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New program aims to develop more leaders at UNG

Staff Leadership Development Program
Tricia Chastain, executive vice chancellor for Administration with the University System of Georgia (USG), will give the welcome and opening presentation at the first meeting of the Staff Leadership Development Program on Sept.14.

What makes a great leader?

A great leader works to inspire and motivate others, builds and maintains trust, communicates and collaborates clearly to achieve shared goals and objectives, and recognizes their limitations and works to overcome them while building on their strengths. In other words, great leaders are made, not born to the task.

A committee composed from a cross-section of departments at the University of North Georgia (UNG) has collaborated to develop a high-quality, high-impact program designed to create and retain a culture of leadership. This fall, the first group of leadership candidates will take part in the Staff Leadership Development Program (SLDP).

The SLDP is a comprehensive leadership development program for UNG staff and administrative faculty as part of the UNG Strategic Plan to enhance services that assist faculty and staff in achieving leadership proficiency. The program is for directors, assistant or associate directors, department heads, assistant or associate department heads and assistant or associate vice presidents who wish to improve and enhance their skills and knowledge as leaders at UNG.

"The UNG vision in the strategic plan states that we will be a regional and national leader for academic excellence, engagement, educational opportunity, and leadership development, and the SLDP was designed to help achieve that vision. " said Keith Antonia, associate vice president for military programs and a committee member. "In order to more effectively develop our students into leaders for a diverse and global society, we must create and maintain a culture of leadership by establishing a leadership development program for our administrators."

The initial cohort will be 12-15 participants from all five campuses and all departments and colleges within UNG. The free program runs from September through April each year. Participants meet on the second Friday of each month, six hours per day with a working lunch, for a total of 48 hours of education. The meetings will be held on a different campus each month. Every component is connected to developing a competency:

  • Know UNG: The role of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, UNG organization, UNG Strategic Plan, and UNG policy, procedures and management systems.
  • Prepare Self: Know limitations and strengths, and seek self-improvement.
  • Build Trust: Mediate relationships and encourage commitment through common experiences and shared understanding.
  • Lead: Serve as a role model to motivate, inspire and influence others to take initiative, work toward a common purpose, accomplish tasks, and achieve strategic goals.
  • Extend Influence: Influence beyond the direct lines of authority by using diplomacy, negotiation, mediation, and consensus building.
  • Communicate: Clearly express ideas and actively listen to others.

The SLDP application is open April 1-30. Applicants will be selected from the candidate pool and approved by UNG vice presidents, and program participants will be notified by July 15. The first session begins Sept. 14 on the Dahlonega Campus, with Tricia Chastain, executive vice chancellor for Administration with the University System of Georgia (USG), welcoming the class and giving the opening presentation on the purpose and organization of USG.

The end result for the participants and university is identifying leaders for career retention and progression, increased collaboration and communication across divisions and departments, and higher morale and productivity.

"Great care has been given in developing a program that will challenge and support ongoing growth for those poised to be UNG’s next generation of senior leadership," said Elizabeth King, training and development specialist, human resources. "We recognize the experience and service of those who will participate in this program, and want to provide them with a next level experience, access to experts, and resources and tools that will build on their existing competencies and enhance them moving forward."

To learn more about the Staff Leadership Development Program, visit the webpage.

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