Bulletin of Dental Education

Increasing Effective Leadership Skills Through the ADEA Leadership Institute

(Conferences and Meetings, Faculty, Involvement, Leadership, Learning) Permanent link   All Posts

Since 1999, more than 200 fellows from predoctoral, allied, and advanced dental education have participated in the ADEA Leadership Institute. Institute fellows hold positions ranging from department chairs to program directors to deans of dental schools. Throughout the year-long program, participants explore leadership styles, emotional intelligence, organizational theory, team building, stress management, work-life balance, strategies for leading change, and giving and receiving feedback. They also engage in self- and peer-assessment throughout the year as well as gain perspectives about oral health policy and legislation, organization and financing of higher education, budgeting, and other skills associated with effective leadership.

“Although I had attended a leadership program for women in higher education earlier in my career, the Leadership Institute offered a more in-depth program with a focus on dental education,” said Class of 2006 Leadership Institute graduate Denice C.L. Stewart, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., Oregon Health & Science University. “I knew the comprehensive nature of the curriculum and the quality of the faculty and mentors of the Institute would help me fine-tune existing skills and develop new ones in all aspects of leadership.”

According to the 2011 ADEA Leadership Institute alumni survey, 100% of respondents gave an overall positive assessment of their time in the program. The most beneficial experiences reported included sharing knowledge with and learning from colleagues, interaction with faculty and advisors, using the self-evaluation tools and creating a career plan, and peer evaluations.

“As an associate dean at the time I attended the Institute, I thought I had fairly good skills as an administrator and was pretty knowledgeable about leadership and managing change,” says Dr. Stewart. “The Institute process of self-assessment, reflection, and collaboration with peers was an eye opener on how much more I could learn about becoming an effective leader. Learning about other leadership styles and methods helped me work better with my colleagues and apply different techniques that were appropriate to a variety of situations. My view of leadership expanded in skill, scope, and application as a result of what I learned.”

“The beauty of the Leadership Institute is that it provides in-depth coverage of many aspects of being or becoming an administrator,” says Lisa E. Itaya, D.D.S., University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and current Leadership Institute participant. “Anyone thinking of being a leader in an institution should take the time to attend this program. It will help one to determine if the administration route is right for them. Leadership training in dental education just doesn't exist anywhere else. This is a fantastic program, and all mid-career educators who have an interest in advancing their careers should definitely attend this program.”

Fellows of the program have found that it opens up a wide avenue of career opportunities and perspectives. “I was able to expand my role at my home institution by leading several critical changes in our curriculum and clinic operations,” said Dr. Stewart. “I also have had the opportunity to serve dental education in several national leadership roles. Maybe these opportunities would have occurred regardless, but I doubt my contributions in these roles would have been at the same level without the Leadership Institute experience.”

To be considered, future participants must be nominated by their dean, program director, or the equivalent administrative leader at an ADEA Member Institution. Nominations should identify the nominee’s leadership experience and potential for higher levels of administrative leadership in dental and higher education. A nominees must be an ADEA member, have demonstrated prior leadership skills through roles at the institution, in the community, or through research, and have a clear track record of increasing administrative responsibilities. Nominations must be received on or before November 1, 2011. The nomination procedure is an exclusive online-based process. Candidates will be notified of their status on or before December 21, 2011.

Three resources can provide funding assistance for participants from institutions where funding is tight. The ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Allied Dental Educators Fellowship, the ADEA/Alpha Omega Foundation/Leonard Abrams Scholar in the ADEA Leadership Institute, and the ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive/National Dental Association Jeanne C. Sinkford Scholar in the ADEA Leadership Institute all provide financial assistance for individuals accepted as Institute Fellows.

Faculty at most dental schools wear many hats and have a great deal of responsibility, often prompting a response of “But I don’t have time to do this!” Dr. Stewart challenges that assumption. “One can’t afford not to go to the Leadership Institute. Certainly there is a time investment, but the rewards in learning, networking, and self-assurance are immense,” she says. “Taking the time to invest in yourself not only serves your career, but your school, university, and dental education at large will also benefit. There never seems to be a ‘good time’ to devote to improving our own skills, but it is important to do.”

For more information on the program, visit the ADEA Leadership Institute website or download the brochure (in PDF format). Please direct questions to the ADEA Division of Professional Development and Meetings at 202-289-7201 or leadershipinstitute@adea.org.

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