Mark Matsumoto

Mark Matsumoto
Dean, School of Engineering, UC Merced

How do you define faculty leadership?
Faculty leaders are those who care and wish to contribute to the well-being of the organization. The organization can be a department, research consortium or center, college or school, Academic Senate committee, the campus, etc. It is leadership through service.

Can you share an example of when you've been able to influence positive change as an academic leader?
I have been involved in the establishment of a brand new department as well as two new engineering colleges/schools through early development. In these endeavors, I worked to help the faculty establish common goals and directions in research and instructional programs.

How could the University benefit from preparing more faculty for future leadership positions?
Effective faculty leaders are essential to the health of the campus. They are pivotal in helping the general faculty work in concert with campus (administrative) leadership to achieve the common campus goals in teaching, research, and service, and to address challenges that threaten the campus at large.

Tell us about your experience with leadership development programs, or if you have not participated in any, what you would hope to gain from doing so.
I was fortunate to participate in the UC Management Program when it was offered. It gave me wonderful insights into the distinctions between the various campuses as well as the value of the UC as a system and the coordinating role of the Office of the President. I also have been fortunate to be associated with the American Society of Engineering Education. The organization provides multiple opportunities to network with other engineering faculty administrators (chairs, associate deans, deans) and gain insights into issues they have faced and how they worked through them.

How does strong leadership from Faculty impact the University of California?
Strong leadership from the faculty is essential to future of the University of California. Shared governance had been instrumental in its preeminence. Without strong faculty leadership, the benefits of shared governance cannot be realized and the reputation that the UC now holds will diminish.

What would you say to Faculty hard pressed to find time to participate in leadership workshops or other programming?
Finding time is never easy. It is a matter of commitment. Similar to the research endeavor, if someone seeks to excel at service and contribute to the well-being of the faculty and the University, they should seek to always learn.