October 25, 2016

Diversity, Inclusion Among Topics Discussed at SEC ALDP Fall Workshop

SEC ALDP participants tour Malone Hood Plaza at the University of Alabama
SEC ALDP participants tour Malone Hood Plaza at the University of Alabama

By: Bryant Welbourne
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program’s (SEC ALDP) fall workshop was held at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Oct. 17-19. The event brought the 2016-17 cohort of participants, known as fellows, from all 14 SEC universities together for the first time.

Each SEC-wide event covers various issues faced by academic administrators in higher education today. Topics on the fall agenda included student retention, university development and diversity and inclusion.

“I teach a freshman first-year experience course and one of the topics we discuss is diversity,” said Dr. Melissa Moore, Head of the Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law at Mississippi State University. “I took a lot of notes during the session on diversity and inclusion and plan to utilize what I learned here in that classroom setting once I get back to campus.”

SEC ALDP attendees heard from a panel of Alabama professors and students who lead several organizations on campus that promote diversity and inclusion, including the presidents of the Black Student Union, International Students Association and Hispanic-Latino Association. Fellows also took a tour of Malone Hood Plaza, which is dedicated to the first African American students to enroll at Alabama.

The fall workshop also included an open dialogue with Alabama President Stuart Bell and a session on the connections between academics and athletics featuring Interim Provost Kevin Whitaker and Athletics Director Bill Battle.

In its ninth year, the SEC ALDP seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond.

“The program has given me a context for how academic leaders think, approach problems and how they address those problems,” said Dr. David Vaillancourt, Director of the Center for Exercise Science at the University of Florida. “It’s a true honor to be selected to represent Florida and participate in a program with great leaders at universities across the SEC.”

The final SEC-wide workshop for the cohort will be held Feb. 22-24, 2017, at Mississippi State University in Starkville.