September 13, 2005
For more information, contact: Kimberly Stark (901) 333-4023
Southwest Participates in the
Regents Academic Leadership Institute
The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), Southwest Tennessee Community
College’s governing body, has a keen interest in helping academic
leaders on its community college and university campuses to further
develop and enhance their leadership skills.
With the new Regents Academic Leadership Institute (RALI), just launched
in June, the focus is on strengthening leadership for academic
department chairs, and two Southwest representatives are participating.
A couple of months ago, Mary Vines, chair of the Nursing Department, and
Dr. Cynthia Calhoun, professor and chair of the Department of Social and
Behavioral Sciences , began representing Southwest at the RALI Class of
2005’s first meeting at Montgomery Bell State Park.
Participants gathered at the park near Dickson “to assess leadership
styles, work with other academic leaders to solve actual problems,
develop an informal network of expertise, enhance personal leadership
skills, and develop mentoring and coaching relationships to provide
continued support.” Case studies and simulations will assist the
academic chairs as they analyze real issues faced by academic
administrators in Tennessee higher education. Quarterly meetings during
the yearlong program will address subjects of interest to the group.
TBR RALI participants choose mentors at their home institutions, and
together they will address campus issues important to the individual
participant. Martha Simpson, Associate Professor of Nursing is serving
as Vines’ mentor, while Calhoun is working with Dr. Karen Weddle-West,
Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Studies at the University of
“The program is very intense; however, it will provide opportunities to
network with other educators in other disciplines throughout the state
as well as with some educators from other states,” states Vines.
“Innovative education techniques can be identified and implemented here
at Southwest to enhance student success.”
“It is certainly an honor to be selected as a pioneer for such a
promising leadership program. The higher education institutions across
the state of Tennessee, including Southwest, will benefit from their
commitment to ‘grow their own’ academic leadership pool of scholars,”
Both participants see this as an opportunity to become more exposed to
effective management techniques that will assist in the overall
implementation of programs and with their own professional
TBR presidents nominate potential program participants, and a class has
a minimum of one representative from each of the 13 community colleges
(Southwest, the largest community college in the state has two
representatives) and two from each of the six universities in the TBR
system. Every effort is made to create a diverse group of departmental
chairs with a wide range of interests, expertise, and experience. The
Class of 2005 is compromised of 30 members. The selection process for
the Class of 2006 begins next spring.
Dr. Paula Myrick Short, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the TBR,
initiated the Regents Academic Leadership Institute and chose Dr. Treva
Berryman, TBR Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as its
Director. Berryman is not only the administrator of the program, but an
active participant. Consultant support to this leadership development
initiative is being provided by the Chair Academic of Mesa, Arizona.
For further information about this program, contact Dr. Short at (615)
366-4400. Vines is available at (901) 333-5426, and Dr. Calhoun may be
reached at (901) 333-4265.