UCU teachers and staff, Halyna Protsyk, head of UCU’s Office for International Academic Relations, Viktoria Horbunova, head of the Department of Clinical Psychology, Viktor Zhukovskyi, head of the Department of Theology, and Oleh Yaskiv, director of UCU’s Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Center, took part in a certificate program in Catholic Leadership at the University of Notre Dame (USA).
UCU’s group joined 53 leaders from other countries of North America, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. The eight-day program was intended to give leaders of Catholic organizations a deeper understanding of their role in their communities and their obligations to their subordinates and their colleagues. This course is part of the University of Notre Dame’s commitment to support missions and the work of Catholic institutions through the whole world.
In the words of Oleh Yaskiv, director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Center, the program included not only training but also some focus on mission, in the sense of becoming aware of the mission of Catholic universities in academic processes and also the role of non-profit Catholic organizations in the contemporary stage of human development. This resulted in the program’s high level of content and also a very responsible attitude from organizers and participants.
“Because of its thematic content and especially intense classes, this was one of the most difficult programs in which I have taken part in the last 18 years. I was impressed by the basic level of preparation and the discipline and endurance of all the program’s participants. The participants represented Central Europe, the USA, Asia, and Africa, and so represented the majority of problems and tasks that face Catholic communities and academic institutions throughout the world. This program was jointly organized by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Mendoza College of Business, which are structural components of the University of Notre Dame. Through their joint efforts, they were able to recruit highly-qualified specialists and intellectual leaders in American education and the non-government sector as experts and speakers. I am certain that the experience and knowledge gained will help each participant of the program, including Ukrainians, who represented various sectors of administration, and this will help the university implement this new experience in the realities of work,” explains Oleh Yaskiv.
Top experts and professors of the University of Notre Dame presented courses for the participants of the program that were important for effective management of non-profit Catholic organizations. The main emphasis of the training was themes like managing change, organizational assessment, academic and fundamental leadership, the history and current state of philanthropy and charitable work, leadership on the basis of strengths, culture and mission, strategic planning, the art of negotiation, and fundraising basics.
“The week at Notre Dame was certainly the busiest week of instruction in all my life. Not in my undergraduate years, nor later as a graduate or doctoral student or in other numerous projects did I ever study so intensively. Self-analysis, fundraising, strategic management, assessment of organizational changes and development, and the nature of philanthropy is a very brief overview of our program.
“However, the greatest value in taking part was not the content of the courses (which in their intensity and representation of speakers were truly exceptional), but the people. First of all, the friendly and competent heads of the project, who not only organized courses but made friends with the participants and engaged them in dialogue and interaction: Jim McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute, thanks to whom participants from Catholic universities in Central and Eastern Europe were able to become part of the project; Mark Hardy, director of the Non-Profit Certificate Program of the Mendoza College of Business and head of the project; Monica Caro, organizer of all the processes and project manager. Secondly, of course, participants from all over the world, bright people, enthused with their work and ministry, who want to create changes in education and worldviews. Thirdly, and most important for me, my colleagues from UCU, who in this short time became significantly more than colleagues. I thank Oleh Yaskiv, Halyna Protsyk, and Viktor Zhukovskyi for the unique opportunity to experience all the activities together, to re-think them, to share impressions, to receive and give support, and even to celebrate a birthday.
“The University of Notre Dame, Catholic in its basis and development, is impressive not only in its scope, created for education, development, and relaxation (numerous educational buildings, tennis courts, a stadium, sports, concerts, theaters, movie theaters…) but for its special atmosphere: freedom, creativity, accepting differences and a preparedness for change.” Viktoria Horbunova thus shared her impressions.
“The Catholic University of Notre Dame and the team of experts created a program for us participants, an exceptionally international platform for joint exchange of ideas, experience, and the challenges that we all face, preserving all the qualities of a Catholic identity in the modern secularized world. Comparing experiences with countries of Africa, Asia, America and Europe, I was especially impressed to realize the inarguable fact of what strongly unites us: faith and the desire to create ‘qualitative’ good in our professional environments. Such an axiomatic approach on the part of all the participants allowed us to work fruitfully and effectively at acquiring new skills in the fields of management, fundraising, strategic planning assessment, implementation of decisions, and networking. For me the main result of study was the capacity to see my daily obligations in a wider way, to reflect on them in the wider picture and analyze what of use in the future can come out of them. Another priceless treasure was the friendly relations between participants and directors of the program, which I am certain will be maintained and will influence us for many years. This gives inspiration for further development and fruitful work!” So says Halyna Protsyk, head of UCU’s Office for Academic Relations.