Building Sustainable Leadership

Program director Gwenda Thomas
Related topics CAUL Business, Professional Development

Formerly Inspiring Sustainability.

This program was initially defined as ‘Inspiring Sustainability’, with the intention to focus on current and emerging challenges as part of the ‘new normal’ faced by university libraries in the short and medium term, as they recover, reset and reimagine sustainability. The intention was to define a program of work focusing on the three key areas of: empowering workforce capabilities; future-proofing scholarly information resources funding; and advancing the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Building a Sustainable New Reality CAUL event in 2020 considered how CAUL might inspire member institutions to build sustainability for both individuals and university libraries in times of fast-paced change and disruptive influences. There was a strong theme related to building leadership capability and capacity within CAUL member institutions. Specifically, the discussion identified resilience, emotional intelligence, creativity and problem solving as key development areas for existing leadership and importantly, the next generation of university librarians. The discussion highlighted  a need to focus on senior leadership development and networking. For a summary of the discussion, see the slides from the March 2021 Council meeting, where an overview of the themes was presented.

Subsequently, the Board endorsed a revised, sharper  focus for the strategic theme to reflect the priorities identified in discussions at the event. By focusing on Building Sustainable Leadership, CAUL will support libraries to actively identify, empower and develop the next generation of leaders, and strengthen the network of senior leaders in academic libraries in Australia and New Zealand, thereby building resilient and sustainable leadership in the sector.

Project 1: Learning from Bold Minds in Leadership Event Series

This project will develop a program of six online events focused on learning from bold minds in leadership for staff of CAUL member institutions, to take place between July 2021 and June 2022. The project team will identify topics, identify and approach potential speakers, and work with CAUL National Office to plan and promote the events.

Project brief [PDF].

Project 2: Senior Leader Development and Networking Project

This project will reimagine CAUL’s leadership development and capacity building activities, with a focus on senior leaders. The project will investigate and make recommendations to the Board related to three key areas: 

  1. Leadership development
  2. Leader networking
  3. Leadership awards. 

The Project Team will undertake the following key activities:

  • Environmental scan and benchmarking (see below).
  • Review the CAUL Leadership Institute.
  • Develop recommendations for the Board to inform the development of:
    • CAUL senior leader development program
    • CAUL senior leader network
    • CAUL leadership awards.

Project brief [PDF].

Author Kate Davis
Last modified 23 August 2021