2023 Presentations

Pre-Conference Career Development Workshop

Who Needs to Change: You or Higher Education?

by Rebecca Campbell and Gypsy Denzine

If change is the only constant, then we must understand how to navigate it. In this highly interactive workshop, navigating change as an academic leader will be explored through the concept of self-efficacy, career curveball situations and the construct of hope. First, we will focus on how self-efficacy matters for academic leaders and how your self-efficacy can be used to manage change. Next, we will take an in-depth look at career curveballs and how to prepare and respond for when a dynamic situation necessitates an on-the-spot leadership change. Finally, we will conclude the workshop using Snyder’s theory of hope as a model for leveraging your leadership self-efficacy to manage career curveballs. Throughout the workshop, we will share examples, preparation and change management strategies. We aspire to leave you with practical tactics for managing your own career transitions with confidence and hope.


Leading Change with Courage, Commitment, Grit, and Humility

by Bruce Kusch

For individuals and organizations if there is no change, there can be no progress. Leaders in every organization must learn to be effective change leaders – and that’s one of the more challenging aspects of a leader’s job that may not be found anywhere in the job description. Dr. Bruce C. Kusch will discuss his own lessons learned about leading change and will invite conference participants to engage in lively conversation on the topic, identifying valuable principles and practices that can benefit any leader.

Plenary Sessions

Hot Spots on Campus: How Our Leaders Can Recognize and Calm the Fires

by Vicki Bautista and Gretchen Oltman

Every campus has its own hot spots – or centers – of chaos, confusion, and stress. Over time, the systems in which we work become personally and professionally challenging, which can lead to burnout, health and emotional well-being challenges, and a fading sense of purpose. This session seeks to help campus leaders understand their own propensity for burnout and to recognize the institution’s role in providing a safe, healthy, and innovative space for learning to take place. In this process, colleges and universities (and their leaders) must reconsider how and why some customs and practices lead to employee burnout and how simple adaptations and reimagining the workplace can strengthen the entire organization. Participants, as campus leaders, will leave with improvement strategies to implement upon their return to work.

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Change Leaders in Higher Education

by Stephanie Delaney

Learn about the seven common traits of successful leaders gleaned from the findings of a five-year NSF funded study examining the impact of executive coaching on change management and leadership in higher education. Using institutional examples and suggestions for implementation, we’ll explore how leaders can create their own framework for successful change management that can be applied to implement change initiatives effectively and sustainably at scale.

Leading Change in Higher Education

by Stephanie Hinshaw

This session will focus on identifying the distinct types of changes higher education leaders, especially academic deans, encounter in their work. Specifically, higher education leaders are asked to respond to changes in the world, higher education changes, and changes directed by executive leadership at their universities. Additionally, most deans identify desired changes and elect to initiate changes themselves. This session explores each of these different types of changes and how deans can lead in and through these changes. Session attendees will learn strategies that will help them survive, address, and embrace change by using a systems thinking lens and practical leadership strategies.

Trauma-Informed Academic Leadership

by Tricia Shalka and Nate Harris

Trauma is a topic that is increasingly visible in our campus communities and discourses. In this session, we will provide an overview of how trauma might show up in academic environments and what these realities mean in terms of our roles as academic leaders. We will conclude with some tangible strategies to begin engaging as a more trauma-informed academic leaders.

Concurrent Sessions

Cultivating Leadership Skills in Early-Career Faculty

by Russell Carpenter and Sara Zeigler

This session focuses on strategies for developing leadership skills in early-career faculty. Academic administrators must support, mentor, and guide early-career faculty as they prepare for various levels of responsibility within and across the institution. Many academic administrators are expected to lead, mentor, or assess early-career faculty as they acclimate to the expectations of the promotion and tenure process, including establishing a research agenda, teaching, and service. Success in these areas of the professoriate often takes priority; however, faculty take on leadership roles from the early years they arrive on campus. Their new institutions expect them to bring or possess the skills they need not only to navigate complicated academic terrain but also serve as productive members of departmental, college, and institution-wide initiatives. In many cases, early-career faculty assume key leadership roles with minimal or no related leadership development. Based on years of higher education academic administrative experience as faculty members and university leaders, the facilitators will guide participants through a multi-step process of skill development and strategies that prioritize practical approaches for cultivating leadership in early-career faculty that participants can readily apply and transfer to their own contexts. Participants will

  • Reflect on the leadership needs of early-career faculty;
  • Assess their leadership strategies and skills (and those of their program areas);
  • Explore approaches for expanding leadership skills for early-career faculty in different situations;
  • Explore valuable resources and tools for developing leadership skills in early-career faculty;
  • Identify areas within their programs in which early-career faculty are leading (or will be asked to lead);
  • Develop initiatives and programming to support leadership development in early career faculty;
  • Examine case studies focused on developing leadership skills in early-career faculty along with potential outcomes; and
  • Develop a leadership action plan focused on cultivating leadership in early-career faculty across a variety of academic contexts.
Building a Dynamic Partnership with your Team: Strategies for Mentoring Your Direct Reports

by Wendy Miller

If you want to build a dynamic team that is happy and engaged at work, you need to continually mentor your direct reports. This presentation will share tested strategies for mentoring, including ways to foster trust and techniques for skill-building and empowering your employees. In addition, strategies for coaching direct reports through conflict resolution and the difficult task of performance management will also be discussed. This session will inspire you to create a high performance team that brings value to your institution and a sense of purpose for you as a leader.

Heal Thyself: Powerful Lessons from Neuroscience about Nurturing the Healing Brain

by Uma Gupta

Extraordinary advances in neuroscience offer new and important lessons in how we can recover from setbacks and traumas and build a life that is grounded and centered around our life’s purpose. Dr. Gupta outlines practical tips and strategies for helping our students and ourselves to focus on what is important and build.

Three Simple Things Leaders Can Do to Retain and Motivate Faculty and Staff

by Joan Poulsen

Utilizing best-practices and sharing experiences of success, this session provides participants with information about three simple behaviors they can do to boost retention and engagement of faculty and staff. The session will also cover strategies for motivating and engaging “difficult” employees, such as campus curmudgeons and disengaged employees.

Maximizing Your Leadership Communication Toolkit

by Shannon Scott

As leaders, communication is one of the most important components to success in leading change and teams. This interactive session will integrate principles from cognitive and positive psychology to maximize your ability to communicate your vision, upcoming change, and your expectations. With a focus on practical application, you will learn communication strategies you can utilize with your next challenging communication.>/p>

Better Decision-Making Using the OODA Loop

by Scott Zimmerman

The OODA Loop – (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) is a little-known quick decision-making tool used by militaries and corporations across the globe. The OODA Loop is a process used to shorten the gap between decision and action. With the myriad of challenges facing higher education today, leaders who can move through the OODA Loop the quickest position themselves to survive and thrive. Attendees will learn the components of the OODA Loop, how established mental models support or undermine good decisions, and how the application of OODA Loop concepts enable better decision-making.