Name: Darin Harris
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Role: Organizational Development Consultant, Office of Strategic Consulting
of Years as an NCCI Member: 14 years
of Individuals at your institution that are members of NCCI: More than 25
Roles, Activities, Committees you have been a part of for NCCI: Board member from 2015-2020, Co-Chair of Membership and Outreach Committee, Member of Professional Development Committee, presenter at numerous annual conferences.
What have you gained as a result of being a member of NCCI? What has your institution gained?
I personally have gained two main things: One, NCCI has brought me shoulder to shoulder with some the most distinguished consultants and leaders in Higher Education. When you think about the people who have shaped higher ed over the past 30 years and will influence the next 30, they are here at NCCI. People like Maury Cotter, Brent Ruben, Ron Coley, and Catherine Lilly to name only a few. These folks are generous with their time and encouragement. I am very grateful to each of them for impacting my professional practice and personal values. This leads me to the second thing, demonstrated values. NCCI is an organization which is not just a professional association, it is a place to demonstrate leadership values: what integrity, commitment, passion, and positivity look like on a daily basis. I have witnessed this deep foundation which drives the inside of leaders and know that it has helped develop me into the person I am today.
At an organizational scale, NCCI has enabled UW-Madison to benchmark itself against the greatest successes and even some difficult failures in recent years. This learning across the national and international level brings many benefits. Some are very mundane like what to name your office and some profound such as how to best position the institution to face huge organizational change. One of the most recent examples was our own reorganization of our office. I had a chance to reach out to 10-12 NCCI member institutions to do a study of who they served, where they were placed, and services they offered. The ability to easily reach out to my peers was extremely valuable in navigating a course for the future of our office.
Most memorable aspect of your NCCI connection?
The personal relationships are the most memorable; that may sound too simple. However, when I look over the last 15 years, the memories of the extraordinary people who I have had the privilege to meet, work with, and overcome difficult challenges on a regular basis are those that stand out. NCCI attracts wonderful people who make a difference.
How would you encourage new members to NCCI to get involved?
Take the time to not just attend the conference or even join a committee but get to know these very special folks…ask them to lunch, call them on the phone, fly or drive to their institutions for a hosted visit. You will be glad you did.