Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Faculty Involvement
Diversity Digest Volume 9, Number 2

Diversity Digest
Volume 9,
Number 2
(2006)

Download our print issue (PDF)
Campus-Community Connections
Intercultural Learning for Inclusive Excellence
Why Allen and Joan Bildner and the Bildner Family Foundation Funded a Statewide Diversity Initiative
Learning to Listen as We Lead
Institutional Models That Cultivate Comprehensive Change
Curricular Transformation
Where Worlds Converge
Curricular Transformation through Collaborative Teaching
Intercultural Learning in First-Year Seminars
Research
Designing Intercultural and Cross-cultural Spaces
Enhancing Collaborative Leadership of Faculty and Staff
Faculty-Driven Curricular Change
Diversity as Shared Practice
Dialogue Groups at Princeton University Library
Faculty Involvement
Epistles, Posters, and Pizza
Forging Campus-Community Connections
"Beyond Food"
Cross-cultural by Design
Student Experience
Something to Declare
Putting Student Voices in Public Spaces
Café Bergen
Institutional Leadership and Committment
Assessing Diversity Attitudes in First-Year Students
Infusing Cultural Competency into Health Professions Education

Enhancing Collaborative Leadership of Faculty and Staff

By Joe Marchetti, vice president for student affairs, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

A significant learning opportunity emerges when faculty and staff come together as a team to conduct workshops and presentations that address successful and not-so-successful aspects of the initiative.

The campus community at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey enjoys stronger bonds because of a valuable collaborative effort—the New Jersey Campus Diversity Initiative, made possible by the Bildner Family Foundation. From the program’s early stages to the final assessment, faculty, staff, and student leaders were involved in its development and delivery. While there are always challenges involved in planning and implementation, the program—which involved student-centered learning related to diversity and intergroup relationships—moved forward with ease and effectiveness.

The following strategies might accelerate the implementation of similar initiatives on other campuses:

1. Involve representatives of major constituencies in the early stages of planning, and involve senior administrators from both academic and student life areas. At Stockton, the vice president for student affairs was involved with reviewing the original draft of the grant and participated in training and orientation sessions along with academic leaders and faculty. This “buy-in” from top leadership ensured ongoing commitment from the campus life offices.

2. Provide workshops and seminars that inform key participants and the larger campus community of the program’s successes. A successful plan includes opportunities to build support among all constituencies involved with the program. At Stockton, we made deliberate efforts to make our constituencies feel part of our ongoing programs: faculty who teach freshman seminar courses, new freshmen joining the college/university, campus life staff who regularly conduct cocurricular programs for student government members, residential and community assistant staff, and club and organization leaders.

3. Participate in academic and student life conferences and seminars that address the issue. A significant learning opportunity emerges when faculty and staff come together as a team to conduct workshops and presentations that address successful and not-so-successful aspects of the initiative. In our instance, faculty and the vice president for student affairs made presentations at several national and regional assessment conferences.

4. Develop a mechanism to measure the effectiveness of the sponsored programs, and link the programs to existing institutional structures and initiatives. Institutionalizing specific programs and services is a critical issue. In our case, the Division of Student Affairs was developing intended student learning outcomes for its various programs and services. After spending more than a year discussing learning outcomes, a joint task force that included faculty and staff developed a rubric for further review and implementation. The use of Bildner-initiative faculty in this process will solidify efforts to develop learning outcomes for students, including engagement in cocurricular activities.

5. Communicate your success both on and off campus, giving credit to those working at the “grassroots” level. The success of most programs involves recognition. We have sought to highlight the work of those involved with the initiative through press releases, newsletter notices, and personal notes of appreciation.

These strategies will contribute to the success of initiatives to deepen the collective leadership of faculty and staff on campus. Of course, there are cautions that cannot be overlooked. Know your political environment. Know where and with whom you need to build consensus. Without support at the vice presidential or provost level, sustaining the outcomes will be difficult. Key faculty members with enough seniority and acumen to move various programs through the maze of administrative structures are critical to the success of the program. Finally, allowing students to “tell their story” as a result of their exposure to the program is the best advertisement for future initiatives and funding.

Questions, comments, and suggested resources should be directed to campbell@aacu.org.
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