Quick Questions: Sandra Best Bailly


Sandra Bailly, MSW, works with ATG as a coach and in leadership development on top of her work with Simmons University. She and Peg AtKisson met during coaching training. When Peg found out Sandra had transitioned into the academy from industry, she said, "So, the behaviors you see people get away with in academia that would never fly in the business world? That's not your imagination." Instant bond! Sandra's coaching role with ATG will be expanding in the near future, where she will lead cohorts of our 8-week research leadership programs.


In the first of a “Quick Questions” series, ATG offered Sandra a list of questions to pick from for an email interview. Read on to learn a few things about one of our coaches that might not appear in her CV!


(If you would like to participate in a Quick Questions interview, let us know!)

  1. What should we know about you, and maybe don’t? Passion for cultural exchange and global travel---Brussels, Tunisia, Belgrade (former Yugoslavia), Taj Mahal, Panama, Barbados, Bequia, Jamaica, Monrovia, Liberia, Czech Republic/Prague, Berlin, etc.; and, the need for a good laugh everyday! New places, new spaces never get old.

  2. What is your favorite thing about your current role at Simmons University? Career pathing students; exploring non-traditional career possibilities, and developing strategic partnerships (e.g., employers, community agencies, other).

  3. If you had a magic wand, what is the first thing you would you change about academia? The entire business model---especially the dual employment aspects related to faculty governance policies and procedures and the rest of the institution...create one entity employer with centralized HR compensation, incentives, rewards, benefits, performance management, etc.

  4. How do you see your role in supporting a more humane university? My role in supporting a more humane university has to be in modeling the behavior/spoken word when interacting at all levels of the institution (internal and external).

  5. What does leadership mean to you? Integrity---words, behavior, and actions matter. Continuous teaching and learning...vertical and horizontal. Influence and followership. Awareness of the power and privilege the status holds. Humility and vulnerability---willingness to take risks, sit in discomfort, and sometimes stand alone.

  6. What is your flavor of leadership and how does it show up in your work with clients? Authentic Leadership, mentoring, coaching, keen awareness of high potential, monitoring the org climate/dynamics.

  7. What is the future asking of academia? A level playing field for faculty and staff---opportunity to contribute at one's highest level of performance with/without doctorate degree based on talent, skill set, and capacity to keep the institution operating at its highest level of performance (lights on, fiscally sound, efficient, and continuously innovating).

Read Sandra Bailly's bio here.