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 DevelopmentAdministrative Leadership and Professional Development
Diversity, Inclusion, and ComplianceInstitutional Evaluation and Assessment
Hiring, Development, and RetentionInstitutional Culture and Climate
Special Topics in Academic Leadership

Academic Leadership and Professional Development

Invited Session

Your First Week as Chair: A Checklist of Reminders

Don Chu

Before your first week as department leader, you’ll need to mentally prepare. This session offers a checklist of notes you can be mindful of before you begin your new role as the department’s official head. We’ll also review email and other communications and legal matters.

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.

Advancing Faculty and Institutional Outcomes Through a Faculty Scholarly Writing Workshop

Karen G. Mellott and Christine Turner, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Learn how to facilitate a culture of scholarship, faculty collaboration, and mentoring by using a Faculty Scholarly Writing Workshop program. This program uses educational best practices and incorporates a flipped, hybrid approach with scaffolded learning activities to enhance faculty members’ writing skills and attitudes toward writing and publication. After this session participants will be able to: describe how to use the writing workshop in their academic institution; identify how the program promotes mentoring and collaborative relationships; use the program to support faculty scholarly professional development; and use the program to improve faculty morale and retention.

Becoming Stewards: Transforming New Leaders through Reflective Practice

Scott Greenberger, Gregory Rogers, and Rick Holbeck, Grand Canyon University
Audience is new to this topic.

With increasing complexity and challenges in higher education, new leaders have little time to adapt. New leaders who lack leadership experience have to learn on the job, often leading to large learning curves, early failures, and inefficient results. While leader development courses can help, they often lack the situational thinking and real-life setting to produce immediate results. Reflective practice provides an effective, contextualized, and solution-focused remedy for leader development. After this session, participants will be able to identify reflective practice as data driven decision making; discuss reflective practice as problem solving; differentiate “leading” from “leading as scholar;” and describe reflective strategies as transformative growth.

How to Lead in Today’s Higher Education VUCA Environment

Shelley Osagie, Thomas Jefferson University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Leadership skillsets are evolving due to volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) contexts in which we operate in the higher education environment today. These changes require leaders to alter their mindsets and apply new methods and skills rather than using outdated concepts. The increasing complexity of the higher education environment including rapid rates of change, globalization and cultural heterogeneity of the workforce, increasing access of information, improvement and expansion of technology, as well as application of technology into the work processes and procedures of higher education will continue to demand leaders who possess expert, broad, and deep cognitive capabilities. Topics covered include defining VUCA; the unproductive behaviors of VUCA; the new chief operating VUCA; and leadership skills necessary to survive VUCA.

Leading through Times of Change: Navigating the Higher Education Officialdom

Shana Garrett and Marilyn Powell, Walden University
Audience is new to this topic.

Change is quickly becoming a constant force in today’s higher education landscape. From leadership changes and program modifications, to the numerous external factors such as accreditation, student demands, as well as upholding the tradition of providing a quality education while serving business demands, change is always present. However, many are reticent to embrace transformation, and fear the personal and professional impacts of difference. Due to the lack of support and understanding for variations, the resistance can stifle even the most collaborative and progressive schools from supporting their faculty and students. This session will provide several frameworks in which you can utilize a approach to leading others through change.

Mentoring for Academic Leadership and Promotion

Jose Frantz, Anthea Rhoda, and Marieta Du Plessis, University of the Western Cape
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Universities are operating in a highly competitive environment and thus there is a need to ensure that succession planning initiatives are in place to develop strong academic and professional leaders. We need to ensure that academic leaders are grounded in their discipline but have cross cutting skills that can develop and nurture others. Through this workshop we aim to: develop an understanding of what a T-shaped academic leader looks like; facilitate mentoring and coaching skills to help develop T-shaped academic leaders; and provide an example of a strategy to develop the T-shaped academic leader.

Rescued by Shakespeare and Old English Proverbs

Ken Alford, Brigham Young University

Academic leaders are frequently called upon to speak on behalf of their faculty and staff members – new hires, awards, promotions, honors, retirements, etc. In this short session, I’ll share an easy (and free) method you can use to make each presentation you give different, appropriate, and easily tailored to the individuals being honored.

Administrative Leadership and Professional Development

Invited Session

Leadership Skills for New Academic Administrators: Diversifying Your Toolkit

Russell Carpenter and Sara Zeigler, Eastern Kentucky University
Audience is new to this topic.

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.

Invited Session

Analyzing Leadership Strategies: Approaches for Experienced Administrators Amid Changing Higher Education Landscapes

Russell Carpenter and Sara Zeigler, Eastern Kentucky University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

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).

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.

Frameworks for Faculty Development: Changing the Learning Landscape

Hoda Mostafa and Aziza Ellozy, American University in Cairo
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Holistic faculty development within any institution is challenging, with obstacles such as faculty buy-in and challenges that form part of the institutional culture. With the results of the ELI Key issues in Teaching and Learning recently identifying Faculty Development and Engagement as a key issue to those surveyed, our center embarked on a reflective process of re-imagining faculty development programs and contributing to a variety of methods to best serve student learning. Building on a framework for the growth of teaching expertise we hope to identify areas where institutions can develop models that are collaborative, participatory and innovative with student engagement and success at its core. The 2019 ELI survey places faculty development and engagement as a top key issue among those surveyed. During this session, we will explore key questions and opportunities focusing on reimagining faculty development and intentional growth of teaching expertise.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance

Advisory Board Session

Preparing for an Institutional Diversity Audit

Edna B. Chun, HigerEd Talent

Implementing systematic diversity transformation requires embracing all aspects of diversity—gender, sexual orientation, disability, gender identification, and other salient characteristics of difference—as well as race and ethnicity. Based on a newly published book, Conducting an Institutional Diversity Audit in Higher Education: A Practitioner’s Guide to Systematic Diversity Transformation, this session discusses how campuses can prepare to undertake an institutional diversity audit. This session will discuss the process of instigating cultural change, developing a values-based framework, creating readiness for change, and implementing a diversity accountability model that can successfully enable campuses to identify strengths and areas for improvement, and create a long-term strategy for diversity transformation.

Do You Feel Me? Effectively Engaging African American Students

Maya Galathe, Louisiana State University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Although college enrollment numbers for African American students are increasing, the graduation rate for African American students remains low at 42 percent, 20 percent lower than the rate for white and Asian students. This session will provide higher education professionals from all racial and ethnic backgrounds with practical skills to implement in everyday interactions with African American students. The information discussed will award professionals the opportunity to become more culturally competent, thus leading to more authentic communication with African American students. We will explore the concept of “Racial Battle Fatigue.” The session will include an open discussion on fixing leaks in the pipeline to graduation. After this session, participants will recognize key challenges faced by African American college students outside of the classroom; discuss the different areas of cultural competency when working with this population; gain an understanding of the term “Racial Battle Fatigue;” and be equipped with concrete take-always to implement during student interactions.

The Inclusion Habit

Amanda Felkey, Lake Forest College
Audience has some experience with this topic.

The Inclusion Habit is an evidence-based solution transfers inclusion work to the individual and is designed to make behavior more inclusive through six habit-building phases—embracing inclusion matters, understanding biases and sources, dispersing with the negativity surrounding unconscious biases, practicing thinking deliberately, reprogramming incorrect intuitions, and becoming more empathetic. Without behavior change, the effects of DEI programming and policy are limited. Topics in this session include: the overconfidence bias can create a negative effect of DEI programming; behavior change can take us beyond the current frontiers of DEI; and how daily activities, commitment devices and social accountability can create habits of understanding, empathy and inclusion.

Validation: Using Student Voice to Improve Programs, Curriculum and Support

Yvette Latunde, University of La Vetrne
Audience is new to this topic.

Unaddressed inequalities hurt students, especially those from underserved communities. This session describes how our program used theory, research, and student’s voices to address legacies of injustice, and improve our programs, curriculum, and student supports. Those attending this session will learn: how we used student voice to make sustainable change; how we addressed legacies of injustice; and how we prepare our doctoral students to advance equity, justice, and inclusion in their leadership.

Institutional Evaluation and Assessment

Finish in Four: Challenging College Norms to Improve Graduation Rates

Jeff Marsee, Finish in Four
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Creating an environment that helps students graduate on time should be driving all colleges’ strategic planning efforts. There is a growing realization that when it takes students too long to graduate, they don’t. Finish in Four introduces a Control Point Accountability Measurement model and a College Self-Assessment Tool that provides college strategic planners the ability to improve ten critical student retention areas. Finish in Four is for higher education’s stakeholders that desire to address the issues that are preventing students from graduating, want to reduce or eliminate students’ debt, and desire to improve higher education’s fiscal stability.

Hiring, Development, and Retention

Invited Session

Capturing the Success of Faculty Development on Learning and Teaching

Annie Soisson and Donna Qualters, Tufts University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

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.

Invited Session

Want to Help Your Faculty Flourish? Make the Switch from Supervisor to Coach

Carla Swearingen, Northeastern State 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. Knowledge of basic coaching principles can enhance supportive relationships with your faculty, and this happens 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, and formulate coaching questions.

If You Build It, They Will Come: Cultivating Leaders

Stephanie Hinshaw and Natalie Pelham, American College of Education
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Leadership is tricky and, contrary to what we see, simply promoting your top-performers to leadership positions is not the solution. Leaders and future leaders need assistance in cultivating leadership capacities. We explore two ways to address this leadership training need: informal mentoring and coaching alongside formal leadership development programs. This session will explore ways organizations can “grow leaders” through formal and informal strategies. Session attendees can expect to learn mentoring strategies within a department; informal leadership coaching strategies; steps to create an internal leadership development program (LDP); and the effects on leaders and future leaders.

Online Recruitment—Hiring and Development of Instructors for Online Teaching

Kareen Guscott
University of the West Indies Open Campus
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Central to quality delivery of online education is a pool of qualified, experienced, and technologically competent Instructors. Hiring new instructors for online teaching, and transitioning existing instructors to online modality can be challenging, due to resistance to change (Reneau, 2016). The University of the West Indies Open Campus’ Instructor hiring and development practices have been successful, and may benefit other Higher Education Institutions offering, or planning to offer online programs. Participants will learn about recruitment practices; strategies implemented to transition existing face to face instructors to online modality; training model for instructors; and resources and support for instructors.

Strengthening Recruitment, Performance, and Retention Through Employee Engagement

Ann Taylor, Penn State University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Research indicates only a third of U.S. employees are engaged in their work, more than half are seeking new jobs or actively looking, and only a fifth say they are motivated to do outstanding work. This can result in a loss in productivity, morale, innovation, and customer satisfaction; higher employee turnover rates; and problems attracting new employees. Our future—our students—depends on having engaged faculty and staff. This session will introduce “employee engagement,” explore what an engaged higher education workplace looks like, share successful strategies for engaging faculty and staff, and encourage participants to share their own successes.

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.

Creating Positive Cultural Change in Record Time

Gayle Lantz, WorkMatters, Inc.
Audience has some experience with this topic.

What if change didn’t have to be so difficult? Learn what it really takes to begin creating cultural shifts in your organization that make an immediate positive impact. This session includes a case study from a department within an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center. We will review the paradigm-busting approach to driving positive organizational transformation. Participants will learn how to: dramatically expand possibilities for their department/institution; gain all-in commitment from multiple stakeholders; turn individuals at every level into proactive problem solvers; maximize results when new leadership is in place.

Leveraging Culture Change as Mid-Level Academic Leaders

Amy Hawkins, Stephanie Watson, Wendy Lucas,and Patty Kohler, University of Central Arkansas
Audience has some experience with this topic.

This interactive session invites participants to consider the ways mid-level academic leaders can foster culture change. Participants will engage in activities used to build rapport among mid-level leaders to facilitate lateral collaboration and leading up by influencing academic deans. As a result of this session, participants will be able to: assess the potential for culture change to be fostered from mid-level academic leaders on their campuses; investigate the use of an appreciative coaching model with faculty; determine the role of case scenarios in building leadership skills; and consider the feasibility of offering ongoing mid-level academic leadership development.

Leveraging Institutional Culture for Departmental Climate Change

Jennifer Gerometta and Maria Armiento-DeMaria, Iona College
Audience is new to this topic.

Embracing positive institutional culture shifts can invite innovation and replace distrust and lack of cooperation at a departmental level. Using strategies based in learning theory, leadership, and reflective practice, department leaders can successfully implement a shift in climate to reflect positive institutional culture change. Through research review and the shared experiences of the presenters, session participants will recognize the impact of culture and climate on departmental efficiency and effectiveness; identify dynamic and supportive leadership approaches; establish a strengths-based and consensus-building approach; and see the profound value of humor, respect, and reflection upon positive departmental change.

Mission Success: Creating a Culture of Positivity on Campus!

Joshua Seery, Walnut Hill College
Audience has some experience with this topic.

This session highlights the reality in which academic and administrative leadership, students, faculty, and staff alike can alter how a class, colleague, and the educational institution in general is perceived and provides ways to create a culture of positivity. After this session, participants will be able to explain how leadership, students, faculty, and staff can influence perception; explain the concept of positive leadership; apply theory into practice and build a culture of positivity on their campus; and offer professional development on the topic.

Protecting Your Culture Through Understanding Toxic Leadership

Stephanie Hinshaw, American College of Education
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Leaders have accountability to protect the culture of their organizations. One way in which they can accomplish this is through identifying leaders who are negatively impacting their teams and organization. Toxic leaders leave followers and organizations worse than when they found them (Lipman-Blumen, 2005). These leaders are often more concerned with power, prestige, and their own image than doing what is right for others or an organization. The goals of this presentation are: defining toxic leadership, learning how to identify toxic leadership, discuss strategies for handling toxic leaders and repairing the culture after they are removed.

Wellbeing and a Remote Faculty Workforce: Lessons and Strategies Learned

Jenna Sage, Ultimate Medical Academy
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Making the adjustment from full-time onsite faculty to a remote workforce can be satisfying and challenging for faculty and institutions. This session will include specific lessons and strategies learned to promote self-care and social/emotional wellbeing as part of remote work. Participants will gain an understanding of the preparation, outcomes, and maintenance of adjusting to remote faculty positions. Through this session learners will: gain an understanding of the processes undertaken; review outcome data supporting the process; focus on self-care and mental health during remote work transitions; and share best practices and ideas.

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.

Effective Communication in Academia: Dos and Don’ts

Domenick Pinto, Sacred Heart University
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Effective communication is vital to successful leadership on any level in academia. This session provides a variety of scenarios to discuss and evaluate citing both effective and ineffective methods of communication. Participants will learn the importance of listening as well as speaking; how to analyze and “read between the lines”; what not to say as well as what to say; and creative ways to request approval for new programs, funding, etc.

Twelve Things You Thought You Knew About Online Education But Might Not

Brian Udermann, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Audience is new to this topic.

Online courses and degrees continue to grow in popularity. However, many instructors and administrators are not familiar with the research that has been conducted and published related to online education. During this session, we will explore topics such as what percentage of students are taking online courses, current enrollment trends in higher education, how employers perceive online degrees, if teaching online is more work-intensive, retention rates in online education, academic achievement in online courses, if taking online courses decrease time to graduation, and if students cheat more in online courses.

Leading a Turnaround in Competitive Times!

Chris Cassirer, University of Bridgeport and Christine Quinn, Excelsior College
Audience is new to this topic.

More than half of private and public colleges missed their fall 2019 enrollments. Additionally, many institutions are facing mergers or closures. Tackling the challenges facing higher education today requires advanced skills. For many, turnaround leadership is a new experience. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn from experts who have managed multiple university turnarounds. We will share best practices and key strategies to reposition your institution to thrive. Through this session, you will: complete a brief assessment of your current situation; identify key communication strategies to engage with stakeholders; deepen understanding of turnaround leadership approaches; and explore how to take swift action in a shared governance structure.

Social Media to Develop Academic Careers

Sandra Mohr and Aurora Denial, New England College of Optometry
Audience is new to this topic.

As educational leaders, we are often in the position of having to mentor faculty, who are seeking career advancement. Becoming a successful academician requires a well-planned out and executed strategy. Social media can be a valuable tool in the dissemination of scholarship and networking. It allows for instantaneous access to a large audience, delivery and control of your message, and a platform to engage and collaborate with colleagues. Although the use of social media to enhance careers may initially seem foreign and disruptive, the current landscape requires an open mind and awareness of the potential. Learning goals for this session are to acquire awareness of the challenges and opportunities involved with the use of social media; to ensure that your faculty’s high quality scholarship stands out; to learn best practices to building a personal brand/reputation; and to use LinkedIn as a platform for relationship building.

The Importance of 21st Century Skills: Education Beyond Academic Knowledge

Jessica Dolecheck and Paula Griswold, University of Louisiana Monroe
Audience has some experience with this topic.

Current research shows that a large percentage of young people preparing to enter the workforce are significantly lacking in 21st Century Skills such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication. According to recent nationwide surveys of businesses and academic institutions, results indicate that 21st century learning is crucial for the future workforce. Participants will learn current research and trends related to 21st Century Skills in higher education and today’s workforce; a model of employability that provides a framework for educators in helping students reach their full potential; and strategies for implementing intra-curricular activities related to personal skill development for students.

Close Menu