Thirty-one University of Wyoming academic department heads, directors, and associate deans are members of a new program aimed at developing leadership skills and fostering a positive leadership culture at UW.

UW LEAD was initiated this academic year by a group of UW deans interested in mentoring the next generation of campus leaders, says College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paula Lutz, one of the organizers.

The participants, nominated by their academic leaders, take part in monthly workshops on professional development and technical skills. They are scheduled to complete the program in late April.

“We have designed UW LEAD to provide an introduction to leadership issues in higher education as well as skill development to meet these challenges,” Lutz says. “We recognize that most academic leaders did not plan for careers in administration, nor did they feel fully prepared as they accepted their first leadership positions. Our ultimate goal is enhancement or rejuvenation of leadership skills and enthusiasm.”

All participants have or have had budgetary and personnel management responsibilities in their respective positions. With representation from nearly all of UW’s academic colleges, the group includes people new to campus and some who have been at UW for many years.

Among the issues the participants would like to address are recruitment and retention of students, interdisciplinary collaborations, attracting and retaining top faculty, building constructive partnerships with the state, communicating the value of higher education, articulating the value of a liberal arts education, and involving more women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Each participant has agreed to commit time and energy to be a part of UW LEAD, with the goal of gaining personally and contributing to an engaged community of campus leaders,” Lutz says.

Joining her in organizing the program were Jacquelyn Bridgeman, interim dean of the College of Law; John Mittelstaedt, interim dean of the College of Business; Joe Steiner, dean of the College of Health Sciences; and Susan Frye, dean of the Outreach School.

For a list of UW LEAD members, click here.