November 10, 2022

SEC Academic Leadership Program Fellows, Liaisons Gather for Workshop at Georgia

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Georgia hosted the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program workshop from October 16-19, welcoming more than 50 administrators from all 14 member universities.

The event featured several interactive sessions that included a variety of round-table discussions and formal presentations built to encourage the SEC ALDP fellows to step into the shoes of high-level campus administrators.

Given that goal and the complex nature of academic leadership, Georgia selected two inter-related, broadly relevant themes to bring coherence to the experience: advancing academic excellence and change management.

Three deans at UGA sit and talk to ALDP workshop participants.

Three deans at UGA talk to the SEC ALDP workshop participants about change management.

The workshop, the second for the current cohort of fellows, touched on topics like how to work with today’s students and handling change management as a new dean. It also featured exercises on budgeting and understanding conflict. Other presentations covered advancing diversity and inclusion through targeted support and fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and experiential learning.

The SEC ALDP fellows met with various Georgia administrators throughout the four-day event, including President Jere W. Morehead, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost S. Jack Hu, and J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks.

“As an SEC ALDP fellow, I was able to learn how other institutions are handling some of the challenges and issues that my institution is facing along with what other institutions are doing with regards to student success initiatives,” said Rebecca Robichaux-Davis, professor and president of the Robert Holland Faculty Senate at Mississippi State University. “The most impactful aspect of the workshops for me was meeting faculty and administrators at other SEC institutions and making connections with them that will be useful to me moving forward.”

Attendees also visited iconic academic and athletic locations around the Georgia campus. Stops included Georgia gymnastics’ Stegeman Coliseum Training Facility and Georgia football’s Sanford Stadium. The fellows went on tours of the Special Collections Library, Terry College of Business Learning Community and historic North Campus, while receptions took place at the Georgia Museum of Art and State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

ALDP workshop participants tour the Special Collections Library at Georgia.

SEC ALDP workshop participants tour the Special Collections Library at Georgia.

The workshop concluded with the fellows’ recognition ceremony, and the 13th cohort joined more than 500 past participants who have completed the program since its inception in 2008. The full list of 2021-2022 SEC ALDP fellows is available on the SEC’s academic website.

This fall’s workshop was under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Covert, Interim Associate Provost for Academic Programs at Georgia. Covert was an SEC ALDP fellow in the 2013-14 cohort and is currently serving as the Georgia SEC ALDP liaison.

“After two COVID-related postponements, UGA was especially eager to host the SEC ALDP workshop,” Covert said. “We sought to provide the participants with a mixture of inspiring ideas and practical advice, while also imparting a well-rounded understanding of our institution and its leadership team.”

Covert noted that “the discussions were engaging and the energy high throughout the workshop. I think all of UGA’s leaders who participated would agree – it was wonderful to finally connect with, and learn from, our SEC colleagues while they were in Athens.”

The goal of the SEC ALDP is to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has four components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its participants; two SEC-wide workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants; a virtual forum continuing education opportunity for program alumni; and a competitive fellowship designed to provide administrative growth opportunities for former fellows.