The Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) has chosen Newman Associate Professor of Chemistry Ryan Huschka, Ph.D., to participate in the 2018 Aspiring Campus Leaders Academy.
Huschka will represent Newman University in the second class of the academy.
The KICA academy was developed to fill a gap in high-quality academic training opportunities in the community of smaller, private universities.
Throughout the program's 18-month span, participants will participate in webinars, one-day symposiums and learning opportunities that will focus on issues such as budgets, hiring trends, governance and more.
Huschka said he feels honored to be chosen for the program. Newman Provost Kimberly Long, Ph.D., recommended him for the academy.
"She said she’d like to recommend me for this particular training program," Huschka said. "I said that would be a good experience, a great professional development opportunity, so she wrote a letter of recommendation, and I was chosen to represent Newman."
Huschka said he's excited about diving into leadership in the university setting.
"So this is a program, in my opinion," he explained, "that you get a feel for if this (leadership) is something you want to get into or not. Leadership training is always good — you always learn something. One of my main goals is to walk away with a broader understanding of what higher education is."
He added, "Instead of thinking, 'OK, what are our challenges right now,' it's important to think about what our challenges are going to be in five or 10 years — what could Newman University look like in five, 10 or even 15 years. What changes have we made in the past and what changes are we going to have to make now and in the future, to be competitive and viable.”
Huschka will begin his seventh year at Newman in the fall of 2018 and said it's a great privilege to be put in this type of representative role, not to mention its accompanying networking opportunities.
"It’s huge," said Huschka. "There are 19 other representatives, all from smaller universities. All of us are facing very similar challenges, and being able to contact someone from another school to talk about overcoming those challenges is a great thing."