Concurrent Sessions

The Leadership in Higher Education Conference represents the leading thinking on strategic issues in higher education today. Concurrent sessions are peer selected in several ways. After an open call for proposals, the conference advisory board members choose selected presentations through a rigorous blind review process. Outstanding presenters from the previous conference—as evaluated by conference attendees—return as invited presenters with either an updated or reprised version of their top-scoring presentation. Finally, the advisory board determines trends or topics not addressed by the general sessions and creates content in these areas.

Look for sessions in the tracks: Academic Leadership and Professional Development, Administrative Leadership and Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Program and Department Evaluation and Assessment, Hiring, Development, and Retention, Institutional Culture and Climate, Special Topics in Academic Leadership.


Academic Leadership and Professional Development

Your Leadership Formula: Discover Your Leadership Chemistry
Courtney Plotts, CASEPS

With so many competing ideas about leadership in higher education, it is easy to become distracted and to forget about our individual uniqueness and personal abilities that we bring to our institutions. This interactive session allows leaders to identify their leadership elements, to optimize how to lead and, to build effectively within their own departments. This session will help leaders provide a deeper understanding about their roles as leaders, and how to identify meaningful areas of growth and development for themselves and the individuals they lead. Learn about the basics of leadership chemistry; identify your personal elements of leadership; and understand the role such elements play in motivating, trusting, and supporting their faculty.


Administrative Leadership and Professional Development

Invited Session
Leadership Skills for New Academic Administrators: Diversifying Your Toolkit
Russell Carpenter, Eastern Kentucky University

This session focuses on developing leadership skills for new academic administrators. Academic administrators are often asked to take on leadership roles with little or no formal (or even informal) training in this area. Being a new academic administrator can be challenging without intentional approaches, skill development, periodic assessment, self-assessment, and intentional reflection. Many new administrators are expected to lead full-time staff members, tenure-track, tenured faculty, along with committees of a variety of configurations. Based on years of higher education academic administrative experience as faculty members and university leaders, the facilitator will guide participants through a multi-step process of leadership skill development and strategies that prioritize practical approaches participants can readily apply and transfer to their own contexts. Participants will reflect on their own leadership values; assess their leadership strategies and skills; prioritize leadership decision making; explore approaches for expanding leadership skills in different situations; discuss leadership scenarios and potential outcomes; explore valuable leadership resources and tools; and develop a leadership action plan for use across a variety of academic contexts.

Intended audience: new academic leaders


Invited Session
Analyzing Leadership Strategies: Approaches for Experienced Administrators Amid Changing Higher Education Landscapes
Russell Carpenter, Eastern Kentucky University

Effective leaders employ different approaches depending on a variety of factors. They use enable and empower the people around them through the leadership strategies they employ on a daily basis. Higher education leaders must evolve to guide their units through challenges. Previous strategies, while once effective, will not guide faculty and staff through the challenges ahead. Leadership skill development is a continuous–even iterative–process. This session, intended primarily for experienced higher education leaders, offers practical strategies for navigating leadership challenges during times of transition and change. Participants will examine effective leadership styles across a variety of higher education scenarios; reflect on leadership strategies within the context of complex reporting structures, expectations, needs, and challenges often faced in the academy; discuss scenarios that allow participants to develop leadership skills, experiences, and strategies; identify leadership strategies that will yield productive and meaningful outcomes; and compare leadership approaches and their benefits (or drawbacks).

Intended audience: experienced leaders


Invited Session
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership that Empowers, Moves Culture, and Creates Engagement
David Katz III, Mohawk Valley Community College

In this multi-dimensional, interactive, experiential, and fun presentation we will learn: leadership is about empowering others, and empowering others requires positive, safe, connected, and affirming relationships; as leaders we have a profound impact upon the emotional state of the people we engage with each day; and the neuroscience confirms that the affective domain powerfully impacts cognition, persistence, motivation, self-efficacy, and performance. We will then practice skills and model behavior that creates positive, motivated, engaged collaboration. The primary objective is to empower leaders by wrapping skill around these concepts in order to become even more transformational leaders.


Hiring, Development, and Retention

Invited Session
Capturing the Success of Faculty Development on Learning and Teaching
Annie Soisson and Donna Qualters, Tufts University

Capturing how faculty development activities actually translate into teaching practice is an on-going issue in higher education. Many of the most common methods of assessing the success of our efforts are perceptual (faculty feedback) but what we perceive and what faculty apply and sustain in their classrooms is different than their satisfaction with a particular program. In this session we will share ways beyond “smile sheets” to document the effectiveness of faculty development both qualitatively and quantitatively. By the end of the session participants will be prepared to discuss the challenges in measuring the outcome of faculty development activities; understand a model using multiple methods to document faculty change; and share ideas from their own campus on assessing faculty development activities.

Intended audience: experienced leaders


Invited Session
Coaching: Developing your Faculty, One Conversation at a Time
Carla Swearingen, John Brown University

Do you see developing faculty who are enthusiastic about their long-term careers as vital to the health of your institution? Coaching, founded on theories of adult learning and evidence-based practices, is an effective approach to supporting faculty. Widely accepted in the business sector, coaching is just as applicable in higher education. The agenda is set by the faculty member and is therefore individualized, learner-centric, and purpose-driven. We cannot teach you to become coaches in one hour, but you will become knowledgeable of basic coaching principles that will enhance supportive relationships with your faculty, one conversation at a time. At the end of this session, participants will be able to: summarize the basic principles of coaching; understand the benefits of a coaching approach; formulate coaching questions; and employ coaching practices in a conversation.


Institutional Culture and Climate

Invited Session
The Campus Civility Project: Promoting Emotionally Intelligent Conversations
Emily Moore, Wake Technical Community College

As part of a Campus Compact Fund for Positive Engagement Mini-Grant, Wake Technical Community College launched the Campus Civility Project: Emotionally Intelligent Conversations in 2017. This project is based on the premise that emotional intelligence is a prerequisite for civil conversations. A key element of the project is an online course that provides faculty, staff, and students with tools and resources to use as they work to build a culture of civil discourse. Attendees will learn how they can incorporate elements of this project on their own campuses to cultivate a climate that values all members of the campus community. During this session, attendees will the Campus Civility Project and the impact it has had so far on the climate at Wake Technical Community College, the role that emotional intelligence plays in civility, the importance of empathy and assertiveness in civil conversations, and how they can incorporate elements of the Campus Civility Project: Emotionally Intelligent Conversations into their own campuses to help to cultivate a workplace environment that values all members of the campus community.


Invited Session
How to Leverage the Absolute Power of Organizational Culture
Stephen Dunnivant, Broward College

Organizations that thrive understand the supreme value of culture. Successful organizational cultures tend to be led by passionate communicators who drive the core of the culture. These leaders believe and follow transparency as they constantly build trust and empower members. In this unique session participants will learn how to conduct “Culture Mapping” and align this with their strategic planning. The session includes free tools to assist organizations on how to begin leveraging the absolute power of their organization’s culture.


Special Topics in Academic Leadership

Invited Session
The Best Gift in the World…..TIME
Seena Haines, The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, Jenny Van Amburgh, Northeastern University, and Susan Stein, Sue M. Stein Consulting, LLC

To be consistently productive and manage stress better, we must strengthen our skill in attention management. This is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus. Rather than allowing distractions to derail your work, choose where you direct your attention at any given moment, based on an understanding of your priorities and goals. This session is more than just exercising focus. It’s about taking back control over your time and your priorities. You will identify and discuss sources that of time wasters, energy drainers, and distractions; explore how transparency, identity, mindfulness, and energy (TIME) can contribute to better time efficiencies; complete and analyze a time analysis inventory and describe key strategies and evidence-supported solutions to prioritize tasks and recover time; and create a two-part action plan for improving time efficiency to foster work life integration.

Intended audience: familiar with the topic and ready to learn more


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