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POD (Professional and Organizational Development) Leadership Development Institute

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Nov 9 2016
Nov 13 2016
America/New York

Goals of the POD Leadership Development Institute
Administrators are increasingly asking faculty developers to expand their services and provide leadership development for their colleagues. Even experienced faculty developers can find themselves facing new challenges when they think about providing leadership training for department chairs, deans, and other key leaders.  To address these challenges, every two years the POD Network sponsors the POD Leadership Development Institute.

We are currently accepting proposals from experienced POD members interested in hosting the 2016 Institute.

The Institute is designed to address the needs of faculty developers who have been asked to provide leadership training for faculty and academic administrators on their own campuses.  The Institute provides resources to get participants started in planning, developing, and managing programs that will be effective in strengthening academic leadership at their institutions. It also provides an opportunity for networking with experienced and new colleagues.

Target Participants

The target participants are typically those in or allied with the field of professional development for faculty.  Participants who would benefit from the Institute include: teaching center directors; faculty developers and those charged with the task of establishing a professional development center; individuals responsible for organizing, directing or chairing committees for leadership development activities; department chairs, deans, and others whose roles involve leadership with faculty; and instructional designers who are new to the field or aspiring to positions of leadership.

Responsibilities of Institute Hosts

Institute hosts should be experienced POD members with rich, significant experience in leadership development in higher education.  Institute hosts will:

  • develop a robust program that provides attendees an opportunity to advance their understanding of academic leadership development;
  • recruit a team of facilitators to assist with the implementation and assessment of the Institute;
  • incorporate evidence-based practices and research into the experience;
  • coordinate the logistics of a multi-day event for national and international attendees;
  • lead the publicity and recruitment efforts to attract attendees;
  • manage the expenses of the Institute in accordance with the proposed budget.

Approaches to Leadership Development

The Institute has a successful history of differing approaches to leadership development. In the past, institutes have focused on the processes, tools, and resources available to faculty developers interested in constructing leadership development initiatives on their campuses.  Other institutes have used topical issues in leadership development (i.e., inclusive leadership) to relate leadership development practices to timely issues that participant campuses might face. 

The selection committee acknowledges the variety of topics, theories, and practices that might best comprise a leadership development institute.  Therefore emphasis is placed on proposals that adequately demonstrate how the program will offer grounding in leadership development theory and practice.  Likewise, successful programs will demonstrate the relevancy of leadership development in the context of contemporary issues for which such leadership is needed.

A successful Institute will include:

  • Balance of experiential and content-based learning
  • Overall program coherence
  • Experience or expertise with selected topics
  • Grounded introduction to leadership development principles

About POD
The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) fosters human development in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development.  POD comprises nearly 1,800 members faculty and graduate student developers, faculty members, administrators, consultants, and others who perform roles that value teaching and learning in higher education. While POD members come primarily from the U.S. and Canada, the membership also represents many other countries.

The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education encourages the advocacy of the ongoing enhancement of teaching and learning through faculty and organizational development. To this end, it supports the work of educational developers and champions their importance within academic institutions. For the full mission statement, see

it can be used as a guide for other submission types. 

We cordially invite you to participate in the POD Network’s 41st Annual Conference to be held in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Hotel on November 9 – 13, 2016.

Our conference theme is Transformative Relationships: Fostering Cultures of Deep Learning.  We hope that this theme will inspire us to consider the ways that our work impacts change on a broader level through the relationships that we forge within our communities of teaching and learning. After critical reflection during the POD Network’s 40th anniversary where we looked inward about our own practices, we now turn to look outward to consider the types of relationships that would help us to expand our impact and engage in Paolo Freire’s vision of dialogic leadership:

“…to fail to think with the people is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders.”

—Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Inspired by Freire’s charge, we hope to invite educational developers to explore how to build deeper connections within our institutions and larger societies. How can these personal connections be seen as gateways to transforming our own professional practices and values, encouraging deep learning for our students and strengthening educational and organizational development missions on micro, meso, and macro-levels? Intentional focus on transformative relationships challenges us to take a direct look at the importance of person-to-person interactions. It calls for a shift from focusing only on outcomes and results to emphasizing genuine connections and shared growth. It calls us to go beyond the status quo and to dream of new opportunities to improve the quality of higher education – together. How do you and the people you work with relate to each other? How might learning be deepened by strengthening relationships? This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. bell hooks, has written about the potential for deep, transformative education that comes from learning that happens through community between teachers, students and the broader society. hooks encourages us to realize that:   

“When everyone in the classroom, teacher and students, recognizes that they are responsible for creating a learning community together, learning is at its most meaningful and useful.”

― bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom

We need to work together with our students, colleagues, partners, allies, mentors, and kindred spirits within and outside the institutions where we work in order to cultivate this type of community-engaged learning in the classroom and beyond. Through these relationships we can work towards fostering cultures of deep learning on a broader level. These collaborations may allow us to think beyond the status quo and challenge us to take action towards our shared vision of higher education.

In order to work more intentionally with our communities towards fostering cultures of deep learning, we offer up the following questions for consideration:  

  • What opportunities do we as educational developers have in engaging the beliefs of students, faculty, administrators and public policy makers about the values and benefits of deep learning?  
  • How can we support and encourage partnering with students in the enterprise of deep learning?
  • What might students, faculty, administrators and public policy makers think about how closely our current practices do the work of deep learning?

Thinking about deep learning at a cultural level also helps us consider how we need bigger structures to support and enable those practices.  

  • In what ways is fostering deep learning rewarded in our institutions?  
  • How is deep learning captured in the way that our institutions and policy makers measure success and then supported in key decisions about funding, human resources, tools, and facilities?  
  • How might we mobilize the “O” in POD and engage with the organizational focus of our profession to think at a structural level?
  • How can we ensure strong links between everyday practices in the classroom and the mission of the institution?
  • How can we broker engagement between the grassroots communities and top level leadership to encourage transformation organically?
  • How do we lay the groundwork for transforming paradigms, cultures, and structures?
  • How can we keep relationships going strong even through the difficult moments of implementing change, such as a curriculum redesign?

Thinking about collaborations in academic contexts might also lead us to think about the way we structure the production of knowledge in our institutions.  

  • Are we siloed within our disciplinary and hierarchical roles?  
  • Do we have language and practices that could allow us to foster connections across these traditional boundaries?  
  • What of the boundaries between institutions of higher education, policy makers and the public in general?  
  • How might a culture of deep learning help us forge relationships that work on the tension that often exists at these boundaries? (What are the tensions that have traditionally kept us from engaging in transformative relationships across boundaries?)
  • How can we engage with the various motivations that students and faculty bring to courses when creating learning experiences at different institutions?

Thinking about the potential for technology to enhance and provide new opportunities for learning might lead us to consider the ways that we can utilize and develop tools to expand collaboration and access to education.

  • How do we encourage faculty and graduate students to leverage technology to create spaces to learn and collaborate in ways that we haven’t learned before?
  • How can educational developers collaborate with teachers and students to envision ways technology can be used to decrease learning barriers?
  • How might educational developers participate in institutional decision making about how to employ technology to expand access to higher education?
  • How might educational developers use technology to mediate encounters between students and communities in order to generate opportunities for understanding and mutually envisioned innovation?

Finally, thinking about the ways we express the value of deep learning may open up space to reimagine traditional approaches to assessment of student learning, curricula, programs, and institutions as well as our own work as educational developers.

  • How well do current approaches to assessment of student learning and curricular effectiveness capture deep learning?  
  • How can we imagine approaches to assessment that are sufficiently individualized to capture depth but sufficiently standardized to be manageable and sustainable?  
  • How might we work across the boundaries between institutions of higher education and communities, industries, and government to develop assessment methods that measure student learning by real world standards?  
  • How can we engage our communities in assessing the effectiveness of our educational development practices?  
  • If we define excellence in educational development practices in part by the extent to which we engage in collaborative engagement with our communities, how might that transform our approaches to educational development?

Just as the fabric of any culture is comprised of the connections between its threads, so too must a culture of deep learning bring all of these partners and their perspectives together in order to achieve a transformative impact.  

We invite you to form transformative relationships with us. Please plan to join us as we celebrate this important benchmark in our organization’s ongoing progress.

Conference Date: 
Nov 9 2016 - Nov 13 2016
Application/Proposal Deadline: 
Mar 11 2016
Louisville, KY