Management Perspectives Series Revived

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

The University will resume one of its most popular professional development programs later this month, when the Management Perspectives Series begins on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, the six-week program is designed for employees with management and supervisory responsibilities. Vice presidents and other senior University managers will familiarize participants with Boston College's policies and practices, illustrating the goals and priorities of their respective divisions through panel presentations, case discussion, readings and other materials. After the initial meeting at the Harvard Club of Boston, the remaining sessions will take place in the Burns Library's Thompson Room.

Management Perspectives began in 1976 in a slightly different format and ceased in 1992, partly because most of the candidates for the program had already gone through it. But administrators said the program has always served a valuable purpose by providing an overview of how the University is managed and the roles different departments play.

Reviving Management Perspectives also reflects and supports recent efforts to determine the University's long-term goals, through initiatives such as the University Academic Planning Council study and Project Delta, administrators said.

Given the program's four-year hiatus, "we now have large numbers of people who would be interested in, and benefit from, this information," said Vice President for Human Resources Leo V. Sullivan. "There will be fewer sessions than in the past, but they will be in keeping with where we are in 1996 and where we are headed. The tone will be a positive one, focusing on the Boston College we will be seeing over the next four to five years."

"This program and its predecessor have been a hallmarks of Boston College's management," said Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, who created the original program with Sullivan and Assoc. Prof. Raymond Keyes (CSOM). "I'm very much looking forward to sponsoring it and participating in it again this spring."

Employees attending the series will be chosen by the appropriate vice president in light of their responsibilities, length of time at the University and other factors, Director of Employment and Employee Development Bernard O'Kane said.

"The University is poised to appraise and re-focus its operations," said O'Kane. "This is an opportune time to provide literally up-to-the-moment insight and information from senior managers as to the University's courses of action, and how they envision the various ways departments and offices will work to achieve those ends."

O'Kane said the return of Management Perspectives dovetails with other recent University initiatives to change how it addresses institutional and personnel needs. He noted the advent of the Performance Management Program, in which managers work with their employees to identify goals and the resources necessary to achieve them. O'Kane also pointed to the reorganization of the Employee Development Program, which now emphasizes a departmental or "work group" approach to professional development, with a strong role for middle-level management.

"What participants gain from the program they share with others in their department or work group," O'Kane said. "When you consider these programs, and the UAPC and Project Delta initiatives, Management Perspectives functions as a way of letting people see that there is a coordinated effort going on, that these are not isolated events."

Just as importantly, however, O'Kane added, "many have commented in the past that Management Perspectives was one of the most interesting and fulfilling experiences they had at BC. They are able to interact with senior managers, develop a good working relationship with colleagues, and, in general, find their work is more productive through these contacts."

O'Kane noted that Human Resources hopes to re-establish a similar program for support staff, Organizational Perspectives, for the next academic year.

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