March 3, 2016

Forty-Eight Complete SEC Academic Leadership Development Program

Six current SEC Provosts participated in an interactive panel with SEC ALDP participants
Six current SEC Provosts participated in an interactive panel with SEC ALDP participants

By: Bryant Welbourne
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

The 2015-16 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) cohort was recognized at the final SEC-wide workshop at the University of Mississippi, Feb. 24-26. The 48-member group was comprised of SEC academic administrators from numerous disciplines.

“When your university makes this investment in your career so you can take part in the SEC ALDP, it is a huge honor,” said Dr. Javonda Williams, Assistant Dean for Educational Programs and Students Services in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama.

Williams and other participants attended the opening night reception and dinner at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Ole Miss Chancellor Dr. Jeff Vitter welcomed everyone to campus, and musical theatre students performed scenes from various operas.

The second day featured a deans panel and sessions on implementing a mandated quality enhancement plan, effectiveness of intentional student affairs and academic affairs, and leveraging social media and emergency communications. Ryan Whittington, Assistant Director of Public Relations for Social Media Strategy at Ole Miss, discussed the value of social media in emergency situations on campus.

“Social media is changing the way our culture communicates,” said Whittington. “It has become a vital tool that university relations can use to quickly and effectively reach our students and faculty in a timely manner when needed.”

The final day of the workshop included an interactive provosts panel. Six current SEC Provosts talked about their career paths, personal experiences and answered questions from SEC ALDP participants. The eighth cohort was then recognized at the end of the morning.

“The program provides a special camaraderie for academic leaders across the SEC because we all face similar issues on our campuses, and we now have a network to lean on for advice and encouragement,” said Williams. “Building the relationships with our colleagues is invaluable as we continue our careers in academia.”

The SEC ALDP is part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. SECU actively highlights the endeavors and achievements of the students and faculty of the conference’s 14 member universities. Next year’s workshops will be at the University of Alabama and Mississippi State University.