Ken Simonson Heads to Harvard!

By: Natalie Bullock

Kenneth Simonson has been accepted into the summer Management Development Program at Harvard University where he will collaborate with other collegiate academic administrators to improve higher education.

Ken Simonson

CEAS Academic Director, Ken Simonson

Kenneth Simonson, College of Engineering and Applied Science Academic Director, has yet again distinguished himself as one of the finest members of the UC family as he prepares to head to Harvard University this summer to take part in the 2015 class of their prestigious Management Development Program.

The Management Development Program is offered through the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is designed to enhance the leadership capabilities of middle managers working in higher education. As a participant in this program, Simonson says he hopes to continue to develop his “organizational skills and knowledge as a way to benefit my current position, the college and the university.”  It is Simonson’s inclination toward using his gifts to benefit the bigger picture of the university as a whole that makes him such an asset to the University of Cincinnati.

While representing UC at Harvard, Simonson will take part in workshops, small groups, and interactive presentations that will allow him to engage with other university administrators from around the country. He believes this will be an “excellent opportunity to gain advice and insight to the major challenges of higher education.”

These challenges to higher education are becoming increasingly complex, and according to Harvard University, administrators must learn how to “think more strategically, balance competing demands on your time, and engage in more forward- thinking leadership.” Thus, the Management Development Program exists to help prepare middle manager administrators to be better equipped to serve their students, other faculty, and the university.

President Santa Ono participated in the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents and was actually the driving force behind Simonson’s application to this particular program. While the two were discussing the program, President Ono encouraged Simonson to apply to the program.

The application process involved submission of a resume and two essays in which Simonson had to explain how the program would benefit him, as well as what he thought the most pressing concerns are in higher education today. Upon receiving confirmation of his acceptance into the program, Simonson says that he feels the acceptance “conveys an acknowledgement of the contributions that I have made to the success of the E3 Program in particular, and the contributions I have made to the institution in general.”

It seems that Mr. Ryan Hays, Executive Vice President in the Office of the President, would agree when he says, “Ken ranks second to none as a citizen of the university.  He has served on countless campus-wide committees because of his ability to think strategically, work collaboratively and ensure accountability.”

As Simonson heads to Harvard this May, UC eagerly awaits his return and the energy he will bring back to campus as a result of what he learns in the engaging environment of Harvard’s Management Development Program.