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The Chronicle's Strategic-Leadership Program: Department Chairs

Featured Program January 9-27. The Chronicle’s Strategic-Leadership program for Department Chairs

This comprehensive virtual leadership series for department chairs will kick off with strategy workshops to identify shared challenges. The second week consists of six seminars focusing on topics including national trends in higher education; the higher education business model; the chair’s role in diversity; enrollment and retention; and conflict mitigation, each followed by a discussion session with peers and presenters. The series will round out with implementation workshops to review the concrete knowledge gained from the preceding weeks’ programming and apply it to individual case studies that put newfound skills into practice.

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Program Packages

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All-Access Workshop Package for Department Chairs

  • Week 1: Two-hour Strategic Assessment Workshop, facilitated by Dever Justice LLC
  • Week 2: Six virtual 75-minute live seminars, plus post-event discussion groups with fellow chairs
  • Week 3: Two-hour Implementation Workshop, facilitated by Dever Justice LLC
  • The Chronicle’s Guide to Departmental Leadership, a comprehensive manual of critical data, advice, and analysis
  • Building a Faculty That Flourishes, a Chronicle report
  • A Toolbox for Department Chairs, a Chronicle article collection
  • The Chronicle’s Trends Report
  • Individual Development Plan

All-access program package for department chairs: $1,795
Register Now

Interested in sending a group of 10 or more department chairs from your institution? Contact workshops@chronicle.com for more information and discounted rates.

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Seminar Bundle Products

Seminar Bundle Package for Aspiring Chairs and Other Faculty

  • Access to six virtual 75-minute live seminars, plus post-event recordings
  • The Chronicle’s Trends Report
  • A Toolbox for Administrators, a Chronicle article collection

Seminar bundle package: $395 ($99 per seminar)
Register Now

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Meet the Program Leaders

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AGENDA

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WORKSHOP | Strategic Assessment


This two-hour session, facilitated by Dever Justice LLC, will help department chairs think strategically about how to succeed in their role, learn from and collaborate with their peers, and lay the groundwork for developing innovative solutions for the pressing challenges and competing demands of the role.

Registrants are strongly encouraged to select a time within their institutional track to participate in group discussion opportunities.

Who should attend: Department chairs

Monday, January 9 | Implementation workshop times follow suit on Monday, January 23

  • Private Institutions | Group 1: 9 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 2: 1 p.m. ET

Tuesday, January 10| Implementation workshop times follow suit on Tuesday, January 24

  • Public Institutions | Group 3: 10 a.m. ET
  • Private Institutions | Group 4: 2 p.m. ET

Wednesday, January 11 | Implementation workshop times follow suit on Wednesday, January 25

  • Public Institutions | Group 5: 9 a.m. ET
  • Private Institutions | Group 6: 1 p.m. ET

Thursday, January 12 | Implementation workshop times follow suit on Thursday, January 26

  • Private Institutions | Group 7: 10 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 8: 2 p.m. ET

Friday, January 13 | Implementation workshop times follow suit on Friday, January 27

  • Private Institutions | Group 9: 9 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 10: 1 p.m. ET

Register Now

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SEMINAR | National Trends in Higher Education

Even before the pandemic hit, higher education was in the midst of significant changes to its demographics, finances, and competitive context. Covid-19 has accelerated some of those trends and altered others. Staying informed about this shifting environment is critical to understanding your institution’s strategy, and to making strategic decisions for your department.

Join us for this 75-minute session to discuss key trends in higher education and its economic and policy context, moderated by a current department chair.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to address and adapt to a shifting enrollment and budgetary landscape.
  • Strategies for equitably serving the emerging majority of students who are older, working, have earned credits elsewhere, or are from minority or lower-income backgrounds.
  • What the boom in non-degree credentials means for department chairs.
  • How a chair can engage with new developments in curriculum design, teaching and learning, and student supports.

January 17, 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., ET

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SEMINAR | Understanding the Higher Ed Business Model

What is a discount rate? Where does most of a college’s revenue come from? What is its greatest expense? For many faculty members, the financial realities of their campus – and the sustainability of its operations -- are not often on their radar. Arguably, they should be. And for chairs, understanding the mounting financial pressures facing campuses, whether falling enrollment, decreased public funding, and constraints on tuition increases, is increasingly important. As colleges explore different strategies to achieve a sustainable future, it’s essential for chairs to have the essential financial knowledge of how their institutions operate.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The financial fundamentals of different kinds of institutions
  • How external pressures are reshaping colleges’ finances
  • The most common financial strategies colleges pursue and how they affect academic departments

January 17, 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m., ET

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SEMINAR | Managing Conflict

When asked about their top one or two challenges, department chairs consistently mention managing conflict. Whether it’s working with difficult colleagues or managing the incompatible worldviews of faculty and deans, chairs are often required to advance sensitive conversations with diplomacy and tact. What are the most effective strategies for handling those situations when they arise? And how can chairs reduce the stress they experience from challenging encounters?

January 18, 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., ET

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SEMINAR | Diversity and the Department Chair

Department chairs play a pivotal role in the creation of diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures in their units. In this 75-minute session, explore best DEI practices that apply to the full range of a chair’s stakeholders: faculty, students, and staff. How can a chair create meaningful change that’s also sustainable? What tools and strategies are available to advance this complex, critical work?

January 18, 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m., ET

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SEMINAR | The Chairs’ Role in Enrollment, Retention, and Student Success

In the face of declining enrollment and increased expectations around completion from policymakers and the public, colleges and universities have increasingly tasked department chairs with recruiting new students and working toward the retention of students who were already at their institutions. Chairs have always scheduled classes and managed faculty: What else was there to do? A lot, it turns out. This 75-minute seminar will explore how and why department chairs should recruit students and put in place systems that support them to remain enrolled and on track, and to complete their degrees.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Strategies to lead departments to student-friendly curriculum and scheduling
  • Ways to create a departmental culture and shared practices supporting student success among faculty, staff, and the students themselves
  • Opportunities to leverage campus resources to help departments take care of their communities of students, staff, and faculty

January 19, 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., ET

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SEMINAR | Ask Me Anything: A Conversation with a Chair and Dean

Have you ever wondered what your department looks like from the dean’s perspective? Or why your dean does the things she does? Could you benefit from other chairs’ experiences on your most challenging issues? Please bring your questions to “Ask Me Anything,” a conversation with a chair and a dean intended to be a no-holds-barred exchange of views and perspectives on the most challenging job on campus.

January 19, 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m., ET

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WORKSHOP | Implementation


Department chairs will reconvene after the seminars to apply concrete knowledge and strategies from the first two weeks to a case narrative exercise that will focus on an individual challenge and examine how each attendee can work through imagined obstacles and create go-forward plans for achievable outcomes.

Who should attend: Department chairs

Monday, January 23

  • Private Institutions | Group 1: 9 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 2: 1 p.m. ET

Tuesday, January 24

  • Public Institutions | Group 3: 10 a.m. ET
  • Private Institutions | Group 4: 2 p.m. ET

Wednesday, January 25

  • Public Institutions | Group 5: 9 a.m. ET
  • Private Institutions | Group 6: 1 p.m. ET

Thursday, January 26

  • Private Institutions | Group 7: 10 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 8: 2 p.m. ET

Friday, January 27

  • Private Institutions | Group 9: 9 a.m. ET
  • Public Institutions | Group 10: 1 p.m. ET

Register Now

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LEARN MORE ABOUT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Professional-Development Resources

    Visit The Chronicle’s professional-development resources page to read stories from Chronicle journalists and contributors, and to explore videos and research briefs on a variety of topics.