Vance completes Institutional Advancement Leadership Training at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College
Susan D. Vance, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement at Tusculum College, recently completed a week-long Institutional Advancement Leadership Training course at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.
Vance, who has been with Tusculum College’s Institutional Advancement Office since 2003 and has served as interim vice president since February 2007, participated in the intensive program focusing on cutting-edge theoretical explorations of institutional advancement best practices. While there, Vance was provided practical experience in applying theories derived from the social and behavioral sciences to the practice of institutional advancement on a college campus.
Vance said the Peabody Institute program was a significant professional development opportunity because it was designed for the professional in the institutional advancement field and allowed for exploration of various functions of the College, with the perspective that a deep, theoretical understanding of how colleges and universities work and how that understanding can build stronger advancement organizations.
“I am firmly committed to the support of the faculty and staff at Tusculum College for educational opportunities that support their work at Tusculum College,” said Tusculum College President Dr. Nancy B. Moody.
According to Moody, the Institute provides a short-term, intensive educational experience for professional educators and administrators during the summer. Each institute draws from social science disciplines and professional fields of study to inform the creation of a comprehensive, yet focused curriculum designed with the same expectations for rigor and depth as Peabody College degree programs, based on the philosophy that good practice is best derived from, and informed by, a strong theoretical base.
Vance, a 1991 graduate of Tusculum College, is a “Summer Fellow of Peabody College” and one of 17 alumni, as this is only their second year for the Institutional Advancement Leadership program.
“I feel that this was a good investment for Tusculum College as we move forward in the area of Institutional Advancement,” said Moody.
Susan noted that “This was an invaluable opportunity to engage in a professional development experience, unique in its rigor and design. As a Summer Fellow, I expanded my understanding of how educational organizations function and the theoretical perspectives which undergird good practice and leadership. After my time at the institute, I feel as though I possess a set of tools to enhance the effectiveness of Tusculum College that will propel me in my career.”
The program also featured opportunities to hone other skills that are utilized by those, like Vance, who hold cabinet-level positions and who are often charged with leading advancement divisions and participating in strategic decision-making for the whole of the College and management of the entire educational organization, said Vance.
“What we learned over the course of the week will enhance my ability to make decisions for Tusculum College grounded in theory and supported by data,” said Vance. “I have a better understanding of why specific techniques work and the capacity to tie this knowledge to real-world strategic decisions which will increase the effectiveness of the College.”
Individual sessions offered at the Institute, which ran June 15-18, consisted of in-depth examinations of each of the functional areas of university management, discussions surrounding the application of theoretical literature to the practice of institutional advancement and group discussion/presentations. Specifically, topics within the modules included History on Philanthropy; Fund Raising Ethics and Norms; ROI (Return on Investments) and Planning; VSE (Volunteer Support of Education) Survey and Benchmarking; Leadership; Two-Way Symmetrical Communication, Issues Management and Environmental Scanning; Strategic Campaign Planning; Using Data to Increase Fund Raising Effectiveness; Engagement as a Development Tool; Annual Fund - Analysis and ROI, and Crisis Management for Higher Education.
During the course of the institute, Vance spent considerable time engaged in small group analysis designed to integrate with the lectures and discussions. This experience is designed to allow each participant to discover, develop and refine individual competencies.