Conference Tracks


Leadership in Higher Education Conference 2018
Conference Tracks and Descriptions


1. Best Practices for Deans and Department Chairs

New deans and department chairs (those approximately in years 1–3 of their new position) experience many challenges. These may include developing a leadership style, dealing with department/college finances, managing legal issues, supervising and hiring faculty and staff, and performing fundraising duties. Often, however, the new academic leader is without training in one or more of these areas. Experienced deans and department chairs (those with approximately three or more years in their position) need to continue to learn and innovate to keep their departments and colleges efficient, effective, and competitive. Sessions in this track focus on building skills that new deans or department chairs need to succeed in their position, or they focus on building new skills and refining existing ones for the experienced dean or chair; they may also focus on new trends or developments in higher education that affect academic leadership.

2. Evaluation and Program/Department Assessment

Assessment is an important issue for academic leaders, as states, accrediting bodies, students, and parents all look for evidence of quality. Academic leaders must understand how to work with accreditors, identify trends in state assessment and compliance, and carry out strategic planning for evaluation and assessment. Sessions in this track focus on concrete, actionable strategies to address the challenges of assessment.

3. Faculty Development

One of the most important jobs of an academic leader is to provide faculty development opportunities. Skills required include promoting and supporting faculty development by: training faculty in student learning and effective pedagogy; implementing appropriate programs or modules; understanding the needs of faculty; and employing effective development formats/platforms (online, face-to-face workshops, mentoring). Sessions in this track focus on techniques and best practices in faculty development.

4. Legal and Regulatory Issues

Legal and regulatory issues are very much the responsibility of the academic leader, who cannot leave these matters to the legal department alone. Leaders must have a working knowledge of sexual harassment issues, ADA, FMLA for faculty/staff, affirmative action, the Higher Education Act, contracting, Title IX, the Clery Act, and best practices in tenure review and denial. Sessions in this track contain expert opinion about how to handle legal and regulatory issues.

5. Special Topics in Academic Leadership

Special topics might include recruitment and retention, effective budgeting, UDL compliance, diversity and inclusion issues, campus climate, fundraising and development, or pedagogy. Sessions in this track address a specific issue in higher education from the perspective of academic leadership.