Some leaders just have “it” while others just need help getting their leadership capabilities out. Good leaders have the ability change the face of an organization or movement and bring new levels of success to staff, peers, and community members nearby. In college, good leadership like that of a charming president or the problem-solving dean, can change the face of student success.
The SUNY SAIL Institute (short for Strategic Academic Innovative Leadership) is an organization that helps to inspire higher ed institutions to think about improving student success in innovative ways, as well as help to bring together research and analysis that helps leaders stay up-to-date on current issues and future trends.
Just recently, twenty-eight academic leaders from across the SUNY system and beyond graduated from the SUNY Executive Leadership Academy. At the Academy, they were able to develop the skills they need to advance to, and excel in, the most senior level positions in higher education today. This type of training and education is provided to provosts, campus vice presidents, and other executive level admins through the institute. It’s all part of SUNY’s commitment to strengthening and diversifying the academic leadership pipeline into the future.
At this intensive week-long session, participants learned directly from national higher education experts, campus presidents and system leaders about how to effectively lead the colleges and universities of the future. As times change, so do the needs of our students and staff. For example, this year’s Academy conducted a joint session with the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) about the evolving role of the Chief Diversity Officer and the opportunities of leading institutions with rapidly diversifying student bodies.
Chancellor Zimpher herself sees the need for quality leadership training in higher education. “Developing exceptional academic leaders is critical to the ongoing success of SUNY campuses and higher education around the globe,” she said. “SUNY is proud to be able to provide this opportunity for aspiring leaders.”
The over 250 past graduates of this program have moved into senior posts at community colleges, comprehensive colleges, and AAU universities. These campus leaders credit the program with not only increasing their opportunities for advancement, but also building the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in higher-level positions. Their leadership skills are being developed through the Power of SUNY so they can continue to make a difference well into the future.
Congratulations to all who have completed and are now, or are ready to become, leaders themselves.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.