For the first time in the history of the Organizational Development Consortium (ODC), the annual conference left the campus of Wake Forest University and arrived at the foot of Pike’s Peak at beautiful Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This begins a rotational model that will take the conference to new campuses on even-numbered years. Wake Forest will continue to host the event on odd-number years.
Attendees were welcomed by conference organizers during a reception on Sunday evening. Mingling and networking began as new and returning conference goers interacted. Excitement grew for the days to come.
Monday morning began with a salutation from Colorado College’s Director of Human Resources, Barbara Wilson. She then introduced event’s keynote speaker Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler, Colorado College President. Dr. Tiefenthaler powerfully spoke to the importance of professional development in Higher Education. She outlined her efforts as Colorado College President to ensure that faculty and staff on her campus were nurtured and offered opportunities to better themselves. The emphasized the importance of partnering with leadership and the critical nature of dynamic events and programs to keep engagement high. Dr. Tiefenthaler previously served as Provost at Wake Forest University and was pivotal in the creation of the Professional Development Center.
John Champlin, of Wake Forest University’s Professional Development Center, offered a brief review of the mission of the ODC and the history of the conference, now in it’s 6th year. Afterward, the People Development team from Denver University presented on their people development program based on the Colorado 14ers (peaks in Colorado that are at least 14,000 feet above sea level). The breadth and depth of the offering impressed and inspired many in attendance.
Next, University of New Mexico’s Mary Farias spoke about mindfully and purposefully developing and retooling leadership development programs to fit the needs and culture of the university. She reminded attendees, “You can’t teach leadership development. But you can create experiences that allow individuals to engage in leadership.”
Following lunch and a campus tour, Dr. Melissa Clodfelter, Director of the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest University, offered a model of using coaching to benefit organizational inclusiveness. She demonstrated how coaching, a growing service on campuses, can be a gentle catalyst for inclusion and social justice. Melissa was followed by Dr. Paul Buckley who leads several of Colorado College’s diversity and inclusion initiatives for faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Buckley, Assistance Vice President and Director of the Butler Center, provided context to their workshops around D&I and offered a simulation to those in attendance.
To close the day, a panel of representatives from Colorado College and Wake Forest University spoke to lessons learned from recent launches of campus-wide professional development programs. Attendees then informally gathered and networked over dinner in downtown Colorado Springs.
Tuesday’s sessions began with Jillian Gonzales from the University of Mexico discussed how she uses Motivational Interviewing in her work to enhance staff engagement. Motivational Interviewing is a tool the focuses on client-centered conversations that can generate deeper levels of understanding and support. The final conference session featured Allie Cox from the University of Georgia and Andy Lang from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They provided insight into how the UGA Training and Development team partnered with graduate students in the UGA College of Education to develop effective evaluation techniques for a leadership development program.
The conference concluded with the much-beloved Roundtable Q&A with topics covering assessments, Learning Management Systems, fees for workshops, faculty development opportunities, program evaluation, and much more.
Many thanks for the Jessica Bridge and Lisa Brommer for Colorado College for planning a wonderful event. Additionally, thanks are owed to all of the fantastic presenters and every attendee. Your participation and spirit make this event special every year.
The 7th Annual Organizational Development Consortium Conference will be held May 21-23, 2017 on the campus of Wake Forest University.
Institutions in attendance: Baylor University, Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University – Global, Colorado State University, Columbia University, Grinnell College, Loyola Marymount University, Macalester College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, North Carolina State University, Pikes Peak Community College, Purdue University, Santa Clara University, St. Olaf College, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas, University of Denver, University of Georgia, University of New Mexico, Virginia Tech University, Wake Forest University, Wake Technical Community College, Washington & Lee University