Leadership Experience and Vision

Leadership Experience
I have a total of 12 years of experience serving department, university, and professional leadership positions. I began my leadership experience at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2005 as the Coordinator of Preservice Technology Integration Courses, then became the Program Coordinator for the Instructional Technology Program in 2008. Then in 2011 I began working at the University of Tennessee (UT) as an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Instructional Technology Program. Throughout my career, I have been on several university level task forces at both UT and NIU, and most recently I worked directly for the UT Chancellor as an Administrative Intern for leading programmatic changes related to campus-wide summer school initiatives. Additionally, I have taken leadership positions in professional organizations and during 2008 to 2011 I completed an elected presidential term for the Research and Theory Division for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) and I was awarded a service award at the end of my term. I have led several initiatives in higher education settings such as: (a) the development of innovative residential and online undergraduate and graduate programs, (b) the coordination of interdepartmental collaborative programs, (c) the development and implementation of revenue-generating programs, and (d) the preparation of accreditation and program review materials for data-driven decision-making. I have learned that to be a successful leader I need to first be a listener and communicator for faculty, students, staff, and administrators, then I need to make swift decisions based on data while advocating the people who I serve, and take actions based on those decisions.

Leadership Vision
I believe it is critical that university faculty take a role in service within their institution and the local community in addition to service to the discipline through professional organizations. I rely on my service activities to maintain a broad view of the current needs shared among students, faculty, the discipline, and the university. I analyze how my work as a scholar, teacher, and leader fit into the bigger picture of current needs. My service activities have been based on my core beliefs that include:
  • creating optimal teaching and learning experiences for students; providing faculty with an environment that supports research and grant writing activities;
  • building community partnerships for students and faculty to gain real-world experiences in the profession;
  • reaching out to alumni to cultivate strong connections to current programs;
  • leading an equitable work environment for tenure-track faculty, instructors, and staff;
  • mentoring faculty, staff, and students to help them meet their professional goals;
  • engaging in fiscally sound and sustainable program development; and
  • contributing to ongoing accreditation and program review activities to make timely and informed data based decision-making.
Over the last several years, I have learned that to be a successful contributing member of an organization I need to first be a listener and communicator for faculty, students, staff, administrators, and the community. Then I need to understand any given situation from multiple perspectives, and research what are common practices at other intuitions. I do not believe that we have to become a facsimile of other institutional practices, but understanding what others do can help us gain insights into our own strengths and areas of opportunities. What I find may uncover tensions, but as a Cultural Historical Activity Theoretical scholar I view tensions as opportunities for change. Therefore, tensions can act as both a positive and/or negative influence in any given situation, and my work in serving the institution, discipline, and profession is to find unique opportunities within tensions. Then I need to make swift decisions based on data while advocating for the people that I serve, and take actions based on those decisions.

Last Updated November 8, 2016

Contact me at LisaYL@utk.edu for work related messages and LisaYamagataLynch@gmail.com for personal messages.