Tech Staff Complete Masters Series Executive Development Program

Members from many different offices and occupations across the Georgia Tech community partnered together in a nine-month executive-training class to tackle several campus challenges.

Group Completes Masters Series Executive Development Program
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Graduates of the 2009–2010 Masters Series Executive Development Progam.

The 12 participants in the program tackled issues such as campus space utilization, improved Web-based financial reporting for researchers and Institute policy administration. By participating in the program, attendees gain leadership advice and experience by joining in roundtable discussions with senior executives, attending Masters Series institutes, and learning about project development and execution, while gaining deeper insight into the Institute’s academic, research and business enterprise.

With this newest group of alumni, the Masters Series—which meets every other year—has been through five rotations and 47 alumni. Office of Human Resources' Director of Training Lanous Wright says the training series has helped to develop a “deep bench” for the Institute.

“It has become apparent that we have established one of the strongest leadership programs for staff in higher education,” Wright said. “More than one-third of the program’s 47 alumni have either moved up in title internally or have moved on to bigger and better opportunities externally, including other higher-education institutions, NASA and the U.S. Department of State.”

Masters Series project teams

Each team was required to identify an Institute-wide issue or challenge, interview various stakeholders across campus and then present a challenge solution at the Masters Series graduation, held May 14.

Improved and Consolidated View for Faculty Financial Resource Data

  • Kirk Englehardt, director of Communications for Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Martin Hamburger, assistant swimming coach for Georgia Tech Athletic Association
  • Glen Hickman, senior project director for Office of Information Technology
  • Beth Ann Vargo, Accounting Manager II for Accounts Payable
  • Group members worked to cut down on the number of websites and passwords principal investigators are required to use in the accounting of funds. The solution was one password and login which would serve as a “master key” to all required financial Web-based resources.

Campus Space Utilization

  • Patricia Bazrod, director of Graduate Co-Op/Georgia Tech Internships in the Division of Professional Practice
  • James “Don” Cochran, Business Analyst III in Grants and Contracts Accounting
  • Amy Herron, director of Affiliate and Capital Accounting in Controller’s Office
  • Beverly Peace, Campus Space manager in Capital Planning and Space Management
  • Group members worked to better utilize campus space such as offices, laboratories, classrooms and meeting rooms with recommendations that include: collecting space usage data in existing facility information systems, creating new processes to identify space for new faculty, and an education component designed to create awareness about the importance of effective utilization of space.

MSPACT: The Masters Series Policy Administration Consulting Team

  • Marcia Chandler, director of Operations in the Tennenbaum Institute
  • Renata LeDantec, Communications Officer I in Interactive Computing
  • Thomas Miller, network support specialist in the Office of Information Technology
  • David “Randy” Pearman, associate director with Internal Auditing
  • Billing it as a “one-stop shop” for all Institute policies—from Human Resources and faculty handbook to Institute business practices and student accountability—the team proposed a website and the addition of a “policy coordinator” that would oversee any additions and changes.

The target for Masters Series attendees includes pay grades 115 to 119, and participants must have a minimum of three years at Georgia Tech, have acquired an associates or bachelor’s degree, and have demonstrated leadership ability, accountability and teamwork.

And, according to Wright, the formula is being repeated on a larger scale. “The [University System of Georgia] Board of Regents Executive Leadership Institute was based off the fundamental components of our Masters Series,” he said. “Other universities across the country have also inquired about the program. The Institute’s investment in this program has yielded outstanding results, and we hope to continue to build this as a best-in-class leadership program across the country.”