Leadership development and mentoring have been shown in numerous studies to be among the most successful ways to engage and help faculty members learn and grow. UNC Charlotte ADVANCE has intentionally focused attention on this type of career growth and leadership development offerings. The ADVANCE Faculty Mentoring Program provides professional support for tenure-track faculty.
UNC Charlotte ADVANCE established Leadership UNC Charlotte in recognition of the critical and central role that climate and experience at the departmental level play in the success of faculty.
This campus-based leadership effort offers department chairs and other leaders an opportunity to explore and seek solutions to some of the challenges which they confront and for which they may need more training. The format for Leadership UNC Charlotte provides for a series of six to eight meetings during the course of the academic year.
The group works together in small teams to address issues and consider possible solutions. They hear from speakers from various colleges and departments, as well as gaining insights from external speakers. They develop relationships across colleges that are intended to provide them opportunities for sharing ideas and leadership across the university. Topics focus on issues such as creating an inclusive community and building consensus among faculty, successful faculty recruitment, faculty development and evaluation, effective departmental communication, negotiation skills, effective planning and managing change, leadership skills and balancing roles.
To maximize discussion time and build a sense of cohesiveness and trust, ADVANCE limits participation to twenty-four people for each annual class. A commitment to the entire program is required. Chairs and Deans may nominate members of their departments to attend this series, by outlining why a particular nominee would benefit from the program.
In an effort to address issues that are relevant for participants, the planning committee continues to invite participants to suggest or refine topics as part of the program. The program relies on the use of case studies and other materials to encourage discussion. Each session reserves time for participants to raise "hot topics" for discussion. Depending on the session topic, either internal or external facilitators lead the sessions.