In May of 2000, President
Elizabeth Hoffman, of the University of Colorado, wanted to create
a training resource, for members of the Emerging Leaders Program.
The emerging Leaders are a group of approximatly thirty-five faculty
and administrators that have been selected for training in organizational
development, management and leadership. The purpose of the training
is to enhance their skills to assume leadership positions on the
University’s campuses. Joanne McDevitt, who is head of legal
council for CU, as well as, of training and development, also leads
the University Leadership and Development Institute (ULDI), which
funded this project. In this role, she plans topics and training
for, current and future ELP members. The major problem, which sparked
the need for this project, was that Joanne required an overview
of training topics, which could be timely and useful to the future
leaders of CU.
In this quest she had two areas she wanted researched over the summer.
1. To explore future trends and top policy issues facing most Universities.
2. To investigate current training and development curriculum in
leadership available from corporate and academic venues.
She contracted the
Center for Training in leadership and Development (CITT) to help
her in further developing training resources for the ELP. The goal
was to gather current data, and synthesize and communicate the results,
compiling a useful pool of knowledge, to meet the future training
needs of CU’s Emerging Leaders.
The CITT chose me to do this research project because I enjoy, and
am experienced, in the process of researching, learning, analyzing
and writing about a variety of information.
This project had multiple objectives.
The collection of the raw data of current trends and issues facing
To collect curriculum data on training in leadership and development.
To analyze and synthesize information to see potential aspects,
which might be valuable to the University’s training objectives.
To displaying and communicate this information to make it useful
To provide comprehensive data that could be potentially useful
to future leaders so they could develop their own staff training.
Developing a method of communicating, organizing and archiving
training to make it available to current and future ELP members.
There were several levels of learners for this material.
The clients Elizabeth Hoffman, and Joanne McDevitt are educated
individuals, capable of understanding complex information, as are
the ELP members. The training the clients offered had to be sophisticated
and compelling enough to make it worth ELP member’s time and
interest. I also had to keep in mind the levels below this hierarchy
to anticipate training trends for faculty chairs, faculty, administrative
heads, lower management and office workers.
Instructional Design Goals
1.Collect data on a wide variety of topics from any relevant sources
3. Synthesize and organize information
4. Communicate it to ELP administrators
5. Devise a method to organize, archive and communicate training
to ELP members.
6. So they could in turn develop future leadership skills in a variety
of topic areas.
Rationale for Approach
Joanne McDevitt’s main objective for this research
was for me to take, a panoramic snap shot of current trends. She
was not interested in collecting data and numbers so much as just
receiving rough sketches, and top ten lists of useful information.
Thus the research for this project was similar to trawling for the
variety of interesting fish I could catch in my research net.
I spent hours in the library looking through
educational digests, journals, and academic training to see the
lay of the land. This was a good foundation for understanding the
issues common to university administrators and faculty. I formed
a beginning list of top issues simply by keeping count of the number
of times a particular issue kept surfacing, while also noting potential
future issues surfacing because of changes. For example, while time
and resource management is a training issue in any organization,
immigration and student visas issues had altered dramatically in
the last year, since 9/11. Also, the needs of adjunct faculty and
instructors are unique to higher education organizations. Further,
social trends such as environmental impacts, and socially conscious
investing were becoming mainstream on many campuses.
The richest trove on current training was
found on the web, where I looked at a variety of College and University
sites human resource areas, to see what type of training they were
offering to faculty chairs, general faculty, administrators, and
staff. I then looked at what corporate human resource management
training offered. Further, I scanned bookshelves and libraries for
the top current writers in the areas of Leadership and Organizational
Development. The result of the research was put into an Excel spread
sheet that could efficiently organize the topics, sources, resource
list and curriculum outlines.
here to see the spread sheet information
I met with Joanne and Marty Tessmer in late
summer to give my recommendations for available cost effective,
interesting training resources, with detailed contacts, topic lists,
and pertinent course outlines.
The ELP web site
After completing the summer research, in the fall of 2002, Joanne
requested a web site for the Emerging Leaders to; communicate, organize
and archive the training they were to receive in the 2002-2003 academic
year. The content for the project was created and developed by President
Hoffman and Joanne McDevitt.
See ELP site
Brom Kim, at the CITT, created the initial template and CSS for
the site and then I took over the building and maintenance, as I
was most familiar with the material. I had limited impact on the
design for the site, though I did redo the top heading to increase
attractiveness, and changed the menu bar titles so that the navigation
was more intuitive. I had some control of the content structure,
and met several times with Joanne to advise her on how to organize
the large amount of information to increase usability. My main contribution
was just keeping the site updated, stable, and user friendly. The
one special feature I included was a library graphic of recommended
readings. The process of developing the site was for Joanne’s
office to send me content, telling me the area it was to be placed
in, and I would upload and format the information to the ELP site.
The results for the initial research, is shown in the Administrative
Development spreadsheet link. Joanne found the information very
useful and uses it as an ongoing, rich pool of resources, and information,
she will continue to draw from, in future planning for CU’s
training needs. Some of the information folders were left empty
as placeholders to receive future information.
Evidence of Value
My final recommendations for training topics and trends
resulted in contact with Deb Brackney at Mountain States Employers
Council, which has been scheduled to offer cost effective training
for the ELP under topics I had identified as timely. Joanne, Marty,
and I also visited the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado
Springs, to make initial investigations into their facilitating
future training for high-level administrators and ELP members. Further,
I have been in ongoing contact with Joanne, available to discuss
and plan future training in a number of topic areas.
Feedback from President Hoffman, and the emerging leaders group
on the ELP site has been complementary. When it was originally introduced
users found it to be well organized, and easy to use. ELP members
have continued to read and offer information to update the site,
and this leads me to believe the site is successful in meeting the
I worked on this project in several capacities for over
a year. The initial research for this project was very interesting
and rewarding. I gained an overview from diverse perspectives on
unique University trends, issues and needs, that I believe I’ll
find useful in the coming years in working with instructional design
in an academic setting. Learning about aspects of the culture of
academia will also assist me in being helpful with ongoing professional
development while working with higher education administration and
faculty. Meeting with Joanne and Marty to discuss these issues was
a wonderful one-on-one training experience for me, to simply observe
and share in their knowledgeable discussions.
Development of the ELP web site was beneficial
from a technological point of view, as I had to refine and improve
basic skills such as file management, using CSS, transferring and
formatting information from various sources such as PPT, Excel,
PDFs, taped transcripts, and manipulating graphics with Photoshop
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly during the leadership training
I researched I developed an interest and passion for good leadership
training. I was dismayed to discover that a lot of the leadership
instruction was not very good, being regurgitated top ten items,
and various methods of manipulating people to do what the organization
wants. Most of this material seemed at best to be fairly superficial
and did not appear to offer in depth constructive or meaningful
The Center of Creative Leadership was clearly
one of the best resources available, but it is prohibitively expensive
in these times of budget cutes. I also discovered an Institute of
Authentic Leadership hosted through both Naropa University, as well
as in Halifax Nova Scotia. This Institute has attracted many top
thinkers and presenters in the organizational development, leadership
training world such as: Margaret Wheatley, Peter Senge, Mark Gerzon,
Fred Kofman etc. (see Shambhala Institute web site) and I made contact
and forged a continuing relationship with the Institute offering
my instructional design services in exchange for Conference tuition.
This conference project is reported on under the Authentic Leadership
Report in the Showcase section of my portfolio.
Demonstration of Competency 1:
Continued improvement of professional practice that requires critical
inquiry, professional development, and reflective practice
The Emerging Leaders program research provided me with many opportunities
to fulfill this requirement. In meeting the assignment objectives
I researched multiple resources to develop a concise spreadsheet
of information that the University has continued to use to meet
training needs. This research required critical thinking skills
to discriminate the valuable information from the mundane offerings.
Further, the recommendation I made required reflective practice
to share, communicate and justify my opinions in meetings. The development
of the ELP site also improved my professional development by allowing
me to refine my technology skills. Lastly working on this project
planted the seeds of my further professional relationship with the
Demonstration of Competency 5:
Manages complex projects and resources in support of learning
The University Leadership Development Institute is a complex ongoing
series of projects in training and leadership development in which
I played a part. I was entrusted to research and report on a complex
series of objectives, which required me to be both self-directed
and resourceful in support of anticipating and enriching the University’s
training programs. The resources I archived will be useful to ULDI
for several years to come. My continuing involvement with Joanne,
to keep her updated on new leadership resources in the local community,
will enable me to continue providing support.