Mason's College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Dean Nominated to ACLS Leadership Institute for a New Academy

Mason's College of Humanities and Social Sciences' Dean Nominated to  ACLS Leadership Institute for a New Academy
Ann Ardis, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has announced the inaugural Leadership Institute for a New Academy (LINA). The LINA program is a crucial step toward cultivating a more inclusive, innovative, and dynamic academy that better serves the needs and aspirations of scholars today. The program is made possible by generous funding from the Mellon Foundation.

During its pilot year, the LINA program will galvanize current and recent administrators who share strong academic values and a commitment to accelerating transformational changes that reflect the professional needs and aspirations of scholars today. This year's work will help develop a multi-year program for change-oriented faculty who are considering administrative roles at the dean level.

The ACLS nominated Dean Ann Ardis of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University to participate in the program. Ardis has been recognized for her leadership, commitment to diversity, and excellence in research and teaching.

“I came to Mason five years ago because of this institution’s mission in serving a majority-minority student population. Access to higher education and the compelling interests of diversity have been central to my life’s work as a scholar, teacher, and administrator,” said Ardis. "I am honored to be nominated to participate in this important program and look forward to collaborating with other leaders to develop the skills and networks needed to enhance the humanities and drive forward-looking change in academia."

"For many, the word 'change' can sound intimidating or utopian. Through LINA, ACLS aims to encourage and empower faculty-turned-administrators to use leadership roles as springboards for change, rather than maintainers of the status quo," said ACLS President Joy Connolly. "LINA will harness the energy of faculty who share our vision of a more creative, dynamic, inclusive, equitable academy - many of whom are already making a difference - and position them to lead beyond their classrooms and departments.”

From January to mid-July 2023, LINA participants will explore critical topics, including the challenges of collaborative leadership; translating change from the local to the school and systems level; rethinking faculty reward structures and what counts as legitimate scholarship; expanding the undergraduate study of humanistic disciplines; and techniques for balancing the multiple demands of administration, scholarship, and life beyond work. The program will also provide participants with a cohort of mutual support and a forum to collectively reflect on and respond to challenges such as retaining faculty of color, curricular and disciplinary change, the allocation of institutional resources, and leadership preparation for the next generation of scholar/teachers considering careers in academic administration. This peer community will serve as a vital resource from which participants may draw support for sustainable change.