Literacy Program coordinator, and Beth Quitslund, an English associate professor, are among the 36 faculty and administrators from various MAC institutions selected for this first-year program.

The goal of the MAC Academic Leadership Development Program is to develop and nurture faculty internally to eventually take on higher roles within the institution.

"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 will provide opportunities for faculty and leadership to work together, gain valuable knowledge and share insights on academic leadership.

“We’re hoping that out of this, these fellows will be able to come back to share their experiences, share what they’ve learned and help them in terms of their own career aspirations,” said Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Planning Howard Dewald.

To be selected for the program, the fellow was nominated by the college dean and chosen by the provost. Nominees had to show interest in higher levels of administration and demonstrate strong leadership capabilities. The selected fellows represent diverse disciplines and levels of leadership experience.

“I’m honored. Obviously, there were outstanding nominees from other colleges and to be selected for this, to represent Ohio University, is an honor,” Hayes said. “I’m excited to take whatever experiences that come with this and do what I can to have a positive influence on Ohio University.”

During their fellowship year, fellows are expected to participate in activities on the home campus, learning the operations of administration, spending time with senior leadership and sharing ideas with the other OHIO fellows.

“I think I am most excited about perhaps having license to intrude on people making a difference on campus and asking them to talk about what they do. This is a fantastic way to integrate kinds of knowledge between faculty and other leaders to build the institution’s capacity,” Quitslund said.

The program also features two, three-day conferences for all of this year’s MAC fellows to gain valuable knowledge and share insights on academic leadership. This year’s workshops will be held Nov. 6-8, 2017 at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and Feb. 19-21, 2018 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“I think [OHIO’s] involvement in this program really says that they believe in our potential,” Helfrich said. “They are helping to create and identify people that really want to give back to the university, and they are giving us a way to become better at leading.”