The Berea/Centre Leadership Colloquium held its first meeting at a luncheon hosted by Centre College in Danville, Ky., on Dec. 11 . The year-long collaborative program aims to help the 24 faculty and staff participants become more knowledgeable and effective leaders on their respective campuses.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Berea faculty and staff to meet their peers at Centre and for the group to engage in thoughtful, intentional work to improve the way we collectively approach all aspects of higher education,” said Chad Berry, Berea’s academic vice president and dean of the faculty. “I’m looking forward to the tangible outcomes that we’re building toward over the next 12 months.”
Over the course of several years, Berry worked with Centre College counterpart, Dean Stephanie Fabritius, to create this initiative. Fabritius is the vice president for academic affairs and a professor of biology.
Each participant received a copy of Transformative Conversations – A Guide to Mentoring Communities Among Colleagues in Higher Education to read prior to the kickoff luncheon. Peter Felten, one of the book’s four authors (H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Aaron Kheriaty and Edward Taylor are the others), spoke at the luncheon and shared some insights about the concept of the book and what impact the authors hope it will have on the college community. After lunch, Berry and Fabritius assigned two participants from each college to join together to create four-person formation mentoring communities (FMC). Each FMC will meet monthly to assist each other with an issue or project a member is working on individually. The full group of 24 participants will also convene each month to discuss a range of issues in higher education, including budgeting, fundraising, and conflict management/difficult conversations. After a break during the summer, the group will reprise its monthly meetings and focus on enrollment, student life, diversity/inclusion/equity thinking, and strategic thinking/planning.
The leadership colloquium will conclude with a final session in December 2018, at which the participants will develop individual strategic plans to apply to their work at their respective colleges.