Yesterday, the Bakersfield College sponsored a summit – Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success and Equity. We sent a team; Dr. Andrew Rempt, Dr. Angelica Suarez, and Marie Vicario. I participated via web for the morning and noon speakers. There were many speakers, and panels and I felt like I was back in my organizational development Master’s program again (my favorite higher education experience because this program impacted me to the core).
Chancellor Eloy Oakley challenged us to rethink the value we provide at community colleges: “Value is how do you take the individuals in your community and put them in a position where they can now earn a better living, improve their family outcomes, participate in their community, and bring value to the community?” He reminded us that we have to practice what we preach; “We try to teach the students to adapt to the changing nature of the economy …” the best way to serve our students is for us to practice what we preach and for us to take a hard look at ourselves, and look at the economy and change with the needs. More to come on this…
Our own Marie Vicario got a shout out for signing her email to Sonja Christian “si se puede”. Our team will bring back their learnings to the campus and we will share with you. Our California Guided Pathways Team:
- Dr. Andrew Rempt
- Dr. Randy Beach
- Caree Lesh
- Marie Vicario
- Dr. Angelica Suarez
- Renee Kilmer
- Kindred Murillo
Yesterday the American Council on Education Center for Policy Research and Strategy issued the Viewpoint: Shared Leadership in Higher Education: Important lessons from Research and Practice. I am sharing with the brief because it refers to the type of organization that is proving to be much more effective for the complexities of community colleges. Authoritarian leadership is no longer an effective model for the many issues, complexities, and needs of community colleges. My observation is that more distributed leadership models work better because it provides the flexibility and expertise to ensure “multiple perspectives”. My philosophy is there are many leaders on a college campus and we have to develop our leaders through building the capacity and conditions that grow leaders. The Viewpoint notes the following conditions that foster shared leadership in higher education:
- Support from vertical leaders
- Developing supportive cultures through relationship building and professional development
- Clear role definition
As we move forward, we will consider these points when we revamp our leadership program.
If you can’t tell, I have a bit of passion about leadership. Almost as much passion as I do for serving students. Speaking of passion; Cathy McJannet celebrated the ADN pinning of 73 graduates yesterday. This is her last pinning as the SWC Director of Nursing. Congratulations Cathy. Notice the passionate color of her coat?
Tomorrow is Commencement….
Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. Chris Hadfield