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
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.