Developing Leadership Within the CIO Division

Oct. 30, 2023

High Praise From This Year’s MOR Leaders Program Participants

Zoom Cohort

MOR Leaders Program 2023 Cohort Group

In today’s demanding environment of recruiting and retaining of top talent, one of the most pressing needs from organizational leadership is setting a path for strategic professional development that often results in growing future leaders. Whether in mid-career or just starting out, most people will tell you they want to see there is path to promotion. This inevitably includes gaining an understanding of leadership.

Professional leadership development training in the CIO Division has recently included participation in the MOR Associates Leaders Program. Since 2018, individuals have been given a path to do the important work on self, embracing their strengths, finding paths to pursue opportunity and forming into their own as a leader. The MOR program “provides the concepts, frameworks, skills, and individualized pathways to enable each participant to take their leadership up to another level.” The program brings in peers from other participating universities to foster collaboration, coaching, relationship building and mentoring.

The MOR Leaders program requires a full year commitment that includes travel to several of the members’ university campuses to build relationships and gain experiential learning in addition to their workload back home at the University of Arizona.

Hear what this year’s MOR cohort have to say about their experience.

Jeff Albano reflection on the MOR experience is that, “it is about the importance of relationships. “MOR was a great experience to establish new relationships with colleagues from other institutions while establishing deeper relationships with my UA cohort.  The focus on adding new leadership tools and skills while re-enforcing reaching professional goals was extremely beneficial for me as I was able to achieve a goal I had been working on for decades in my career.”

Audrey Ashcraft describes the MOR Leadership Program as, “a humbling experience. I was challenged to think outside of the box and to lean into my own experiences and knowledge. In the beginning, it seemed like ten months of additional meetings, individual learning and travel to other campuses was going to interfere with my current responsibilities. It was challenging to fit in these extra tasks, but well worth it. The ten months went by very fast.  My learnings from my peers of the other six universities are priceless. Building relationships is foundational to this program, and we all know we can reach out to each other if we need advice or a brain-storming session. In addition, our 2023 Cohort will continue to meet and work with other UArizona MOR Alumni to find areas where our expertise can help with university goals.”

Carol Corry feels strongly that MOR is a very special experience. “It’s rare to be able to work on professional development over the course of a year with the same group of 30 people. You learn that we are all dealing with similar issues, and after sharing and learning about the leadership journeys and life experiences of others, it creates a special environment of trust where everyone can be vulnerable and grow together. It also provides insight into the fact that our life experiences shape who we are and those carry on into our work lives. That is the magic of MOR. In term of what I learned or what stuck with me this most, I’d say it’s the monumental importance of relationships above anything else. Relationships are how we get work done and can open (or close) doors depending on the nature of those relationships. As MOR alum would put it, “Relationships are currency.”  It is well worth the time and effort to establish good relationships and repair damaged ones, not only for your own personal growth but also for the good of the organization. Take the time to invest in those relationships and you will be rewarded.”

Robbie MacPherson agrees that the extra travel, homework, and work makeup were worthwhile. “This leadership training taught me so much about different perspectives, organizational culture, and leading from where and who I am. Not only would this training benefit newly minted managers, but also anyone who’s career path might include leading.”

Frances Miller confides that “the MOR leadership program has given me the time to reflect on my practice, learn skills to direct my future, and develop strategy for the future. I am thankful for the opportunity UITS has given me to invest in myself so that I can turn around and apply my take aways to strengthen the organization.”

Mark Ray says about his ability to participate in the MOR Leadership Program this year; is an opportunity for which I’m extremely grateful and appreciative, has been a transformational experience for me. While a lot of work and a significant investment of time to be sure, participation in the program has helped me better prepare to be the leader that I’ll need to be moving forward into a tumultuous and uncertain future as the landscape of Higher Ed, particularly in the IT space, continues to shift. I am a much more intentional and strategic participant and partner towards the endeavors that I pursue. The relationships with cohort peers and additional exposure to wider perspectives around the current and future states of challenges and opportunities within this space will prove invaluable towards my current responsibilities and towards any future opportunities.

Walter Ries reflects on the MOR program with “One of my key takeaways from the MOR program was re-framing my thinking on the qualities of a leader.  It was great to meet and share our experiences with these other leaders, who were of different colleges, backgrounds, experiences, and personalities.  One phrase we said to encouraged each other is, ‘lead from where and who you are’.”

MOR Leadership Program participants since 2018:

  • Jeffery Albano
  • Audrey Ashcraft
  • Brett Bendickson
  • Tom Bourgeois
  • Adam Brokamp
  • Eddie Caratachea
  • Marisela Celaya
  • Ravneet Chadha
  • Lanita Collette
  • Carol Corry
  • Chris Demetriou
  • Clancey Dollard
  • Ryan Duitman
  • Maysoon Eshelman
  • Jeremy Frumkin
  • David Gerlach
  • Nikolas Glazier-Hodge
  • Cameron Green
  • David Lane
  • Teddy Lopez
  • Laura Lukomski
  • Robbie MacPherson
  • Derek Masseth
  • Frances Miller
  • Michiko Pennington
  • Mark Ray
  • Walter Ries
  • Rhonda Royse
  • Tim Schwab
  • Kelly South
  • Darcy Van Patten
  • Dragana Vasic
  • Karen Williams
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