“People can lead in a lot of ways,” says Kim Strom-Gottfried, who eight years ago began her work as director of the Academic Leadership Program (ALP). She just completed her last semester in this role.
In an interview with Michele Berger, director of the Faculty Fellows Program, Strom-Gottfried, who is also the Smith P. Theimann Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice at the School of Social Work, talked about what changes in leadership trends she’s observed in facilitating 64 faculty members through ALP.
She leaves a legacy of thoughtfully examining leadership in higher education to develop UNC faculty. What is her next move? She will be consulting in Saudi Arabia teaching deans and chairs at schools there. She is also finishing a book on courage.
“Leadership can be a very lonely place,” Strom-Gottfried says. “[Leaders] have to make decisions and hold confidences.”
Some lessons through the years in the program: “We tried to reduce the reading load and pick more significant kinds of reading, expanding the check-in; have the facilitators share more about ourselves more.”
“The wisdom of the fellows,” has been the most rewarding part of the job. She says she wishes she could go to past leadership roles with what she has learned in facilitating leadership development.
Strom-Gottfried cites Teresa Sullivan, president at University of Virginia. and James Duderstadt, former president of the University of Michigan, as her favorite leaders. “The question that is always interesting to me is: How do people rebound from problems?”