On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, a closing ceremony was held for the first class of graduates from the first international training program conducted by UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences. Ten senior faculty members from the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC) came to UAB for an intensive three-week training program centered around building leadership skills in the public sector. The BPATC trains all civil servants in Bangladesh. The training program was funded by a $50,000 grant sponsored by the Bangladesh government and the BPTAC.
Dr. Akhlaque Haque, professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and director of the department’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, is the principal investigator on the grant. Dr. Haque spearheaded the 21-day program, which featured training through lectures and workshops on subjects such as Leading with Integrity; Strategic Planning; and Conflict, Peace, and Negotiation. Participants also met with local government officials and went on surrounding city tours and excursions.
“What made our program unique is we took the time to reflect on what the Bangladesh government might need and what would be most helpful to them, and we created the training program around that,” said Haque. “So, when we were asked to send a proposal about leadership, we blended two types of training: Leadership in soft skills, and then exploring what it takes to be a leader.”
At the closing ceremony, the participants were presented with certificates from the UAB Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) for completing the training program. The CTL trains faculty members at UAB; Senior Vice Provost and Senior International Officer Dr. Suzanne Austin thought that they should be involved in the BPTAC training, as well.
“The fact that the government of Bangladesh chose UAB to provide an extended professional development opportunity to this cohort of civil servants is a testament to our Public Administration program,” said Dr. Austin. “Training programs like this are a wonderful way to expand the global reputation of UAB and we look forward to sharing our expertise in many areas with future delegations from around the world.”
Dr. Robert Palazzo, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said this program supports the College’s goal of increasing its international profile.
“Expanding global reach and global impact is a key aspiration of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Haque’s leadership and commitment aligned with the support of the Provost’s Office has made this program possible and successful,” he said.
Dr. Haque echoed those sentiments of support throughout UAB. “The program came together thanks to the remarkable support of several UAB resource officials from housing and immigration to the CTL, the Dean’s Office, and the Provost’s office,” said Dr. Haque. “We are so grateful for their support.”