March 8, 2021

SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Spring Virtual Forum Announced

Panel discussion during spring 2020 SEC ALDP workshop at the University of Florida (Photo taken before COVID-19)
Panel discussion during spring 2020 SEC ALDP workshop at the University of Florida (Photo taken before COVID-19)

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 8, 2021) – The spring edition of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) Virtual Forum will be held March 17 and is entitled “Lessons Learned during a Pandemic about the Academy,” the SEC announced on Monday.

Given the lasting implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southeastern Conference launched the one-day event last fall as a way to provide invited former SEC ALDP fellows with continuing educational opportunities via live, interactive panel discussions on current topics.

The upcoming forum will feature panelists from across the SEC discussing crisis management and human resilience; the capacity of faculty, staff and administrators to work remotely; and how virtual instruction can appeal to a changing marketplace.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has become the backdrop for most university decision-making, for evaluating standard operating procedures and for defining success,” said Dr. Torie A. Johnson, SEC Associate Commissioner for Academic Relations. “It has challenged university leaders to consider anew how the academy of the future will look, and our hope is this discussion will help equip former SEC ALDP fellows to lead in a changing higher education environment.”

Spring virtual forum panelists from different SEC universities will represent various units at their respective institutions. In addition, the chair of the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program, Dr. Matthew Martens, Senior Vice Provost at the University of Missouri, will serve as moderator. The anticipated roster of panelists is listed below in alphabetical order.

Dr. Erika Chambers, Director of Employee Engagement and Work Life, University of Kentucky

Dr. Erika Chambers administers the UK@Work engagement survey and supports Kentucky’s understanding and improvement of the employee experience. She has been in this position for a year and has worked in Human Relations for five years. Before coming to UK, Dr. Chambers worked in a variety of roles, including consulting, leadership development and branding and marketing.

Dr. Rahul Shrivastav, Vice President for Instruction, University of Georgia

Dr. Rahul Shrivastav oversees Georgia’s enrollment management, student success initiatives, instructional infrastructure as well as student and faculty support services. This includes the offices of admissions, financial aid, registrar, curriculum, academic advising, experiential learning and online learning. He assumed the position in 2015.

Dr. Bill Tate, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of South Carolina

Dr. Bill Tate became provost at South Carolina in July 2020. The chief academic officer, he oversees the schools and colleges of the Columbia campus, and he is charged with overall leadership of academic affairs of the university, including curriculum development and establishment of academic standards in the schools and colleges. He came to South Carolina from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as the dean of the graduate school and vice provost for graduate education.

Gary Ward, Vice Chancellor for Operations & Chief Operating Officer, University of Missouri

Gary Ward directs all planning and facilities operations for the University of Missouri, parking and transportation, printing, the sustainability office and environmental health and safety. He was named to the position in 2014 after serving as associate vice chancellor for facilities, where he oversaw the completion of more than $500 million in construction projects and the addition of 2.2 million gross square feet to the MU campus.

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.