Bowling Green Leadership Academy underway

With a new name and a new focus, the employee leadership development program at BGSU kicked off on Jan. 21 with morning opening remarks by Viva McCarver, chief human resources officer, and a lunchtime address by President Mary Ellen Mazey.

Renamed the Bowling Green Leadership Academy, the program is for the first time open to faculty — and a number took advantage of the opportunity. The academy unites classified and administrative staff with faculty and faculty administrators in a study of the principles of leadership, development of personal and professional leadership skills, and then applying those to helping move the University toward achieving the goals of its strategic plan. As a cross-section of the University, the group brings a broad perspective to the task.

Barbara Shergalis, University architect and director of the Office of Design and Construction, said the first session “exceeded my expectations. I’m excited and enthusiastic and I wish we didn’t have to wait a month till our next meeting.”

Participants will meet all day once a month for five months in a small-group format and will present their projects at the end.

Shergalis said she enrolled not only to develop her own leadership skills but also to “expand my knowledge of BGSU and build relationships with other folks across campus since that has a big impact on our work. I think this will help our department interface better and more effectively with our customers.”

The president addressed the 21-member cohort during lunch in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. She called on them, “the future leaders of the University,” to use listening skills and collaboration to develop solutions, and to look for opportunities to provide students the best preparation for the jobs of the future.

Enumerating some key traits of strong leaders, Mazey cited some of the points from the chapter she contributed, “Strategies for Effective Shared Governance,” to the book “Academic Leadership in Higher Education: From the Top Down and the Bottom Up.”