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"Developing and Retaining Leadership Talent: Fostering Advancement for Diverse Faculty and Staff," Pamela Eddy. Part of the Dean's Diversity Lecture series.

Champaign , USA
104 Illini Union

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Dr. Pamela L. Eddy from the College of William and Mary will speak at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus on April 13, 2017.

Speaker Information:

Dr. Pamela L. Eddy, College of William and Mary

Leadership receives a great deal of attention in books, TED Talks, and board of trustee meetings.  A central question in all this coverage is how to develop effective leaders to lead the change demanded and required in higher education.  The list of expectations for leaders is long—manage a complex organization with declining governmental support, deal with public calls for accountability linked to performance, and build innovative classroom environments in which all students can learn.  Against this backdrop is a growing leadership dilemma.  A full 58% of sitting presidents are 61 or older, and half of all presidents indicate intentions to leave the office within the next five years.  Most departing presidents plan on retiring, becoming consultants, or are unsure of their plans. Yet, the most likely candidates for presidential positions, Chief Academic Officers, indicate no interest in pursuing the top college position of President.  This leadership void has ripple effects within colleges and universities.  Who will become tomorrow’s leaders?

This session focuses on the portrait of today’s college leaders, which shows top-positions remain stubbornly filled by White males, and suggests strategies for rethinking constructions of leadership ideals.  Despite leadership development programs targeting women and diverse leaders, these populations have not obtained equity in leadership ranks.  New visions of leadership require questioning who can be considered for leadership and where leadership occurs.  Development of mid-level leaders and changing norms of who gets access to leadership development can provide leverage for change.  Questioning underlying assumptions about leadership is required for true change to occur, however, and both individuals and institutions can contribute to building the new models of leadership.  Institutional policy can help create a climate that fosters more diverse leadership and addresses structural issues that remain as barriers.  Our colleges and universities need to tap into the talent of all potential leaders.


Devean Owens

The College of Education, The Office of the Provost, The Office of Community College Research and Leadership