On June 10, 2014, Associate Professor Kuʻulei Serna was informed by President David Lassner’s office that she has been selected to participate in the University of Hawai‘i President’s Emerging Leaders Program (PELP). The program, which serves as a professional development opportunity for highly motivated faculty and staff, identifies and develops future campus and system leaders. Serna, who teaches in the School of Teacher Education and serves as the early elementary childhood education coordinator for the Leeward Coast, will join PELP’s fourth cohort.
“I am so honored to have been selected to participate in the President’s Emerging Leaders Program,” Serna said. “I have a deep sense of responsibility and a vested interest to learn more about and contribute to UH’s success and sustainability for future generations. I have always been passionate about ‘systems’ infrastructure and its change for efficiency to produce quality outcomes. Through my participating in PELP, it is my desire to increase my knowledge and skills about higher education systems and effective executive leadership strategies.”
Participants will broaden their base of knowledge about higher education and reflect upon their leadership potential in the university system. Through discussions, lectures, case studies, simulations, and interactive exercises, current system and campus leaders will facilitate leadership skill practices and their application to real-life issues.
From August 2014 to May 2015, the PELP cohort will engage in a series of all-day sessions, complete reading and writing assignments, prepare for sessions, and hold additional meetings to discuss activities, express concerns, and share ideas. Topics will include: academic, student, and statewide goals; campus missions; higher education trends; stakeholders’ interests; shared governance; benchmarks of a model indigenous-serving institution; academic and nonacademic career paths; strategies and tools for effective leadership, and collegial networks for professional
support, energy, and trust.
In a letter of support, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Beth Pateman wrote, “Ku has a gift for touching the lives of others that is amazing. People want to work with her and be around her. She inspires others to join in and try hard… In addition, Ku has that rare combination of being a big picture thinker who also is able to attend to details in depth. She’s a natural organizer who meets the goals she sets and involves others in making those successful journeys with her.”