Leadership Academy

OU’s Leadership Academy recognized with Excellence and Innovation Award

icon of a calendarOctober 30, 2019

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OU’s Leadership Academy recognized with Excellence and Innovation Award
Leadership Academy
OU's Leadership Academy

Oakland University’s Leadership Academy was recently selected as the winner of the 2019 American Association of State Colleges and Universities Excellence and Innovation Award for Leadership Development and Diversity.

The awards program, now in its sixth year, honors AASCU member institutions for excellence and innovation in several major areas of campus life and leadership; teacher education, civic learning and community engagement, international education, leadership development and diversity, regional and economic development, student success and college completion, and sustainability and sustainable development.

“I’m very excited about this recognition and acknowledgement of Oakland’s commitment to Leadership Development,” said Willie Tuggle, learning and organizational development manager at Oakland University.

The OU Leadership Academy, available to all university employees, helps 16 university leaders each year acquire and develop the tools and mindset they need to thrive in their careers. The program includes 360-degree feedback assessment and coaching, allowing participants to reflect on their development. Of the three previous cohorts, 47 participants have completed the program. Ten of those have been promoted within Oakland University and/or assigned to different initiatives on campus. 

This year, Oakland University has partnered with Drs. Michelle Hammond and Gregory Thrasher, faculty of the Department of Management and Marketing, to create a development program tailored for OU faculty and/or staff members in leadership positions who have been chosen to participate in the program based on a self-nomination and executive selection process.

“We’re both thrilled to be part of the Leadership Academy, and even more proud that our university is investing in employee’s leadership development,” Hammond said.

In addition to attending monthly seminars, participants in the program will also complete readings and assignments in order to learn to:

• understand best practices in leadership behaviors and change management;

• assess their own behaviors in relation to best practices;

• engage in effective development of leader-follower relationships;

• set meaningful goals for themselves and their team;

• understand and manage their department’s overarching values and culture;

• identify and utilize effective stress-management strategies; and

• have a greater appreciation for diversity of perspectives.

“It’s a great program,” Thrasher said. “I think I can speak for both Michelle and I when I say it has been amazing to connect with all of these talented and engaged leaders from across the university. We both teach leadership courses, research the topic and spend a lot of time talking about leadership — but it’s always gratifying to put all of that into meaningful practice within our own organization.”

Oakland University was selected to receive the award following an evaluation by the AASCU Standing Committees, including the Committee on Professional Development.

Award recipients received an engraved sculpture and were recognized during the opening session of the 2029 AASCU Annual Meeting on Oct. 27 in Phoenix, during which the AASCU presented short videos about each of the award-winning programs.

“Each year, I am inspired by how AASCU institutions move the bar to serve their students and advance the economic and cultural development of their communities,” said AASCU President Dr. Mildred Garcia. “These Excellence and Innovation Award winners truly demonstrate how our members serve as Stewards of Place, prioritizing student success and leaving a lasting impact on their regions.”

For more information, visit aascu.org.

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