Lehigh U. offering virtual COVID-19 executive leadership courses

Stacy Wescoe//August 19, 2020

Lehigh U. offering virtual COVID-19 executive leadership courses

Stacy Wescoe//August 19, 2020

Lehigh University will be offering a series of online courses this fall that are geared towards addressing current business issues, especially management during a time of pandemic.

The Vistex Institute for Executive Learning & Research at the Lehigh University College of Business has introduced six new online programs that are designed to give business leaders the tools they need to adapt to doing business in the midst of COVID-19.

Alison Peirce, executive director of the institute, said the non-credit, non-degree courses are being designed for middle managers to executive level leaders who are looking for help in managing virtual teams, whether remote or hybrid; managing changing supply chain costs, planning for future risks and diversity and inclusion.

“This is all new content that hasn’t been offered before that we think are specific to a manager’s needs because of the pandemic,” Peirce said.

Classes will include “Virtual Leadership: Essential Skills for Leading a Hybrid and Remote Workforce, Now and Post-COVID,” a class taught by Lehigh Alum, Sasha Conner, a former marketing executive who now runs a consulting business that helps professionals lead in a virtual environment.

There is also a course specific to virtual project management, Project Management Foundations: Managing in a Virtual World.

Strategic Decision-Making and Leadership in a Crisis and Managing Supply Chain Risk look at decision making and planning in an ever evolving situation like the COVID-19 pandemic and Managing Financial Challenges in the Supply Chain: Surviving Covid and Beyond looks specifically at the financial issues managers might face with these issues.

Because the Black Lives Matter movement became an important issue during the COVID-19 crisis after the death of George Floyd, Peirce said the school also decided to add a class that will help managers work on inclusion, diversity and equity issues, Creating the Environment for Courageous Inclusion.

“We are hearing from people about the challenges they were facing. There’s a real need here,” Peirce said.

The classes being offered online versus on campus isn’t the only change the school has made to its fall offerings.

“When our students would typically come to our campus it would be for classes over a day or two, but an 8 hour Zoom session is not helpful for classroom work,” she said. “Instead we chunked up the material.”

Now courses are run for two or three hours at a time over a number of weeks depending on the class.

She said that has an added benefit that those taking the course can get actionable ideas during each session that they can then apply at their companies immediately rather than being away from work for a few days at a time and implementing them in the future.

Peirce said a handful of students are already signed up for the courses, she hopes to have about 30 students per class.

More information can be found at business.lehigh.edu/executive-education.