Message from the Chair: 2020 – Strategic Direction and Involvement

Message from the Chair: 2020 – Strategic Direction and Involvement

Message from the Chair:

2020 – Strategic Direction and Involvement

Dear UNICON colleagues,

I hope you enjoyed the Holiday Season! While thinking of the goals and execution plans we set to initiate a New Year, I would like to reinforce our consortium’s strategic drivers and the opportunity to contribute towards them through the call to serve on a UNICON Committee released last week.

Back in early August I shared the five strategic drivers that our Board of Directors agreed on, to enrich the value that UNICON provides:

  1. Generate opportunities for networking and discussion among our member institutions.
  2. Provide timely and relevant data, information and insights to support analysis and decision-making.
  3. Support talent attraction and development.
  4. Facilitate sharing information about tools and technologies within the executive education ecosystem that support the learning experience and operations.
  5. Promote and strengthen the value of university-based executive education.

These strategic drivers are crucial to continue fostering the university-based executive education landscape, which our institutions are part of. Just as it happens overall in higher education, executive development will be even more important in the upcoming years, as competitiveness becomes increasingly driven by learning. Beyond expertise, leaders will need to nurture and practice agility, a learning mindset and entrepreneurial drive. Leaders must be capable of identifying and sharing purpose and must consistently demonstrate robust resilience to deal positively with frustrations and challenges.

Besides enriching our academic offer, operations and learning experiences provided, this context also requires raising ourselves to a higher level. How should we develop ourselves as executive education professionals? How should we expose ourselves to new and valuable learning opportunities and experiences? As we think and set new goals for this New Year – and as we also think of ways to contribute towards the university-based executive education landscape – it is worth to consider serving on one of the established UNICON committees. This is a great opportunity to interact with top level individuals from all over the world, dedicated to furthering executive education through the UNICON organization. And most important, to work together and collaborate on current and new initiatives associated to the strategic drivers described above.

We have made great progress up to date, but I strongly believe we must go beyond that to foster the university-based executive education industry and our own institutions while being part of it. Good leaders understand the power of development, shared thinking and collaboration. They know that when they value the thoughts, ideas and actions of others, they receive the compounding results of shared thinking and accomplish more than they ever could on their own. And that is precisely what happens through the initiatives and endeavors conducted by UNICON committees.

Please reach out to Bill Scheurer ( by January 24th to learn about opportunities to join UNICON committees this year. I look forward to hear about your valuable engagement and contributions as we initiate a New Year!

Marco Serrato, Ph.D.
UNICON 2019-2020 Board Chair
Associate Provost, The University of Chicago


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