Collaboration and Team Building
Most of today's successful universities seek to build an environment in which collaboration and multidisciplinary research can flourish. Because of rapidly changing conditions and the complexity of major issues facing society and individuals, team-based approaches have become critical for success at both intellectual and administrative levels.
When leaders embrace these strategies, they are also responding to
the shift of funding agencies that range from the sciences-oriented
National Institutes of Health to smaller, humanties-focused foundations.
When leaders of those organizations call for interdisciplinary research
centers and teams, they echo the concerns of 21st century leaders
from all sectors of the economy.
Amplifying academic collaboration is a defining characteristic of Susan's work. Whether the goal is to sharpen the institution's intellectual profile or to build programs as the foundation of a fundraising campaign, she is skilled at helping scholars articulate
new concepts to advance their ideas and plan collaborative programs to carry those ideas forward.
In the administrative arena, she recognizes the importance of building and leading strong teams. She has used team concepts to expand the field of ideas and solutions in a variety of settings. Recent examples include encouraging leaders of functional units to combine forces and using collaboration to increase the effectiveness of staff.
At several colleges and universities, she has formed strategies to engage scholars with leaders to shape the institution's future. At one major research university, she coordinated the efforts of a group of faculty and senior administrative leaders who met over a two-year period to investigate research conditions and to recommend ways of strengthening support.
Her 1998 volume, Using Teams in Higher Education, is a leader in the series, "New Directions for Institutional Research." Along with Peter Senge, who believes that people bring their tendencies to acquire knowledge into their organizations, she encourages institutions to help individuals draw collective benefit from their ideas.