Associate Dean, Teaching, Learning, Research Clemson University
In July of 2021, as part of a library-wide reorganization, three new administrators external to the institution joined an academic library’s leadership team, tasked with leading separate divisions within the library and creating cross-campus partnerships with other institutional leaders. These leaders, from diverse backgrounds and experiences, began their positions simultaneously. They immediately formed a cohort leadership team, creating a safe space to discuss challenges related to situational contexts, institutional history, positionality as leaders from different underrepresented groups, and the impact of these experiences on each administrator. Multiple components of this unique experience which the presenters will address include: -Learning and adapting to an organization and its culture as a new employee, and the impact of local history and regional culture on individuals new to the area. -Stepping in as a new leader, creating a vision and mission, and learning the needs of your departments -Simultaneously leading change management, serving as a change agent, and taking part in the reorganization process. -Dealing and providing creative solutions to urgent matters, planning for strategic directions, and aligning services with institutional priorities. -The importance of sharing these experiences as a part of a cohort of new leaders, and the positive impact of a peer support network. -The value of having and expanding a network of mentors and allies with whom they can engage for suggestions and feedback. The presenters hope that this presentation will result in reflections of attendees on their own leadership development and how peer support networks might benefit their leadership experiences.