Emerging Leaders Project Report


Problem Statement
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.

Situation Analysis

This project had multiple objectives.
The collection of the raw data of current trends and issues facing Universities.
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 for users.
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.

Learner Analysis
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

Instructional 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.

Click 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 original objectives.

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 and fireworks.
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 leadership skills.

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.
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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 Shambhala Institute.
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.