Clemson dean gains new insight on leadership at APLU Food Systems Leadership Institute

CLEMSON — Leadership isn’t the same as it used to be, according to Tom Scott, dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences (CAFLS).

Scott recently completed the first week of an executive leadership development program sponsored by the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) that takes place over two years at three university locations. The first session was at North Carolina State, and following sessions will take place at The Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. The Leadership Institute is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A-P-L-U), with the initial funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

As dean of CAFLS for two years, interim dean for two years before that, and as director of the former School of Animal, Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Scott has had plenty of leadership experience.

“Over the past four years I have seen enormous changes in the college,” said Scott. “I wanted to update my leadership perspective with respect to those changes, as well as to the enormous changes that technology has brought to how we communicate and how we do business.”

Leadership is less authoritative and more collaborative today, observes Scott. This requires knowing how to lead and empower teams to accomplish organizational goals.

“Those in leadership positions need new skill sets to be successful now and into the future. Old strengths can become weaknesses in today’s fast-paced environment. You can’t just rely on face-to-face meetings or personal phone calls. Strategies to get your message across must embrace new communication technologies including social media. Today things come at you fast and communication can take place anytime and anywhere. Leaders must be able to be ready and effective on short notice,” said Scott.

The FSLI enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems.

 

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About the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI)

FSLI is dedicated to advancing and strengthening food systems by preparing a set of new leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to invent and reinvent the food systems of the future. It is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A-P-L-U), with the initial funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. North Carolina State University is the host site with The Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo being residential sites responsible for implementation of the program Additional information is available at www.fsli.org.