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LeCroy Center Provost Dr. Pam Quinn shared her experiences from her two-week stay in Massachusetts at the 10-day Harvard Institute for Educational Management (IEM) in July.

IEM, which began 48 years ago as a six-week program, provides senior-level leaders with the tools to take on the challenges they deal with on a daily basis – be it fiscal challenges, new technologies or the relevance and effectiveness of higher education. IEM gives attendees the opportunity to work on leadership skills and develop strategies for long-term success in higher education.

In the first two days, speakers went over the “Four Frames” of leadership approaches.

“There’s structural, which is how leadership has to work through processes. The human resources piece is the people piece. If you can’t get the people going, nothing’s going to happen,” Quinn said. “The political piece is self-evident because there’s always political agendas at every level. The other part is symbolic and figuring out the symbolism behind things.”

Most of the attendees completed case studies before the conference began and some of the completed case studies were used as part of the learning experience.

“One of the case studies they discussed was on Southern New Hampshire University, which is running a lot of the CBE [Competency Based Education] programs and they really divided their entire university into traditional courses, online courses and CBE,” Quinn said. “They don’t try to mix all of this up because they said, ‘All of these different types [of courses] don’t really function well with each other.”

In the first week, there were sessions about external relationships, leadership in turbulent times, revenue and Division I athletics during the first week of IEM.

Quinn said she found the sessions on disruptive education very interesting, as they were presented by Christopher Dede. They met years before and Quinn has been following his research closely.

In the second week, speakers covered transformative change, race and diversity, student perspectives, financial management, governance and leadership.

“One thing that they do at Harvard is they ask undergrad students what they need from Harvard that they might not get from the courses,” Quinn said. “The number one thing students want is to improve their writing. They also need help with time management, reading strategies and public speaking. So I’m thinking if this is what Harvard students need, you can bet our own students need these kinds of things.”

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