Engineering Faculty as Leaders of Academic Change

Project Status
July 09, 2012
National Science Foundation
Two-day workshop on Developing Engineering Faculty as Leaders of Academic Change.
  • In June 2009, CASEE, with support from NSF via grant DUE-0814328, hosted a two-day workshop on Developing Engineering Faculty as Leaders of Academic Change.

The aim of the meeting was to invite engineering faculty with proven experience in the design, implementation, and institutionalization of educational experiences

  1. to share their lessons learned,
  2. to identify the key knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that other would-be change leaders need to develop,
  3. to provide their guidance on how such KSAs might be most effectively transmitted to others.

The premise of the workshop was that designing and implementing the curricular and instructional innovations necessary to achieve the Engineer of 2020 vision may require not only working within a single discipline, but also engaging constituencies in other disciplines and/or academic units. Thus, learning how to apply of the identified KSAs in cross-disciplinary and cross-unit contexts is particularly important.

he report, completed by the consultants from Purdue University who planned and implemented the workshop, documents the processes and outcomes of the workshop as well as offers a proof-of-concept module devoted to developing communication competence. Communication was the area identified by workshop attendees where the most development was needed. However, this is only one of sixteen areas considered. Our hope is that others will develop modules in the other areas. In the spirit of “open source” development, we offer the communications module as a starting point for others to tailor to their particular needs and encourage this same approach to be used should other modules be developed. Ultimately, the modules might be delivered in a national or on-campus workshop format of via some form of individualized learning (study guide, web, etc.). Regardless of the “open source” development model, we believe that sustainability will require the development of a business model appropriate to the particular delivery format chosen. However, we recognize that others may not share this belief.

CASEE worked in close consultation with a team of faculty at Purdue led by Prof. Beverly Davenport Sypher, associate provost for special initiatives and director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership. Other members of the team included Dr. Brenda Berkelaar, also of the Butler Center; Prof. Steven Abel, assistant dean for clinical programs in the Purdue School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Monica Cox, assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education, and Prof. Teri Reed-Rhoads, assistant dean for undergraduate education in the College of Engineering. We are most grateful for their creativity, energy, and perspicacity. The CASEE development team consisted of myself and Dr. Elizabeth Cady. Together, we dedicate this report to Prof. Kamyar Haghighi, founding chair of Purdue’s School of Engineering Education and originator of the vision for the workshop and its products.