Skip to Main Content
Community/Leadership Ecosystem

Leadership Ecosystem

Find Resources from Leadership Ecosystem Webinars Here

The NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem

In 2018 NERCOMP launched the Leadership Ecosystem to create a digital community around our array of professional development offerings. The Ecosystem is envisioned as a resource to help bridge the spaces between these event-based experiences by providing a platform for ongoing dialogue, shared learning, and collaboration.

The Ecosystem has already hosted conversations on topics such as opportunities and challenges in leadership, career development, Cyber Security, and developing your leadership potential. This session will be a chance to dialogue with those facilitating the effort, especially to offer feedback and ideas on approaches that might make it more useful to the broader community.

For questions or more information please contact 


Upcoming Leadership Ecosystem Webinars:

Leading Through COVID-19: Lessons from Institutional Leaders (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar)

Scheduled:  10/21/2021

Event Overview

Navigating the COVID-19 period has been challenging for everyone, with many describing it as the most challenging experience of their careers. Few roles have been as uniquely challenged as college and university presidents. From health and safety concerns to economic disruption and uncertainty to the increased focus on issues of race and anti-black racism with the killing of George Floyd, institutional leaders have had to navigate multiple crises simultaneously. Yet, there are indications that the 2021-22 academic year could be even more challenging, with strong desires to ‘return to normal, exhausted students, faculty, and employees, and outsized expectations. Join a conversation with three institutional leaders as they reflect on and share their experiences leading through these experiences.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney, President, Trinity College

Clayton Rose, President, Bowdoin College

Yves Salomon-Fernández, Senior Vice President, SNHU

Moderator, Michael Cato, Senior VP, and CIO, Bowdoin College


Past Leadership Ecosystem Webinar Series:

Radical Candor in the Midst of Radical Times (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar)

Hosted:  9/16/2021

Event Overview
An exciting twist on the Leadership Ecosystem panel format, this session involves a conversation about how the panel members, all from the same leadership team at the same institution, use Radical Candor in their roles. Join the CIO, Deputy CIO, and the Senior Director for Enterprise applications for Carnegie Mellon University as they explore the benefits, limitations, windfalls, and pitfalls of radical Candor in the IT arena and beyond.

Radical Candor, by Kim Scott, is an often touted tool for fostering clear communication, giving and receiving constructive feedback, and an excellent tool for cutting through the chaff and getting right to the crucial conversations. Hear how the panelists use it to avoid ruinous empathy and hurt feelings when the tough things need to be said.

Perspectives From Retired Leaders Panel (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar)

Hosted:  5/20/2021

Event Overview
A generation of technology leaders are retiring and taking with them a vast history of experience and perspective.  They have evolved with the technology revolution and guided us into unimagined reliance on these tools and skills.

Join us as three recent retirees share their views on where we have been and what they believe will be critical for future technology leaders.

 - Suzanne Aber (retired Trinity College, Hartford),

 - Cindy Mitchell (retired Colby College),

 - Chris Kielt (retired Washington University St. Louis)

Remote Work: Opportunities, Implications and Considerations Panel (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar)

Hosted 4/15/2021

Event Overview

Many of our institutions have begun planning for the post-pandemic “new normal”. Remote work is often central to this conversation. In this webinar, we will discuss cross industry research findings, as well as dialogue on the lessons learned and experiences with remote work with two institutions that are adopting remote work as part of their strategies moving forward. Please join us for a moderated panel discussion with audience Q&A.

Learning Objectives:

 - Be able to articulate possible remote work futures

 - Understand research data around remote work

 - Ability to lead the remote conversation at your workplace


Women's History Month Panel (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar)
Hosted 3/18/2021

Event Overview

While women in technology, and other fields, continue to struggle to proportionately achieve leadership positions, NERCOMP is fortunate to have many strong women leaders in our community. For Women's History Month, the NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem is bringing several of these women together to reflect on their professional journey, share their wisdom, and reflect on the current challenges and opportunities for women in technology.


Pursuing Racial Equity and Anti-Racism in Higher Ed Information Organizations (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar) Hosted 2/18/2021

Event Overview

In honor of Black History Month, the February 2021 Leadership Ecosystem session will consider the importance and the broader benefits of pursuing racial equity and anti-racism in information organizations in Higher-Ed. The session will also explore lessons from the Anti-Racism in Academia (ARiA) program, a grassroots effort launched in August 2020, lead predominantly by younger Higher-Ed information professionals.

The visceral responses to the murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020 created heightened attention to anti-black racism, and many institutions initiated efforts to address these issues, often for the first time. Yet, for too many, the underlying ‘why’ of this work appears to remain elusive. 

Created by a small group of community leaders spanning multiple academic institutions, the ARiA program’s purpose is to promote anti-racism in higher education. The program developed into a 5-part discussion series that ran from August 2020 to January 2021 outlining an action-oriented approach to dismantling racism through conscious decisions and intentional actions. The sessions covered topics from Reach Out, Listen, Learn, Act, and Persist. With facilitators and participants from a wide array of institutions, roles, experiences, and perspectives, the program has developed into a powerful example of how a community can act to address difficult issues.

Learning Objectives:

  -Consider the reasons information professionals and organizations are pursuing the work of anti-racism and DEI more broadly.

 - Identify approaches to act in building more inclusive and anti-racist teams and organizations

 - Outline an action plan to engage with these efforts.


ARiA- Act: Creating an Inclusive Workforce (a Leadership Ecosystem Webinar) Hosted 11/19/20

Event Overview

For November, the ARiA series presents Part 4 “ACT”: to act with intent and steadfast commitment to affect change within your spheres of influence. The ACT program is focused on 3 areas: inclusive language, bias & technology, and inclusive workforce. Acting towards the development and sustainability of an inclusive workforce requires a commitment to analyzing and correcting retention, recruitment, and hiring practices. This will often require partnering with human resources professionals.

You are invited to join a conversation with Andy Brantley, President, and CEO of CUPA-HR, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources and Sheraine Gilliam-Holmes, Executive Director and Chief HR Officer at Austin Peay State University.  Sheraine also participated in Creating Inclusive Communities project and has currently serves as an at-large member of CUPA-HR’s National Board of Directors. CUPA-HR is the association of HR professionals in higher education, providing leadership on higher-ed workplace issues in the US and abroad. They have led national efforts to collect and share representation data, published reports identifying key actions and best practices, hosted workshops and working groups, and recently launched a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge for Higher Ed Leaders. 

Andy and Sheraine are uniquely positioned to offer insights and recommendations on how higher education HR offices can partner to Act on the broader issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as the more focused needs of pursuing anti-racism.

In response to renewed dialogue across professional associations and within our personal lives, a small group of community leaders spanning multiple academic institutions have developed a program to promote anti-racism in higher ed – Anti-Racism in Academia: A Learning Journey (ARiA). The program is a 5-part discussion series, taking place from August 2020 to January 2021, outlining an action-oriented approach to dismantling racism in our own spheres through conscious decisions and intentional actions.  See the ARiA website for more info:  

Learning Objectives

 - Learn how CUPA-HR and the higher education HR professionals they represent are pursuing the work of anti-racism and DEI more broadly.

 - Identify best practices to Act in building more inclusive and anti-racist teams and organizations

 - Consider how to better partner with HR offices to Act in these areas


Anti-Racism in Academia (ARiA)-Part 3: Learn-Panel-Hosted 10/22/2020

Event Overview

In response to renewed dialogue across professional associations and within our personal lives, a small group of community leaders spanning multiple academic institutions have developed a program to promote anti-racism in higher ed – Anti-Racism in Academia: A Learning Journey (ARiA). The program is a 5-part discussion series, taking place from August to December 2020, outlining an action-oriented approach to dismantling racism in our own spheres through conscious decisions and intentional actions.

The ARiA series presents Part 3 in October, "LEARN", designed to dive deeper into the themes of allyship, intersectionality, implicit bias, and systemic racism. NERCOMP has graciously partnered with ARiA to take part in this very important conversation, so October's Leadership Ecosystem event will bring together ARiA facilitators to discuss each them and the importance and impact of creating space for dialogue around race in a way that people can engage from any point in their learning journey. 

Learning Objectives

-Become familiar with the ARiA framework
-Understand the basics of allyship, intersectionality, implicit bias, and systemic racism
-Consider the importance facilitating anti-racism dialogue within your organizations


Anti-Racism in Academia (ARiA)-Part 2: Listen-Panel-Hosted 9/17/2020

Event Overview

In response to renewed dialogue across professional associations and within our personal lives, a small group of community leaders spanning multiple academic institutions have developed a program to promote anti-racism in higher ed – Anti-Racism in Academia: A Learning Journey (ARiA). The program is a 5-part discussion series, taking place from August to December 2020, outlining an action-oriented approach to dismantling racism in our own spheres through conscious decisions and intentional actions.

For September, the ARiA series presents Part 2: Listen, one of the most important elements of proactively and respectfully engaging with people from different racial backgrounds. NERCOMP has partnered with ARiA to take part in this very important conversation, so this month’s Leadership Ecosystem event will bring together panelists for a facilitated conversation that reaches across race, gender and backgrounds to discuss the role of active listening in developing a more inclusive culture. 

Learning Objectives

-What is active listening and why is it important?
-How can we practice active listening and thoughtful dialogue?
-How can we better navigate the intent and impact of our words and actions?


Leading to the New Normal: What Lessons Can We Carry Forward With Us?-Panel-Hosted 7/16/2020

Event Overview

With all the change and uncertainty we're living through, it can be hard to ask what lessons are we looking to carry forward with us. Yet, many of the needs for the fall require making decisions now based on the experiences and information we already have. Join a panel conversation that seeks to reflect on experiences across institutions, consider initial ideas and insights that are surfacing, and explore how these ideas may be turned into lessons to move forward with.

Three Key Learning Objectives:

- What initial ideas and insights from their spring and summer experiences are our panelists looking to carry into the fall semester?

- How are institutions looking to build on these lessons learned thus far?

- What concerns are we navigating to make sure we're learning the 'right' lessons and not simply reacting to all that's changing around us?


Leading to the New Normal: Shrinking Budgets, Growing Needs Panel-Hosted-6/18/2020

Event Overview

The term ‘the new normal’ is being tossed around a lot lately. It is happening so frequently that the Leadership Ecosystem is focusing a set of webinars on the various impacts of the “new normal” and how to deal with them. This webinar focuses on potential new budget realities due to the effects of COVID-19.

Just read the headlines across concerning any industry segment, and you will see the enormous financial toll taken by COVID-19. Higher education is no exception, and the long-term impacts may continue for the foreseeable future. Technology related functions will be faced with these challenges and will need to respond quickly, appropriately, and effectively.

A panel of leaders in the higher education technology space will discuss what they see as the significant financial impacts and some potential ways to respond.


Women’s History Month Panel:  Adapting and Thriving Panel-Hosted 3/19/2020

Event Overview

Event Overview
In honor of women’s history month, we offer practical advice we have found to be helpful in our higher education careers.  We present strategies for leveraging credentials and framing skills and experience for evolving leadership roles and changing workforce needs.  We discuss how insights gained through self-assessments can be helpful and how to use the insights gained.  Strengths or characteristics which are identified can be used to your advantage. We offer advice on how to forge a path to leadership and the importance of communication skills, especially when communicating to leaders at various levels.  Respectful and ethical approaches are an important part of leadership, and we discuss how to inspire others to be mindful of their words and actions.   We discuss the role of networking and mentoring in our careers and how to choose mentors.  We discuss patience and persistence in achieving your goals and the role of coaching, professional development and training.

A Conversation with African-American Professionals: Provocative, Authentic and Inclusive-Hosted 2/20/2020

Event Overview

In honor of Black History Month, this Leadership Ecosystem webinar will be a facilitated conversation with a panel of Higher Education Information Professionals who identify as African-Americans discussing their careers, experiences, and perspectives.  The conversation will explore the paths that the panelists have taken through their respective careers, and seek to contribute to the wider opportunities to build more inclusive organizations. The conversation is extensible to all participants regardless of race and may have special relevance to underrepresented minorities.



Leading in a Matrix Organization -Panel-Hosted 1/16/20

Event Overview
As noted by organizational leadership blogger Mark Hannum, a matrix structure is lean, flexible, and fast-moving. It is made up of experts who are able to collaborate on complex problems, make important decisions, and coordinate among multiple stakeholders.
Working and leading in a matrix environment can appear chaotic, but this chaos has distinct patterns and can be organized around larger goals and timelines by pulling the focus up from individual components. The chaos can appear worsened by team changes, program and course developments, technology needs, resource limitations, and changing priorities at a pace that is faster than we may feel ready to accommodate.
A panel of leaders from instructional design, virtual labs, and vendor licensing will discuss how they approach their work as they lead our course and program development efforts here at Southern New Hampshire University. 
The panel will be facilitated by NERCOMP board member Dr. Candace Sleeman.


Business Office and Information Technology Relationships-CFO/CIO Dialogue-Hosted 11/21/19

Event Overview
Have you ever had a question you would like to ask a panel of leading CFOs and CIOs?  Please join us for a panel discussion and Q&A.  The NACUBO 2019 Perceptions and Priorities campaign ( references Technology, Innovation, and Infrastructure as critical to our institutions. Both divisions are focused on digital transformation, but the terminology and priorities of business office leaders and technology leaders can sometimes diverge. In this panel discussion, we will delve into the perspective of business office leaders on top IT issues and vice versa.


An Introduction to Designing Your Life - How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life -Hosted 10/10/19

Event Overview

Please join the next NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem webinar for an Introduction to Designing Your Life (DYL). We’ll explore how design thinking can be especially beneficial to our community, as we navigate unprecedented changes and opportunities in our disciplines and industry. 

Based on the popular Stanford course, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans authored the book Designing Your Life as a way of broadly disseminating the framework they’ve successfully used with students for the last 12 years. The idea is to apply design thinking approaches and adopt a designer’s mindset to how one plans for, iterates through, and takes action to create a meaningful and fulfilling life, both professionally and personally. 18 NERCOMP institutions have taken part in Stanford’s Life Design Studio, a program to help them use the DYL framework with students, as they navigate the curriculum and their careers. 

Facilitators:  Michael Cato, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Office, Bowdoin College

Joan Cheverie, Co-Founder, Fieldbrook Advising

Tanea Flanders, Executive Director for Learning & Development, Columbia University


Transitioning Roles (First 100 Days in any new role/organization) – Hosted 9/19/19

Event Overview

So you are thinking about taking the plunge and changing positions. Maybe this is within your current institution, maybe it is at a new organization. In either case, your first 100 days in the new role are critical to your success. This webinar aims to explore the topic of how one successfully navigates a transition. How does one go about starting a new role? What items are key for engaging with a new group of stakeholders in your first 100 days? What’s meant by “what got you here won’t get you there”? This panel will explore these topics and more.

Moderator:  Stan Waddell, CIO, Carnegie Mellon University & the Leadership Ecosystem Working Group


Lessons Learned - A Conversation Exploring the Experiences, Perspectives and Insights from two Recently Retired Senior IT Leaders - Hosted 4/18/19

Event Overview

This webinar will be a panel conversation with P.B. Garrett, who recently retired as Senior Associate Dean for Innovative Teaching and Learning and Chief Academic Technology Officer at the George Washington University, and David Smallen, who recently retired as Vice President for Libraries and Information Technology at Hamilton College. P.B. and Dave are highly regarded professionals who led their respective organizations through opportunities and challenges, each earning reputations for being collaborative, insightful and accomplished leaders.

Moderator: Michael Cato, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Office, Bowdoin College


Diversity & Innovation Upside Down: Proactive Ways to Build An Inclusive Culture - Hosted 2/5/19

Event Overview

Studies show that diverse organizations are more innovative—but what if this was also true in reverse—that by intentionally facilitating a culture of innovation, you can proactively support diversity and foster an inclusive culture. Presenters will explain the core elements of an inclusive culture and identify key challenges IT leaders must overcome. This engaging webinar will showcase three campus initiatives that demonstrate how to go beyond basic diversity training and move you to take on concrete actions that shift your organization toward a culture of inclusion and participation. By providing real-life examples, they will demonstrate how principles and practices of innovation can be used to unlock these challenges and promote equity, access, and inclusion on any campus.

Learning Objectives:

- identify core elements of an inclusive culture that overlap with innovation best practices

- learn about key challenges to diversity, equity and inclusion on campus—hiring, retention, activation of expertise, and career advancement

- understand three campus initiatives for proactive change and reflect how they model inclusive behavior

- commit to one action they will take to actively promote diversity and innovation in their own organization

Speakers: Dr. Esmilda Abreau,and Kirsten Richert

Moderator: Lisa Trubitt, Assistant CIO for Strategic Communications, University at Albany


People of Color in Higher-Ed Information Services:  Experiences, Perspectives, And Strategies - Hosted on 1/18/19

Event Overview

There is a significant underrepresentation of People of Color in Higher Education information technology positions. The 2017-18 CUPA-HR Higher Education Survey reports 26% of IT staff positions, 21% of IT professional positions, 12% of IT administrator positions and 12% of CIO positions are held by minorities. As many NERCOMP institutions are wrestling with broader questions of diversity, inclusion, and equity, addressing these gaps can prove especially challenging.

This webinar will be a conversation with a panel of People of Color in Higher Education Information Services discussing their careers, experiences, and perspectives. The panel will be made up of Bohyun Kim, Aixa Pomales, and Stan Waddell, facilitated by Michael Cato. The panel will also include Michael Reed, Senior VP for Inclusion and Diversity at Bowdoin College, who will offer expertise on the wider issues and opportunities to build more inclusive organizations.

Speakers: Boyhun Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Associate Professor, University of Rhode Island Libraries, Aixa Pomals, Director of IT Support Services, Swathmore College, Michael Reed, Senior Vice President, Bowdoin College, Stan Waddell, PhD, CIO, University of New Hampshire

Moderator: Michael Cato, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Office, Bowdoin College


Ideas to Action: Leadership Lessons to Guide Your Journey - Hosted on 11/29/18

Event Overview

Leadership is a constantly evolving journey filled with opportunities to grow and develop. This session will share critical lessons with those in the NERCOMP community who are seeking to realize their leadership potential. These key insights and proven strategies for greater effectiveness will inspire and bolster leaders, no matter where they are on their individual paths.

Speaker:  Michael Kubit, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Office, The Pennsylvania State University

Moderator: Cindy Mitchell, Chief Information Office, Colby College

IT Leadership and Influencing in the Brave New Age of Cyber Security - Hosted on 10/23/18

Event Overview

Special Cyber Security Month focused edition of the NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem Presentation Series.  The NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem will host a panel on being a leader and influencer in IT. The panel will be facilitated by four dynamic and highly skilled IT professionals. As October is national Cyber Security Month, the panel will zoom in on leadership and influencing across information security topics among other leadership focuses.


Emily Harris, ISO, Vassar College;

Chris Kielt, CIO, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill;

Rori Boyce Werner, Security Compliance Program Manager, University of New Hampshire;

Moderator: Stan Waddell, PhD, CIO, University of New Hampshire


NERCOMP Leadership Ecosystem - Hosted on 9/25/18

Event Overview

We are excited to invite you to join the inaugural Leadership Ecosystem webinar on Tuesday, September 25th from 12:00 - 1:00pm, with additional dialogue until 1:30. The webinar will be a panel discussion with three Higher Education leaders, Keith ‘Mac’ McIntosh, Jennifer Sparrow, and Sharon Pitt, discussing their priorities, careers and perspectives. Join these engaging leaders for a dynamic session on the opportunities and challenges of leadership in high stakes high reward IT organizations.


Keith W. 'Mac' McIntosh, Vice President for Information Services and CIO for the University of Richmond

Sharon Pitt, Vice President for Information Technologies and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the University of Delaware

Jennifer Sparrow, Senior Director for Teaching and Learning with Technology

Moderator: Michael Cato, Senior Vice President and CIO Bowdoin College




Become a Member

Complete the application for Institution Membership to start using NERCOMP member benefits now!

Get Started