From July 30 to August 3, the South Asia Initiative (SAI) at Harvard University hosted a “Multidisciplinary Approach to University Leadership Development” Workshop for university leaders from Maharashtra, India. Thirty leaders and policy makers attended, including vice chancellors, directors, principals and deans of both public and private higher learning institutions, as well as senior Government of Maharashtra officials. The idea for the workshop came out of a fall 2011 visit to Harvard by Rajendra Tope, Minister of Higher and Technical Education for the Government of Maharashtra.
This workshop, a first of its kind for SAI, was a huge success. The visiting leaders engaged closely with faculty and staff, actively discussing ways in which they could bring ideas from the workshop back to their institutions. Harvard faculty and staff from across the university challenged the participants to rethink their understandings of university culture, learning approaches, research, liberal arts education, library science, technology and funding.