Texas Tech University

President's Leadership Institute Aims to Help Participants Achieve Excellence

Glenys Young

July 21, 2017


Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31.

President Lawrence Schovanec
President Lawrence Schovanec

Kaley Daniel was already a leader when she was accepted into the President's Leadership Institute (PLI) last year. As the director of communications and marketing for Texas Tech University Libraries, she was interested in the opportunity to learn about strategic planning and budget management while acquiring knowledge about leadership and team building.

"I went in hoping to pick up a handful of takeaways I could apply to my leadership style and, admittedly, thinking it would be a shining addition to my resume," Daniel said. "I left the institute as a changed leader – it's not my resume I'm concerned about adding to, but the resumes of those I have the opportunity to lead."

Daniel is just one of 84 Texas Tech faculty and staff members who have graduated from the program, but her experience of gaining more than she expected has been shared by countless others.

"Effective leadership at all levels is an essential trait of any organization, especially one with the size and complexity of Texas Tech University," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "These initiatives that promote the development of leadership skills not only enhance personal opportunities for our staff and faculty, but strengthen the entire university."

Each class is limited to 10 faculty and 10 staff members, according to Kerri Pike, business manager for the Teaching, Learning and Professional Development Center, which – until this year – operated the institute.

"The President's Leadership Institute provides faculty and staff with an opportunity to learn more about themselves, others they work with and how they can work together to become better leaders, whether in current or aspirational positions," Pike said. "Texas Tech possesses many solid leaders across campus, and this institute is designed to assist in expanding those leadership characteristics and guiding others who are interested in developing stronger leadership skills.

"The institute will also provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to interactively learn more about leadership styles, management tools and higher education administrative operations. They can then take these tools back and implement them in their own departments to strengthen them as well as Texas Tech."

The institute involves one day of instruction and leadership training each month from October through March. Topics include the importance of personal leadership, high-performance leadership, leadership for inclusivity, finances and strategic planning mission and values. Well-known leaders also will share with institute participants the paths that led them into leadership positions. And as PLI operations move under Human Resources this year, a move that ties it more closely to the Office of the President, a series of lunch-and-learn sessions will be implemented for continued leadership development of the institute's alumni.

"It is our goal for PLI participants and alumni to achieve leadership excellence and to continue with leadership development after they graduate from the program," said Jodie Billingsley, assistant vice president for Human Resources. "I believe these changes align with the revised mission of the program, which is to empower faculty and staff with a leadership foundation for the next century guided by the principles of engagement, innovation, inclusiveness and impact.

"The President's Leadership Institute is very fortunate to have David Miller, a Texas Tech alumnus and well-known leadership coach, continue to lead and facilitate the program. David uses a workshop-style approach combined with his expertise of building successful teams and strategic planning to lead participants in achieving personal excellence."

Daniel said she is honored and proud to be a PLI graduate and would readily recommend the experience to anyone interested in developing their leadership skills, because both the individual and the university benefit.

"I think Texas Tech gains more well-rounded faculty and staff leaders while broadening the team – from one new institute classmate to the next – which helps our students through their academic careers and sees them to graduation," she said. "What I didn't realize going into the institute was the potential for networking and learning about what other people do in departments across campus. I gained a whole new diverse network of contacts that I know I can reach out to for anything. Knowing people on campus is an invaluable advantage."

Applications for this year's class will be accepted online through Aug. 31.

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