UA Perspectives

Leadership Training in the 21st Century

To kick off the New Year, five UA Statewide Anchorage-based employees received an invitation, along with 20 UAA employees, to participate in the first cohort of the “Leading in the 21st Century” training series. The first of three 3-day sessions began in February and ended with a graduation in April when Vice President White spoke to the cohort and handed out certificates of achievement.

How many trainings have you been in that are primarily lecture? According to what was taught in the class, the capacity to retain what you learn is actually lowest through lecture and significantly increases with audio-visual, demonstration, discussion groups, activities, and especially by teaching others. This training is delivered based on best learning practices – translation, there is very little lecture! The instructors create a fun and interactive learning environment that promotes exponential growth through their teaching methods and content.

The month in between each session allows cohort participants time to complete homework and share what was learned with their staff and across departments. This also reinforces the primary goal of this training which is to teach a common language of management and leadership across the UA system in order to facilitate communication and build bonds across departments and universities.

It is a remarkable commitment from President Johnsen to invest in training leaders to further strengthen Alaska’s university. The best way to leverage the gift of these resources is to recognize the significance in being selected during these challenging times and to carry the torch by passing on what is learned to other UA staff. Some from the first cohort have already taught sessions to their staff and other departments, while others have scheduled sessions. At the Bragaw Office Building (BOB), where Statewide staff are located in Anchorage, several of the five who completed the first training will be hosting two training sessions over extended-lunches for their BOB colleagues in June.

Additional goals of each of the cohorts is to build a network of peers to integrate the common language, learn from one another how to use the training’s tools in various work situations, and to come together across departments to tackle university initiatives. The first cohort has created an online hangout on Slack, a free team communication site. They plan to house resources from the training and share additional resources between each other, have a place to post and dialogue on questions, and ultimately network as the cohorts evolve across the system. The first cohort is also coordinating to meet monthly over a working lunch to refresh on topics covered in the class.

Beginning in August, two more cohorts will be trained in Fairbanks. The application deadline for Statewide staff in Fairbanks is May 30. For more information about the training program and link to apply, click HERE.  Stay tuned for future opportunities and updates as the network of leaders expands and a common language is adopted.

For further information contact Cara Eckman in SW HR at 450-8215 or email cmeckman@alaska.edu.

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