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Last year, Illinois and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore formed a partnership to research and develop curricular materials and resources for a new academy at NTU aimed at higher education leaders in Asia. This spring, Illinois experts presented the first course offered through the academy to about 35 department heads, deans and other rising university leaders.
“These are some of the hardest jobs around, in very complex environments with enormous pressures,” said C.K Gunsalus, director of Illinois’ National Center for Professional and Research Ethics (NCPRE). NCPRE is conducting the research and developing curricular materials, funded through a $2.7 million grant from NTU.
“Our work is designed to provide practical tools that incorporate our work on the integrity of research environments and our deep experience in leadership development.” Gunsalus said.
The three-day course, held March 24-26 in Singapore, covered such topics at negotiation, recruitment and retention, and common leadership challenges. NTU Deputy President and Provost Freddy Boey, Illinois Engineering Dean Andreas Cangellaris, Provost Ruth Watkins from the University of Utah, and Jesse Delia, executive director of Illinois’ Advanced Digital Sciences Center in Singapore, participated in a panel discussion that explored the elements of strong academic leadership and tools needed for success.
The Leadership Academy will reconvene in October 2015, to coincide with Singapore’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Other resources are being developed for asynchronous and independent work, and NCPRE continues to extend its work on the Survey of Organizational Research Climate and adapting it for cross-cultural uses.
“Illinois excels in its interdisciplinary resources for research and professional ethics, the evaluation of research climates, and interactive, experiential education,” Gunsalus said. “This leadership academy brings together a lot of those strengths, and we hope it will contribute to the continuing education of the university leaders of the future.”