Leading from where you are: How the University is preparing leaders

By Costa Maragos Posted: June 27, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Some of the UR Leading participants (l-r) Sue Mitten, Ted Nokonechny, Ben Gamble, Annette Marche, Dr. Thomas Chase, co-chair of the Leadership Development Advisory Committee, Pamela Osmond-Johnson, Cheyanne Desnomie, Connie Heska, Murray Daku, and Sylvain Rheault (front). Missing are Lori Spanier, Kathryn Ricketts, Roz Kelsey, Deborah Hulston and Patty Niebergall.
Some of the UR Leading participants (l-r) Sue Mitten, Ted Nokonechny, Ben Gamble, Annette Marche, Dr. Thomas Chase, co-chair of the Leadership Development Advisory Committee, Pamela Osmond-Johnson, Cheyanne Desnomie, Connie Heska, Murray Daku, and Sylvain Rheault (front). Missing are Lori Spanier, Kathryn Ricketts, Roz Kelsey, Deborah Hulston and Patty Niebergall. Photo by Rae Graham – U of R Photography


The University of Regina continues to lay the groundwork for future leaders on campus.

Applications are now being accepted from faculty and staff for URLeading, the U of R’s premier leadership development program.

The program was piloted in 2016. Now, as an ongoing offering, it has 55 alumni spread out across the University from a variety of roles including associate deans, directors, professors, administrators and staff from various departments.
 
“I think that URLeading is important as the ‘pause” that allows both faculty and staff to intentionally consider the impact their leadership practice has on others and the institution,” says Sue Mitten, Learning and Development Advisor with the Human Resources Department and project lead. “In the time people spend in the program, they develop relationships across the institution; relationships that are continued after the program and benefit our students, research and communities. Finally, anyone coming into URLeading will leave with practical tools and skills which can be applied to the daily challenges they face.”

UR Leaders
UR Leading participants (l-r) Dr. Shahid Azam, Ray Konescni, Dr. Nilgun Onder, Dr. Richard MacLennan, Dr. Laurie Carlson-Berg, Melanie Sanford, Shukria Amani, Laura Sperlie, Terri Allard, Jenn Kostiuk, Dr. Thomas Chase, Sadia McInnes, Vincent Ignatiuk, Sue Mitten, Dr. Doug Cripps and Dr. Valerie Mulholland (missing: Maureen Voss).

The deadline to apply for UR Leading is Wednesday, July 12. 

We spoke with some of the people who took part in the sessions in 2016:

  • Doug Cripps, Associate Dean (Undergraduate) for the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
  • Terri Allard, Program Manager in Flexible Learning at the Centre for Continuing Education.
  • Cheyanne Desnomie, Student Success Facilitator at the Aboriginal Student Centre.

Overall, what do you think of the program?

Terri Allard - I thought the program was very beneficial to developing my leadership skills and was grateful for the opportunity to participate.

Doug Cripps - I found great value in the UR Leading Program and Sue Mitten does an excellent job in facilitating the initiative. Each aspect of the program had demonstrated, strong value. The program facilitators brought considerable expertise, the sessions allowed participants sufficient time for learning from others, and the self-assessment/self-reflective component enabled a deeper understanding of our personal leadership practices.

Cheyanne Desnomie - UR Leading was a valuable experience. The workshops and material delivered were interesting and had some great information on growing our leadership skills, and strategies on leading our teams and departments that we work for.

What did you get out of it?

Doug Cripps - I think one of the greatest benefits I received out of UR Leading was an increased awareness of my leadership style and how my particular leadership behaviours could enhance an initiative or project I am working on with others. The focus on a 360 analysis and Leadership Practices Inventory allowed my colleagues in KHS to provide an evaluation and comment on their perception of my leadership. This perspective proved to be incredibly valuable.

Cheyanne Desnomie - For me, what I valued most about the experience was connecting with other participants of URL from different departments and faculties that I would not normally have the opportunity to engage with.  

Terri Allard - I came away with a better understanding of myself as a leader. It not only gave me the knowledge and skills to be a better leader by affirmed what I was doing right.

What does it mean to connect in this way with people from other departments?

Cheyanne Desnomie - During the course of the program we were to pick a "learning partner" that we would work with and were to meet with outside of the scheduled workshop days. My partner was Deborah Hulston from the ESL department and was super helpful and great to get to know. We met for coffee about twice a month to discuss things and help each other out.

Terri Allard - An unexpected bonus was the connections and relationships I built with colleagues I otherwise would not have had the chance to.

Doug Cripps - This approach allowed me as a UR Leading participant to become more acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities other units on campus face and how my role as an Associate Dean can impact not just how I may respond, but how others in my unit or circle of influence may respond as well.   

What would you say to others thinking of applying to be a part of this?

Terri Allard - Take the opportunity that has been provided. At first glance it might seem as though it is too time consuming, but it really is worth it.

Cheyanne Desnomie - It’s definitely a good experience. The networking and meeting other members of the university community and working with them was such a great experience.

Doug Cripps - I would strongly encourage all leaders at the University of Regina to participate in UR Leading. The program forces participants to become more self-reflective, and one can't help but become more aware of broader university issues and how our own individual roles influences those around us.

UR Leading is features two program groups; URLeading 1, is aimed at faculty and staff who have been in leading positions fewer than two years or employees who aspire to lead. URLeading 2 is designed for those in positions for more than two years, and to encourage success in roles such as department head, associate dean, director, program head and/or dean.

For more information please visit here or contact Sue Mitten at sue.mitten@uregina.ca.

You’re encouraged to contact those who have taken the sessions. Please visit here for more details.