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Academic Affairs seeks nominations for Faculty Leadership Fellow Program

January 21, 2020
Academic Affairs seeks nominations for Faculty Leadership Fellow Program

Last year, Academic Affairs launched the Advancing Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program to advance institutional excellence through fostering a climate of inclusive leadership from diverse leaders, in order to achieve President Eighmy’s goals for the 3rd destination, an exemplar for strategic growth and innovative excellence, in UTSA’s strategic plan. The program is designed specifically to enhance the career development of Fellows by providing an intensive one-on-one training and development experience to promote the next generation of diverse faculty leaders.

This program is individually tailored to the specific needs of the selected Faculty Fellow, to provide knowledge of university operations in specific areas and advancing leadership skills towards program development, as well as more broadly, across our higher education sector. Through mentorship and shadowing, the Fellow will gain perspective, guidance, and vision in relation to the administrative office(s) that s/he wishes to serve with the ultimate goal of promoting inclusive leadership. Faculty Fellows also will apply their new understanding of leadership principles to their current positions through work on specific projects.

Given UTSA’s leadership in promoting a diverse academic community and the Provost’s goals in Academic Affairs to accelerate our leadership in this area, candidate fellows from underrepresented backgrounds are particularly encouraged to seek this leadership opportunity. The Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program is administered under the Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and division of Faculty Success.

Two faculty were selected to participate for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 academic year, Emmanuel Akwar, lecturer III in biology, and  Erica Sosa, associate professor of kinesiology, health and nutrition. Akwar is serving as a fellow within the Office of Inclusive Excellence mentored by VP Myron Anderson, working on developing tools and resources to increase cultural sensitivity and awareness across the university. Sosa is serving jointly in Academic Affairs and Office of Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise to create the institutional infrastructure to properly support and facilitate deep scholarly integration across disciplines, including developing a joint appointment framework. Sosa has just been appointed as the Associate Dean for Research in UTSA’s new College for Health, Community, and Policy (HCaP) – an early marker of the impact of the Fellow Program.

With this early success, the Fellows program has been expanded to enable additional Fellows to be appointed and supported though engagement with specific administrative offices. For FY21, it is anticipated that as many as five Fellows may be appointed, depending on interest.

As a Hispanic Serving Institution, one of the Fellow positions has been specifically established to have a dedicated focus on the advancement of UTSA’s Hispanic Thriving mission by working to promote the success of Hispanic students. This inaugural Fellow will work directly with senior academic affairs leadership in the divisions of Student Success, Strategic Enrollment, Undergraduate Studies, and in collaboration with the Office of Inclusive Excellence to utilize and create cross-functional teams to ensure key stakeholders are a part of the practices and programs that increase student success and better serve our students. The Fellow will participate actively in efforts guided by the Excelencia for Education framework, including UTSA’s work to obtain the Seal.  

Objectives

  • To learn more about the academic organization, operations, and physical infrastructure
  • To consider the skills and attributes of effective academic leaders, and the challenges and rewards of becoming an academic leader
  • To consider current and future challenges and opportunities in higher education
  • To recognize and implement the values of diversity, inclusion, self-awareness, and ethical leadership
  • To meet and develop professional relationships with colleagues through on-campus activities

Outcomes

The overall outcome for this program will be to develop the next generation of university leaders. The Fellow’s outcomes will be the following:

  • Acquire an understanding of contemporary issues in higher education in their historical and institutional context
  • Engage in emerging topics related to instruction, student learning and innovation
  • Advance faculty and their professional, scholarly, and personal development
  • Consider the value of building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive university community
  • Learn skills for assessing competing priorities and managing time
  • Reflect on leadership values, styles, and skills and consider the range of opportunities in higher education leadership, both formal and informal

Requirements

  • Tenured faculty at the rank of associate or full professor, appointed in any department (associate must show evidence that they are making satisfactory progress toward promotion to professor) or all full-time, non-tenured faculty
  • Employed as faculty at UTSA for at least three years

Process

Typically, the faculty will be appointed as a Fellow for one academic year. The Faculty Fellow will be expected to spend approximately 10 hours per week in residence in their unit, attending regular meetings of the unit, working with their mentor and completing a special project. In addition, the Faculty Fellow will receive funding to attend an external leadership conference during the appointment and one semester course buy-out.

Application

Nominations by deans and other senior administrators are welcome, as are self-nominations.

The application materials should include the following, compiled as a single pdf file :

  • A letter not to exceed two pages presenting evidence of interest in academic leadership, experience in academic governance or administration to date, experience working to advance inclusion of underrepresented minorities, and what the nominee hopes to accomplish with the support of the program
  • 500-word statement of what the applicant would be interested in leading as their special project and initial thoughts/ideas for the effort(s) and mentor. Innovative ideas for initiatives that will strengthen faculty are encouraged. If interested in the Hispanic Thriving Fellow, please focus your statement on this area and the ideas and impact you propose to have.
  • Up to 2 letters of recommendation (department chair, dean, center director, etc.). Each recommendation letter is limited to one page in length.
  • A current CV

Applications should be submitted by February 28, 2020, for academic year 2020-21. Applications should be submitted electronically via this application form. Questions about this program can be directed to Heather Shipley, heather.shipley@utsa.edu.