March 5, 2019
Over the past two years, we have embarked on a robust professional development series in the Division of Student Affairs. We are investing in ourselves, helping us effectively engage with every student we encounter.
The depth and breadth of our professional development series is impressive. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve accomplished so far. We have sponsored six renowned speakers at various meetings, including Dr. Beverly Chiodo and Joyce Sparks, experts in leadership development. They helped our team members look inward, presenting on topics that included understanding the concept of time, effective leadership and emotional intelligence.
Our ongoing professional development series also strengthens our team’s knowledge and capabilities. Our senior leadership hosted the New Staff Welcome, sharing insight and vision. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®) is increasing self-awareness of diversity and promoting intercultural communication for staff across the Division. The True Colors® Keys to Personal Success Seminars help staff understand the differences in the ways people view their strengths and how they communicate as team members.
In addition to Division offerings, professional development happens in smaller groups. For example, Senior Team members read and discussed chapters from the book “Leading Innovation and Change.” Each Senior Team member presented on various chapters, ranging from the “Case for Change” to “Mobilizing Student Affairs for Innovation.” The Student Affairs Leadership Team read “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” and reflected on personal awareness, handling emotions and managing interpersonal relationships with empathy.
Last month, distinguished national student affairs leader Dr. Larry Roper visited with Division staff and campus partners for a two-day program. I continue to reflect on his words about building and nurturing relationships during difficult times. He also shared a framework to help balance our personal views with our professional roles at the university. Survey results from the program showed that our staff had a better understanding that a sense of community can be fostered among individuals with different outlooks.
As we are in the midst of this semester, please take time to reflect on what you have learned from these programs and how you are implementing in your daily work. I encourage you to continue discussing these new perspectives in your staff meetings. If you would like to share what you or your unit is doing with this knowledge, please email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will upload this information to this UT Box link.
Keep up the good work!
Your Vice President for Student Affairs