The 1997 Sumer Faculty Leadership Institute was held at Monterey Beach Hotel in Monterey, California. Because of the great demand from college faculty, the Executive Committee decided to increase the number of participants from 50 to 75. Even with the increase, we couldn’t accommodate all the people who were interested in attending.
I don’t know if it was because we held it in beautiful Monterey, where by the way the wind is stronger than a hurricane most of the time, or because there are so many issues that faculty are facing. (I know it’s the latter.)
Attendees spent four days in rigorous training on issues like the roles and responsibilities of a local senate president and the role of the academic senate on campus. They problem solved case studies and strategized scenarios that have occurred at colleges throughout the state. Along with that, the food was great and we all ate too much!
One of the more exciting exercises that’s provided is the 30 minute session called “Agree/Disagree.” In this activity, an Executive Committee member reads a statement such as “…local board of trustees should be eliminated and replaced with a regional boards or one state level governing board.” Participants are asked to stand near one of five signs that read: agree, strongly agree, disagree, strongly disagree, or not a fight I’m willing to take on. People standing in each area then try to convince those in the other 4 areas to come over to their side, to their way of thinking, on a particular issue. This activity allows for a great deal of interaction between participants, some of it confrontational, some of it humorous, all of it important.
I chuckled when I read one of the anonymous evaluations that identified Agree/Disagree as the most uncomfortable experience for one participant. Reading that made me wonder what it’s going to be like for the person when issues get “hot” at their campus? It reminded me of the Leadership Institute in 1995 when then President-elect Janis Perry quoted words from Des’ree song “You gotta be tough,”…you gotta be tough, you gottabe strong, you gotta be wiser” if you want to be a senate president. So true!
The group had the wonderful opportunity to hear Alan Frey from CCA provide two breakout sessions on the budget. Alan gave participants some very pragmatic steps they need to take in order to stay on top of budget issues at their colleges, i.e., how to read the budget and find ways in which moneys are typically hidden. He was well prepared which made these breakouts particularly well received.
Linda Collins, Secretary, provided two excellent breakouts, one on the Carver model and the other on the Assault on AB 1725. Linda sparked the interest of the faculty by analyzing some frightening scenarios that are currently being played out in higher education and at colleges throughout the state. Others who provided breakouts include Bill Scroggins, Edith Conn, Lee Haggerty, Winston Butler, Beverly Shue, Barbara Davis-Lyman, Len Price, rich Rose, Nancy Silva and Mark Snowhite.
We really could not have had such a successful Institute if it wasn’t for Julie Adams, the Senate’s new Executive Assistant. Julie was on top of everything! She made my life as the coordinator very easy. The entire Executive Committee owes Julie a great deal of thanks for all her efforts before, during, and after Monterey.
I wish that I wasn’t so busy making sure that the ice cream sundae break was on time, or if the dinner count was correct. I would have loved to sit through more breakout sessions. The 1994 leadership Institute was the first serious activity I attended at the state level and it changed my life. It was after that Institute that I decided to run for the Executive Committee two years later. Since then I have spent countless hours on college campuses across the state working with local senates on their issues. The Summer Faculty Leadership Institute is really one of the most inspiring activities that the Academic Senate provides.
Be involved – come to the next Summer Leadership Institute and enjoy the benefits of this rich experience.