March 31, 2022

2022 SEC Virtual Forum Addresses Contemporary Influences in Higher Education

Inaugural SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Virtual Forum
Inaugural SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Virtual Forum

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

Birmingham, Ala. – Nearly 60 former SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellows and liaisons participated in the 2022 SEC virtual forum, entitled “Navigating Contemporary Influences in Higher Education Leadership,” on March 22. The forum was organized by the University of Florida and featured three brief presentations followed by a live question and answer session.

“The impact of recent global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education is still being determined, and universities nationwide are navigating changing engagement expectations from external and internal stakeholders that demand a fresh approach to higher education leadership,” said Dr. Chris Hass, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and SEC ALDP liaison at Florida.

The first speaker, Dr. Lisa Cassis, Vice President for Research at the University of Kentucky and a former SEC ALDP fellow, discussed the research mission in the 2020’s. She highlighted national and international trends as well as challenges faced by large public research universities. Dr. Jane Cassidy, Interim Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX at LSU and a former SEC ALDP liaison, presented on faculty life and welfare, including the centrality of communication and the long-term impacts of decision making during the pandemic. Finally, Dr. Brent Fountain, Vice Provost and Chief Transformation Officer at Mississippi State University, concluded with perspectives on being a change agent in tumultuous times.

Launched in 2020, the virtual forum is designed to provide former SEC ALDP fellows with continuing educational opportunities via live, interactive panel discussions on current topics, regardless of their current position. Previous sessions include “Lessons Learned during a Pandemic about the Academy” in 2021 and “Communicating in the Midst of a Pandemic” in 2020. Details about the 2023 virtual forum will be announced at a later date.

The 13-year-old SEC Academic Leadership Development Program seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has three additional components, a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own fellows; two SEC-wide three-day workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants; and a competitive fellowship designed to provide administrative growth opportunities for former fellows. It is one of several SEC academic endeavors designed to support the teaching, research, service, and economic development goals of the Conference’s 14 member universities.