Historically institutions of higher education have been challenged when academic leaders are recruited and either promoted from within or recruited from outside the institution. Typically the selected candidate may have little or no practical experience leading a department, no formal education in management or leadership, or in the mentoring process. Yet our department heads, deans and executive leadership are expected to manage large and complex budgets with multiple funding streams, manage and direct fairly large numbers of talented faculty and staff. They are also expected to develop strategic plans, direct their areas of responsibility and to collaborate with other colleagues to advance the mission of our institutions.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has built a leadership institute to address these needs, to invest in our future leaders and to create a critical mass of academic and administrative leaders that are better prepared to work together and lead our institution in the future.
UTHSCSA has contracted with the UT System’s Leadership Institute to provide facilitation and coaching for the LEAD program. The Leadership Institute was founded in 2008 to support leadership development efforts at all 15 UT System campuses and has achieved an overall 96 percent effectiveness rating for its programs.
Each year the executive committee members are asked to nominate candidates to attend the program. The nomination process is initiated in November.
The fifth cohort started the LEAD program on March, 2010. The average class is comprised of 24 Fellows and graduation includes presentations by all Fellows which are often poignant, passionate and enthusiastic.