On March 15, 2017, 26 faculty and staff graduated from Davenport’s inaugural Leadership Academy. A highlight of the graduation ceremony included a Leadership Panel Discussion. Special thanks to Dr. Pappas, Board of Trustee Chairman Frank Merlotti and Board Trustees Mary Tuuk and Michelle Van Dyke for sharing their leadership expertise. Additionally, thanks to all the EVP’s for their participation in the special celebration.
During the yearlong journey, participants were engaged in multiple professional development opportunities. For example, during the program orientation, President Pappas and Chairman Frank Merlotti, together with Dave Veneklase, helped set the tone and expectations for the program. Program participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and begin exploring the “Whole Person Paradigm” fundamental to the Leadership Academy approach. Participants also completed:
- Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results curriculum by FranklinCovey facilitated by Lynda Cribari and Keri Dutkiewicz
- Financial Model at DU, co-facilitated by Mike Volk and Michelle Georgevich
- 5 Dysfunctions of a Team facilitated by Dave Veneklase
- Data Analytics facilitated by Scott Epstein, Kathy Miner and Derick Fedewa
- Crucial Conversations curriculum by VitalSmarts facilitated by Lynda Cribari
- Experiential learning capstone event practicing core leadership and communication skills at Stone Creek Ranch, facilitated by Keri Dutkiewicz
- Small group project and capstone presentation focused on strategies to improve employee engagement and satisfaction, completed in cross-functional teams
- Davenport University’s Leadership Academy helps employees realize their leadership potential.
DU provides the training, resources, tools, and support to ensure employees develop the necessary skills to lead in a culture of quality. Leadership Academy also, as one participant explains, help participants create a fully customized “toolbox” – “I guess that I would say that [before Leadership Academy] I had a lot of the tools for being a leader, but didn’t have the complete toolbox to carry it in.”
Participants have learned the value of an inclusive work environment where engagement and empowerment drive key results and employee satisfaction. One participant explains that a key takeaway was the value of communicating people’s worth and potential to them, writing, “It was a joy to have discussions with my team about hopes, goals, aspirations, and our shared possibilities.” Leading in this manner advances Vision 2020 and will contribute to the University’s recognition as a “best place to work” allowing it to attract and retain top talent.
Details about the nomination and selection process for 2017-18 Leadership Academy will be announced in May.