COLLEGE STATION – Applications are being accepted through Nov. 7 for participation in the second class of the AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program, an 18-month cohort initiated by Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences, according to program leaders.
“The three pillars of the land-grant mission, bestowed upon the Texas A&M University System by three acts of Congress dating back to the 1800s, include the scholarship of teaching, research and engagement,” he said. “It’s this latter feature, engagement or Extension, that makes this system unique in that we take research-based information to the back yard of citizens via Extension offices in practically every one of the state’s 254 counties.”
Extensive statewide public contacts are also made via the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, Elliot said.
“The land-grant mission is a successful model that has endured and been imitated worldwide,” he said. “It may look a bit different today, but the core of the land-grant mission, empowering people and helping people help themselves, hasn’t changed since it was adopted by the Morrill Act of 1862.”
Elliot said Hussey asked the executive committee to develop a leadership program whereby participants from the college and the four state agencies would collaborate and work closely together to better serve the public.
“We looked at several leadership programs and took the best of the best,” Elliot said. “But unlike other groups, the AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program is not event-driven. We meet periodically to evaluate past and future experiences. Also, each class or cohort will continue to exist and be involved as a group even after graduation. Each cohort will help subsequent cohorts.”
The first cohort was asked to participate in a capstone leadership project, according to Dr. Scott Cummings, a member of the executive committee charged with organizing the leadership program.
“Participants were asked to develop, based on knowledge gained through the program, a vision of what our land grant mission should look like 15 to 20 years from now, given the state’s changing demographics, budget cutbacks and so forth. Their findings will be presented at the AgriLife Program Conference in January.”
Cummings said he and other members of the executive committee, which also includes Steve Schulze, head of human resources for the Texas A&M University System, and Cady Auckerman, Hussey’s chief of staff, attend the cohort’s six formal meetings held throughout the state during the 18-month program.
“Participants are mid- to upper-level AgriLife personnel who are associate professors or above and who are interested in getting experience to enhance current and future leadership roles,” he said. “This is a very impressive group, no doubt tomorrow’s movers and shakers.”
The deadline to apply for the second cohort is Nov. 7. Applications should be mailed to Cady Auckerman, Chief of Staff Office of the Vice Chancellor, 2142 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-2142.
For more information, visit the program website at http://agrilife.org/leaders/ or contact Beverley Rose, program coordinator, at 979-458-3279.