Interdisciplinary team delivers intensive education leadership program

March 15, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This week Penn State has welcomed a cohort of higher education leaders from India to the University Park campus as part of a collaborative leadership development program between Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University) (IIT (BHU)), Varanasi, India, and Penn State. An interdisciplinary team of faculty from the College of Education and the Smeal College of Business, hosted by Penn State Executive Programs, is sharing its collective expertise with 26 officials from 15 higher education institutions in India.

The officials are on the Penn State University Park campus March 11-15 for a one-week immersion into the world of higher education administration in the United States as part of the Leadership for Academicians Program (LEAP) initiative from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India. The mission of this initiative is to develop the leadership and managerial capabilities of the emerging generation of higher education leaders so that they can contribute toward the advancement of academia in India including goals such as equity, access and quality in the field of higher education.

Prior to coming to Penn State for the custom leadership development program, program attendees completed two weeks of training at IIT (BHU). The week at Penn State was developed by faculty from the Smeal College of Business and the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE). During their visit, the group also met with faculty in the College of Engineering's School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs; Invent Penn State; and members of various other departments to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The LEAP program has been led by a core team of leaders from Penn State Executive Programs; the College of Education, and IIT (BHU) committee members, including: P.K. Jain, professor and chairman of the committee; Rajiv Prakash, professor and coordinator; and Yogesh Velankar, organizing team member.

"In an era of globalized markets, communications and student mobility, higher education leaders are striving to understand the forces of internationalization that shape institutional excellence," said Kevin Kinser, professor of education (higher education) and head of the Department of Education Policy Studies in the College of Education. Kinser, drawing on his international scholarship and global partnerships, served as academic co-leader of the LDP with James Thomas, former dean of the Smeal College of Business.

Curriculum topics included academic leadership, equity-enhancing governmental and institutional policies, strategic planning, institutional accountability, intercultural communication, performance and financial management.

"These topics are among CSHE's and Smeal's core areas of strength," said Alicia Dowd, professor of education (higher education) and director of CSHE, one of the oldest and largest such centers in the United States. "Providing access, equity and quality are among the most challenging areas of higher education leadership today, and they are global challenges."

The CSHE faculty drew on their decade of experience teaching the Academic Leadership Academy for U.S. higher education leaders to share knowledge resources and guide tailored learning activities, including interactive case study and simulated leadership challenges.

Participants who successfully complete this program will emerge with a broad range of effective strategies to promote the success and vitality of their institutions, and will be equipped to leverage program activities and insights to build their leadership and organizational capabilities.

Penn State Executive Programs

As part of the Smeal College of Business, Penn State Executive Programs builds leadership and organizational capabilities to address pressing challenges in both the public and private sector. Penn State Executive Programs also partners with major multinational organizations to deliver custom learning solutions in areas such as leadership and strategy, supply chain management, and business-to-business marketing. Learn more at online.

Penn State's Center for the Study of Higher Education

One of the nation's first research centers established specifically to study postsecondary education policy issues, center faculty members have engaged in research that has informed policy and decision-making at the institutional, state, national and international levels. The center also provides professional development and supports the educational offerings of the Higher Education program in the College of Education Department of Education Policy Studies.

Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi, India

The Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University) Varanasi, is situated in the campus of Banaras Hindu University spread over nearly 1,300 acres at the southern end of the ancient city of Varanasi on the banks of the holy river Ganga. This institution was originally established in 1919 as Banaras Engineering College and later converted as Institute of Technology in 1969, offering degree programs in nearly all engineering disciplines. It was converted into an Indian Institute of Technology by the Government of India in 2012. Learn more at online.

  • Participants in the Leadership Development Program

    LaWanda Ward, assistant professor of education, goes over a case study with members of the Leadership Development Program (LDP).

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz
  • Participants in the Leadership Development Program

    A participant in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) makes his report regarding the disposition of a case study.

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz
  • Participants in the Leadership Development Program

    Participants in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) enjoyed a walking tour of campus as part of the Leadership for Academicians Program (LEAP) at the Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University).

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz
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Last Updated March 15, 2019