Members of the Faculty Leadership Trained their Management Skills at the University of Notre Dame

    Samuel Štefan Mahút, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Catholic University in Ružomberok and Terézia Rončáková, the vice-dean for research and doctoral studies, represented the Catholic University in Ružomberok at the professional program for university managers Leadership Seminar at the University of Notre Dame in the USA. The seminar was held on July 9-14, 2023 and it was attended by 16 rectors, vice-rectors, deans and other representatives of six Catholic universities from Georgia, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia and a charity organization from Armenia.

    The program directed the attention of university managers to the mission and vision of their institutions. As Ti Lavers, the director of marketing department of the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association, pointed out, the "why" must be at the center of any promotional message—followed by the "how" and the "what." Another 12 lectures and workshops led by various experts from the University of Notre Dame focused on the Catholic identity of universities in history and today, on working with human resources, on team building and motivating employees, and on fundraising.

    Clemens Sedmak, the director of the Nanovic Institute at the University of Notre Dame, who led the entire seminar, emphasized in his introduction the human dignity of subordinates and the importance of seemingly small details in communication with others. A special space was dedicated to the topic of security in the university area, which was addressed by the head of the special police unit operating on the campus of the university, Keri Kei Shibata. She commands 34 police officers and manages another 35 members of support staff. The director of the Office of Institutional Transformation at the University of Notre Dame Eve Kelly outlined specific policies for inclusion of poor students, students of color and LGBT+ students in the university community. A special workshop was devoted to diplomatic skills needed in negotiations and in individual communication with various participants in decision-making processes.

    The Leadership Seminar is held under the umbrella of the Nanovic Institute at the University of Notre Dame and it has been offered since 2017 to members of the Catholic Universities Partnership (CUP) from Central and Eastern Europe. As part of this partnership, the Nanovic Institute also initiated and financed various research projects focused on recent issues of Central and Eastern European history, religious identity and post-socialist transformation. The institute also offers individual research grants and it oversees regular CUP conferences. The next conference will be held on October 19-21 at the Catholic University in Ružomberok.