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Excellence Is Focus of Expanded Professional Development Program

Posted Oct. 18, 2010

Kent State University is introducing an expanded version of its leadership development program that will give eligible faculty and staff a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills. The Institute for Excellence is a yearlong program designed to create and promote a culture of excellence.

The Institute for Excellence builds upon the knowledge and skills that were part of the Institute for Excellence in Leadership. The difference is that the new program has been expanded to offer two tracks: one for administrators and one for employees who are not in a managerial or supervisory role, who but have demonstrated the ability to contribute and lead change.

"We call this essential group of employees the 'individual contributor', says Bob Hall, manager of Human Resources Training and Development. Hall adds that, "President Lefton and the Cabinet have communicated very clearly that in order for the Excellence Agenda to continue to take root, leadership must exist at all levels of the university; this new version of the institute reflects that vision."

The focus for the administrator and individual contributor versions are quite different even though they are designed to facilitate development around many of the same qualities associated with excellence, collaboration, execution, agility, strategic thinking, foresight and communication.

The institute will begin in January, with the administrator and individual contributor tracks meeting monthly for either a full- or half-day session. The two tracks will meet separately, with some opportunities for joint sessions. A partial list of session topics include discussions with President Lefton and other Kent State officers, increased business acumen and financial literacy, emotional intelligence, two 360-degree assessments to benchmark skills, diversity in higher education and understanding team dynamics. The sessions will combine in-class discussions, self-development tools and opportunities for hands-on application.

There are eligibility requirements and an application process for each institute track. All participants must be employed full-time by the university for a minimum of two years and must have received a rating of "exceeds expectations" or higher on their most recent performance evaluation. The Institute for Excellence website includes a complete list of criteria, program dates and other important information.

Interested faculty and staff should read the online application worksheet and then complete the online application form. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31. Applicants selected for the Institute for Excellence will be notified by the end of the fall semester.

For more information, contact Hall at 330-672-0894 or