During 2013 and 2014, AIBS explored questions through a yearlong study to identify programmatic elements that are important for the development of departmental leadership capacity among STEM faculty. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) provided funding to support this study.
The project was an extension of the work that the AIBS Education Committee began in 2012. During that year, the Committee conducted a survey of leaders within undergraduate life sciences departments. The results of that fall 2012 survey revealed that faculty at a range of institutions would like to build their own capacity to lead change and implement the principles in the 2011 report published by AAAS: Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action.
The new study allowed AIBS to investigate questions related to faculty leadership for change, the academic leadership skills faculty need and want, existing general higher education leadership programs.
In 2013, AIBS conducted interviews and a second survey to increase our knowledge of the landscape of leadership development programs and needs. In 2014, we convened a meeting that brought together a diverse group of 25 individuals with experience in undergraduate life science education leadership and with knowledge about implementation of leadership development programs. The report from that meeting is now available.
Read an "Eye on Education" that describes our 2013-14 work:
Read the report from the synthesis meeting:
Another outcome of the synthesis meeting was the publication of two "Viewpoints" in BioScience on leadership in undergraduate education:
We are sharing these outcomes so that the undergraduate STEM education community is aware of existing research about faculty change, leadership, and evidence about key elements of lasting change in leadership development. Ultimately, these finding will help to inform AIBS's next steps in supporting improvements to undergraduate life science education through leadership development.