March 7, 2022

SEC Virtual Forum Focuses on Contemporary Higher Education Leadership

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

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The 2022 Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program (SEC ALDP) Virtual Forum will be held March 22 and is entitled “Navigating Contemporary Influences in Higher Education Leadership,” the SEC announced on Monday.

Launched in 2020, the virtual forum is designed to provide invited former SEC ALDP fellows with continuing educational opportunities via live, interactive panel discussions on current topics. This spring’s event, coordinated by the University of Florida, will feature conversations around the research mission in the 2020’s; faculty life and welfare; and being a change agent in tumultuous times.

“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 at Florida.

The SEC ALDP Virtual Forum panelists represent several units at their respective universities, and the anticipated roster is listed below in alphabetical order.

Dr. Jane Cassidy, Interim Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX, Louisiana State University

Dr. Jane Cassidy is Interim Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX at LSU where she is responsible for managing processes, policies, and training on matters related to discrimination of protected classes. Prior to this role, Dr. Cassidy served for 12 years as Senior Vice Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs, and she advised the provost on faculty matters, space allocation, academic policy, and institutional accreditation. She was also the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program liaison for LSU. Dr. Cassidy’s previous administrative positions include Director of the School of Music and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Music and Dramatic Arts. She has been at LSU since 1988.

Dr. Lisa Cassis, Vice President for Research, University of Kentucky

Dr. Lisa Cassis, a former SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellow, has served as the University of Kentucky’s Vice President for Research since 2015. She leads the research enterprise and oversees research proposal development, grants and contracts administration, human subjects protection, and numerous multidisciplinary research centers and institutes. Dr. Cassis has provided leadership on the university’s strategic plan and for a new $265 million research building — which focuses on the state of Kentucky’s pressing challenges in the areas of cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and substance abuse. She joined the faculty at UK in 1988.

Dr. Brent Fountain, Vice Provost and Chief Transformation Officer, Mississippi State University

Dr. Brent Fountain is Vice Provost and Chief Transformation Officer, and he is responsible for implementing Mississippi State University’s Plan for Transformational Change – a comprehensive effort that encompasses several goals and multiple university-wide strategic initiatives designed to transform the campus community, optimize organizational effectiveness, and enrich the student experience, among other aims. In his 22 years at Mississippi State, he has served as the Human Nutrition Specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, as Faculty Senate President, and currently as the university’s faculty athletics representative.

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.