“Leadership is defined by a particular kind of service,” says Suzanne Gulledge, clinical professor of Teacher Education, Curriculum and Instruction, International and Experiential Education and former chair of the faculty in the School of Education. Effective July 1, she begins as the new director of the Academic Leadership Program. The program coaches tenured and fixed term faculty members as they explore the challenges facing UNC and how they might help the university as leaders.
“Life as an educator was predestined by my love of learning and my love of school,” says Gulledge, whose background includes foundations and philosophy of education, work in faculty governance, and study abroad program leadership. She replaces Kim Strom-Gottfried, who has directed ALP for 8 years.
“A true champion of the ALP, Kim is a tremendous mentor and friend,” says Rob Kramer, Senior Leadership Consultant, who will work with Gulledge with the next cohort of ALP Fellows. “Her contributions to this program are immeasurable, but her legacy lives on through the many fellows she has impacted over the years.”
Gulledge cites Strom-Gottfried and Kramer as helping her develop her leadership style through her own participation in the Academic Leadership Program in 2014-15. She says it was an important time in her career. “Having had enough experience, I understood the challenges of leadership and my own weaknesses.”
Kramer said he looks forward to working with Gulledge.
“My experience with Suzanne is that she is incredibly insightful, highly experienced, and keenly attuned to understanding others and building relationships,” says Kramer.
In addition to her work as an educator, Gulledge outlined her plans in building on the work to build the ALP program to get faculty to think as leaders.
“I am thrilled to have Suzanne join the IAH,” says Director Mark Katz. “She brings so much to the position, but I am particularly excited about the perspective she brings as a Faculty Engaged Scholar at Carolina. She will help our academic leaders think about the impact of their work not only on campus but in the broader community as well.”
One of the ways Gulledge envisions expanding the reach of ALP is to tap in to UNC resources that include the arts programs and the Carolina Center for Public Service to be able to respond to current issues on the campus.
She says she is inspired by the space Hyde Hall gives to faculty, both in terms of time and place.
Gulledge is particularly struck by the Conversation Sculpture at Hyde Hall as a symbol for how the IAH serves faculty.
“There’s a wonderful sculpture… outside Hyde Hall. A stack of stones. I enjoy thinking of them in my own way,” she says, citing Celtic tradition of the cairn. “An item that lights the pathway. … Before people were literate, those who went in front would mark the way with stacks of stones, before people could read signs. It reminded me that we both are trying to follow a path way and that we have an obligation to communicate with other people. I think that’s a particular feature about this building, about Hyde Hall, about IAH, and about the ALP.”