Ann Arbor, MI — September 12, 2014 — A leadership conference-workshop designed for health professionals who manage academic departments or academic programs “was probably one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable, that I have attended,” says Cheryl Baisch, administrator of the School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry (OMS/HD).
Baisch, OMS/HD administrator for ten years, was one of 55 academic leaders nationwide who participated in a three-day program this summer created by the Atlanta-based Academy for Academic Leadership. Speakers at the Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP) included deans, department chairs and academic administrators in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, public health and other health professions. CAAMP was created in 2009 to help academic administrators address issues that require specific skills in health care, higher education, science and other areas.
Basic Issues Emphasis
“There was extensive focus on basic issues and matters that are common to all of us in the health care professions such as strategic planning and execution, budgeting, conflict management, communication and dealing with different personality styles as an organization moves toward common goals and objectives,” Baisch says.
But what made CAAMP different from other programs she has attended “was the constant peer-to-peer interaction and the feedback we received from high-caliber leaders directly involved in academic health care organizations,” Baisch says. “Their accumulated experience and the depth and the relevance of topics discussed enriched the learning environment for all of us.”
Prior to attending CAAMP, Baisch says she and others were required to complete a “360 degree assessment” of their leadership. Several individuals in OMS/HD, including faculty and staff, evaluated her leadership style, ability to build teams, work toward common goals, and other factors.
Important to Interprofessional Education
One of the program’s speakers was Pamela Zarkowski, a U-M School of Dentistry alumna (DH 1975), vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy. “I was impressed with the engagement of all participants and their questions and comments,” she said. “I was privileged to meet many of the participants individually and discuss the challenges and opportunities they have in their current positions as well as learn more about their future plans.”
AAL President Dr. Karl Haden said, “One of the major benefits of CAAMP is the opportunity for different professions to learn from each other, especially as interprofessional education gains momentum.”
Baisch, who earned an MBA from Eastern Michigan University in June, was a research manager with the Department of Radiology at the U-M Medical Center before becoming OMS/HD administrator. “I’m never bored here. There’s always something going on,” she says with a laugh. “I especially enjoy the variety, whether it’s working with faculty or planning or budgeting.”