At the October Presidents’ Forum, Dr. Merodie Hancock, president of SUNY Empire State College, led a panel discussion on a topic about which I am passionate -- addressing the need for development of leaders for today and the future to advance the digital and alternative learning environment. Questions addressed by the panel and participants included: How do we prepare leaders for the nontraditional environment? How do we build skills sets (and also define them) to work across institutions in our industry? How do we build policy skills in our emerging leaders to enable them to work with regulators and accreditors? How do we engage emerging leaders in pre-lobbying and/or train them in how the politics of higher education work and how to influence change in this world? To what opportunities do we need to expose emerging leaders in navigating the diversity of voices embedded in leading higher education today, and for the future?
In this discussion of leadership development, I was reminded that we as leaders need to model the way. Transparency, truth, and authenticity were characteristics that came to mind as the various panelists and participants spoke.