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Vice President Wins National Academic Leadership Award

National Council of Instructional Administrators to honor Dr. Pam Lau for excellence in AACC competencies

Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Parkland College Vice President for Academic Services Dr. Pamela Lau has won the 2017 Emerging Chief Academic Officer Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators.

Lau will receive a plaque and further recognition from the NCIA for receiving the award, according to NCIA Board President Dr. Dennis Headrick, who notified Lau in late July. 

The Emerging Chief Academic Officer Award is given to chief administrators of three years or less in their community colleges who have shown outstanding accomplishment in four American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) competencies for leaders: organizational strategy, institutional finance, communication, and collaboration. All nominations are evaluated by a panel of community college practitioners from across the country.

Parkland College President Tom Ramage, Arts and Sciences Dean Nancy Sutton, and Social Sciences and Human Services Department Chair Joe Walwik nominated Lau for the award. They praised her for effective initiatives she undertook during a difficult period at the college. 

"When Pam Lau took the helm of Academic Services at Parkland in May 2015, the college was in the midst of an internal reorganization and at the beginning of a period during which all state funding for higher education had been held in abeyance in Illinois," Ramage explained in Lau's nomination letter. "Despite these challenges, Pam took on new tasks for simplifying our Comprehensive Assessment Policy for students as well as directing a new initiative in creating a Guided Pathways program to help move our students towards graduation in as seamless a fashion as possible." 

"Dr. Lau models a strong work ethic that reinforces her commitment to the college and the community and has earned her the respect of Parkland faculty and staff," Sutton added. Walwik agreed.

"Pam Lau may be the one indispensable person on our campus," he said."We rely on her tireless work ethic, count on her unparalleled knowledge of Parkland's policies and procedures, and lean on her strong ethical foundation."

Lau joined the Parkland College faculty in 1995 as a teacher in its developmental reading program; she became director of the program in 2003. In 2005, she led the task force that coordinated the school's academic support services into the one-stop Center for Academic Success (CAS), serving as CAS's founding director. After her promotion to dean of academic services in 2010, Lau was fundamental in obtaining the second Title III grant in Parkland’s history. In 2015, she became interim vice president for academic services at Parkland College and accepted the permanent position the following year.

The National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA), an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), serves as the national voice for professionals involved in instructional administration in the community college. Formed in 1977, the NCIA is committed to providing leadership, advocacy, innovation, and professional development opportunities to its members for the improvement of teaching and learning.

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