November 24, 2020

Nearly 60 Fellows Participate in First SEC ALDP Virtual Forum

Participants in the 2020 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Virtual Forum
Participants in the 2020 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Virtual Forum

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

Nearly 60 former SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) fellows recently participated in the program’s first-ever virtual forum, which is designed to provide continuing educational opportunities via live, interactive panel discussions on current topics.

Each academic leadership program cohort was represented in the inaugural forum, and most fellows reported currently serving as either associate deans or department chairs or department heads.

“This was a terrific session, and I want to thank the SEC for organizing it,” said Dr. Fran Hagstrom, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and  Disorders at the University of Arkansas.

Entitled “Communicating in the Midst of a Pandemic,” the fall forum featured senior administrators from around the SEC who are responsible for communicating with various university stakeholders. And in a panel format, they discussed the challenges and opportunities COVID-19 presents relative to internal and external communication while helping attendees identify strengths and weaknesses in their own communication strategies.

The members of the forum panel included Dr. Charles Robinson – Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, University of Arkansas; Mark Rushing, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations, University of Arkansas; Amy Smith, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Texas A&M University; and  Dr. Michael Stephenson, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Texas A&M University.

Representing central communications, the office of the provost and student affairs, the panelists gave brief presentations on their unit’s communications approach relative to COVID-19, and how those strategies could be modified to benefit other universities. The forum also included a live question and answer opportunity between fellows and the panelists.

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 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.