What’s New

CUPA-HR National Conference

The Professional Development Center’s Andrea Ellis and John Champlin joined Wake Forest Human Resources representatives, Beth Fay and Phyllis Steele, at the 2012 CUPA-HR National Conference in Boston, MA September 9th-11th.  Conference highlights included keynote speeches by Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Agelab.

During Monday’s lunch, Andrea Ellis received the HR Innovation Award sponsored by Ellucian.  This award honors innovation that advances the human resources profession or contributes to the overall excellence of the profession.  The Professional Development Center is also proud to support fellow North Carolina Universities, East Carolina University and North Carolina Center University, who won national CUPA-HR awards.

Tuesday morning Andrea Ellis and John Champlin presented “Cultivating Your Organization to Realize Excellence” during a concurrent session.  In front of over 90 colleagues John and Andrea spoke about the structure of the Professional Development Center at Wake Forest, the launch of the CORE program, and offered guidance on how other colleges and universities could utilize campus resources to ensure development funds are used to the fullest.

CORE Update

The CORE (Cultivating our Organization to Realize Excellence) program is entering its second year of providing professional development opportunities for faculty and staff based on five CORE competencies.  Classes filled to capacity with constituents across campus and positive feedback from class surveys indicate CORE has had an extremely successful first year.

CORE will continue to strive to meet the needs of faculty and staff members.  With the 2nd year of CORE beginning there are two main changes that will affect the CORE program

-All classes in the Organizational Acumen competency will be “elective” classes.  Because many of the topics in this category are job specific, CORE participants are encouraged to attend those that are most relevant to their jobs or positions they aspire to perform.  Required/elective elements of the certification tracks will be changed to reflect this update.

-To help develop those who currently hold management positions, the CORE Leader Certification and certain “Leadership” competency classes will be open to people-managers only.  CORE participants should be attentive to the “Certifications” section of the “Event Details” to ensure that the class will qualify for credit.

Congratulations to the 2011 – 2012 LDP Participants

The PDC would like to congratulate the 2011 – 2012 participants of the Leadership Development Program. The (LDP) is open to administrative senior leaders and tenured faculty members who are in leadership roles, or who have a desire to attain one in the future.

The nine-month program, consisting of ten faculty and ten staff leaders, included six sessions that focused on critical leadership and management topics, a 360-degree evaluation, multiple leadership and personality assessments, and individual coaching.  The Program ended with a capstone presentation to the University Cabinet on Tuesday, April 24th.

Participants and Capstone Presentations     


Faculty and Staff Relations

  • Ms. Angela Culler, Human Resources
  • Ms. Lauren Corbett, ZSR Library
  • Dr. Lynn Neal, Religion
  • Mr. Brandon Gilliland, Financial & Accounting Services
  • Dr. Pat Lord, Biology
Best Places to Work

  • Ms. Polly Black, Center for Innovation, Creativity, & Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Anne Boyle, English
  • Dr. Michaelle Browers, Political Science
  • Mr. Jonathon Cardi, Law
  • Dr. Mary Gerardy, Campus Life

  • Ms. Lynn Book, Theatre
  • Dr. David Clark, Schools of Business
  • Dr. Mary Foskett, Religion
  • Ms. Wendy Parker, Law
Health and Wellness

  • Dr. Steven Giles, Communication
  • Ms. Nancy Crouch, Information Systems
  • Dr. Rebecca Thomas, Dean of the College
  • Mr. James Shore, Budget & Financial Planning
  • Dr. Peter Brubaker, Health & Exercise Science

The next Program will begin in Fall 2013 with applications being accepted in the spring of next year.

2nd Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference

On April 22, 23, and 24th Professional and Organizational Development colleagues from higher education gathered for the 2nd Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference at Wake Forest University.  The event, hosted by Wake Forest’s Professional Development Center, offered an informal opportunity to bring together professionals in this field to share best practices and to gain insight from each other.

Gathering in Reynolda Hall on Monday morning, representatives from Wake Forest University, North Carolina State University, Marymount University, Elon University, the University of Virginia, and University of North Carolina-Greensboro participated in workshops and listened to presentations on a variety of topics.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Roger Pearman, spoke on the the “3 Keys to Inspiring People.”  Dr. Pearman, a Wake Forest alumnus, addressed the importance of inclusion, control, and affection in driving engagement in any organization.

Stephanie Kelber from NC State University helped the group understand the challenges involved when “Managing Generations in the Workplace.”  Recognizing and managing the potential “clashpoints” between the four current workplace generations is critical for a high performing work team.

University of Virginia’s Bryan Garey led the group in an exercise to recognize best practices in “Supervisory and Managerial Development.” Attendees then worked through a case study in small groups to create a development plan for a university struggling to unify efforts to create a culture where managerial work is valued and practiced at a high level.

Following lunch in the Autumn Room, Dr. Eric Gladney presented on the innovative practices involving emotional intelligence being used by the Human Resources Services department at UNC-G.  By utilizing the impressive changes within Human Resources Services as a model, Dr. Gladney and his team hope to focus the university’s strategic plan on development through organizational capabilities.

To end the day, Dr. Bernadette Costello of Marymount University shared her process of “Contracting for Consulting Services.”  She outlined the importance of a clarification of roles, expectations, and goals and provided the group with a sample contract that she uses.

Tuesday morning featured a roundtable discussion of various topics including new staff orientation, performance management, departmental funding for development, charging for services, succession planning, online learning, and faculty/staff integration.

The conference was a great success and plans are already being made for the 3rd Annual Professional and Organizational Development Conference.  The conference will be held at Wake Forest University February 10-12, 2013.

PDC Book Review: The Difference

We have all heard that “two heads are better than one” but in Scott E. Page’s book The Difference we learn that it actually depends on the people involved.  Page’s main assertion is that Diversity trumps Ability.  In essence, the author posits that by bringing people together from diverse identities and varying cultures, we can strengthen a group to the point that it could outperform an expert.

As individuals we make decisions through mental toolboxes that are fueled by personal interpretations and heuristics.  These tools are potentially shaped by our ethnicity, gender, education, geographic location, etc.  Thus assembling people with different tools can greatly aid group problem-solving.

In his book, Page outlines various models and theorems that, at times, will test your quantitative reasoning skills.  These sections keep the book from being a jaunt of a read as you may find yourself revisiting paragraphs in order to fully grasp the probability and logic.  However, scattered throughout the book are vignettes that bring the math into day to day situations.  I found myself longing for more stories and fewer equations as Page supports his underlying assertion.  I reached the point during the reading that I no longer cared to imagine the outcome if Mary, Carla, and Chen had to decide the best way to assemble a log cabin.  I wanted a firm example rooted in Page’s research or academic study.

The author is forthright about the nature of the book and explains in good detail that there is some initial muck to wade through before he can get to the heart of the matter.  Thankfully, Page litters his book with comedy, frequently in the form of asides to the reader.

For the casual reader, Page’s introduction and conclusion are informative and enlightening without delving too deeply into the driving statistical reasoning.  Page writes in his Epilogue, “We should recognize that a talented ‘I’ and a talented “they” can become an even more talented ‘we.’”  While at times I found Page’s writing to be difficult to muddle through, I am thankful for the knowledge that I gained from his book and will be able to apply it personally and professionally in my career.

Review by John Champlin

CORE Information Sessions Attract Campus Community

With the release of CORE on September 8th, interest has grown across campus and many community members have attended an Information Session to learn more about the program.  The PDC has held 5 “Introduction to CORE” sessions at locations across campus.  In total, over 80 interested individuals have attended, representing more than 35 academic and administrative departments.  The campus response has prompted the PDC to add two more information sessions.  Additionally, CORE classes for the fall are almost all at capacity.

The campus response to CORE has been fantastic.  The PDC continues to work to provide courses that meet the needs of faculty and staff alike as we strive to build upon the CORE competencies:  Communication, Community, Leadership, Organization Acumen, and Personal Progression.  If you have suggestions, please contact us at pdc@wfu.edu, or contact John Champlin directly at 758-6109.

Bringing Together Faculty and Staff for the Good of the University

The PDC was featured in the “Fresh Ideas” section of The Higher Education Workplace Magazine.

The article discusses how the Professional Development Center filled a cross campus need at Wake Forest; “Interviews, focus groups and surveys revealed abundant professional development opportunities, but a lack of communication between departments, both academic and administrative.”

The article, written by Dr. Andrea Ellis, can be found at Silos Belong on Farms: Wake Forest University’s Professional Development Center Brings Together Faculty and Staff for the Good of the University (pdf).