Fundamentals for Chiefs of Staff: Understanding Your Role and Ensuring Success from the Start

Fundamentals for Chiefs of Staff: Understanding Your Role and Ensuring Success from the Start

 

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Set yourself up for success in the chief of staff role.

The role of chief of staff looks very different at each institution and requires a unique skill set for continued success. During this workshop, we will look at how you can maintain a balance in your professional life while managing a varied and often unpredictable role. We have assembled four current and former chiefs of staff to help you:

  • Define the right role for yourself
  • Navigate the massive and ambiguous workload with the appropriate tools
  • Mitigate stress, maintain energy, and keep a positive attitude
  • Establish and maintain critical internal and external relationships
  • Handle presidential transitions, conflicts, and crises with confidence

Pre-Conference Workshop: Ensuring Smooth Presidential Transitions

As a Chief of Staff, you will often be looked to for providing calm consistency during presidential transitions. The incoming President will likely look to you as he or she acclimates to a new environment while your colleagues will rely on you to convey the new President’s priorities. Learn how you can best serve in your role during these times of change. In this workshop, you will hear from two current Chiefs of Staff who have served through several presidential transitions. Tom Hennessey  will share his processes, strategies, and tips for helping organizations stay focused during these times of transition.

Post-Conference Workshop: Marketing Your Skills as Chiefs of Staff

This post-conference event will focus on skill sets you are building as you serve as Chief of Staff and how you can use those in other capacities, both present and future. Presented by Chris Romano, VP of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Ramapo College, we will discuss transferable skills, options, and furthering your development for success.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for new or emerging chiefs of staff who have been in the role for 3 years or less, as well as professionals aspiring to the chief of staff position. Those with a higher level of experience in the position will benefit from our sister training: Institute for Experienced Chiefs of Staff: Improving Your Processes, Communications, and Relationships.

If you have questions about which level is right for you, please reach out to our Senior Program Manager, Elizabeth Ross Hubbell.

Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To learn more, contact Patricia Sandler at patricia@academicimpressions.com or purchase the Premium Pass with success coaching below.

“This Chief of Staff conference provided a wealth of knowledge from experienced leaders at different levels of Higher Ed. The format of the conference was ideal for collaboration, exchange of information and networking. Highly recommend for anyone in a similar Chief of Staff position.”

- Christina Walker, North Carolina State University

“The ability to meet other Chiefs of Staff was a fantastic opportunity. Hearing about others' challenges and perspectives was one of the most beneficial aspects of this conference.”

- Laura McNaughton, University of South Dakota

“Very informative and helpful in creating structure, process and focus areas in discipline that is notoriously difficult to define.”

- Sameer Sidh, Towson University

“Academic Impressions continues to satisfy my thirst for appropriate professional development. Keep up the great work!”

- Nick Neupauer, Butler County Community College

“A time investment well spent for an opportunity to learn and discuss with colleagues across Higher Ed.”

- Rose Dunnegan, The George Washington University

Agenda

Your registration for the event includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, breakfast on Friday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

Pre-conference attendees will be provided breakfast and lunch on Monday.

Post-conference attendees will also get lunch on Friday.

Day 1

Pre-conference Workshop: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Main Conference: 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

 

Pre-Conference Workshop: Ensuring Smooth Presidential Transitions

As a Chief of Staff, you will often be looked to for providing calm consistency during presidential transitions. The incoming President will likely look to you as he or she acclimates to a new environment while your colleagues will rely on you to convey the new President’s priorities. Learn how you can best serve in your role during these times of change. You will hear from two current Chiefs of Staff who have served through several presidential transitions. Tom Hennessey will share his processes, strategies, and tips for helping organizations stay focused during these times of transition.

 


 

Main Conference Registration

 


 

Welcome and Introductions

In this opening activity, you will meet your facilitators and engage in an activity to define your current challenges and what you most hope to get out of this conference.

 


 

Defining Your Role on Campus

We will discuss how the role of Chief of Staff can have a wide variety of models and structures. Your university size and the needs of your President and Board will largely determine the role you serve. In this hour, you will learn which questions to ask to clarify of your role and methods you can use to help others on campus understand your function from the start.

 


 

Strategies to Meet Your President’s Goals

As the Chief of Staff, you are often faced with implementing changes and initiatives set by the President, Board, and Executive Cabinet. This role can be challenging as those around you express concerns and questions regarding changes. By utilizing key negotiation and communication strategies, you can help implement these initiatives while also hearing and addressing concerns of staff and faculty.

 


 

Working Session/Day 1 Close

In this final session, you will have an opportunity to discuss what you have learned in Day 1, strategies you plan to adapt or adopt, and share with colleagues for feedback.

 


 

Networking Reception

 


Day 2

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

Five Paths to Leadership: Understanding How You Manage Stressful Situations

One of the keys to success is having an awareness of how you manage stress, being prepared for your strengths and challenges during stressful situations, and being aware of how your President and close co-workers manage stress. In this session, you will use the results from an assessment you will complete on-site to engage in a discussion on how you act when under stress and how to manage potential pitfalls.

 


 

Spotting Trends and Issues

One of your hardest, yet most critical, roles is to be an “ear to the ground” so that you are aware of emerging trends and issues on and outside of campus. By noticing trends, you can capitalize on them early and help your constituents to be proactive in preparing for emerging developments. By being able to spot potential issues, you can be a catalyst in mitigating a situation before it becomes a crisis. In this session, you will learn ways other Chiefs of Staff have successfully connected themselves across campus so that they have a hyper-awareness of happenings.

 


 

Challenging Situations: Managing Internal Conflicts and External Crises

In spite of your best efforts of mitigating issues, you will likely be faced with a conflict or crisis on campus during your tenure as Chief of Staff. Managing internal conflicts requires you to work with parties with different opinions while maintaining focus on initiatives set by the President. Crisis management requires key communication skills with both external and internal audiences and close collaboration with the President to ensure your messages are in sync. The lessons provided will help you prepare for these challenges and give you resources for when you need them.

 


 

Working Session

You will have an opportunity to reflect on and discuss what you have learned and begin outlining action steps to take once you return to campus.

 


 

Working with your Board and Executive Cabinet

In this session, you will gain strategies and tips for best working with your Board and Executive Cabinet. Setting clear expectations, leading productive meetings, and establishing clear communication guidelines will be discussed.

 


 

Day 2 Wrap Up

 


Day 3

Main Conference: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Post-conference Workshop (includes lunch): 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

 

Q&A/Action Plan

In this session, you will have an opportunity to consider what you have learned over the past two days, create action steps for when you return to campus, and ask general questions of the speaker panel.

 


 

Panel Discussion: Handling the Workload

During this panel discussion, you will have a chance to hear from all speakers on their strategies for maintaining balance with their professional and personal lives while performing at their best on a daily basis.

 


 

Final Working Session

In this final working session, you will have an opportunity to set goals and actions for your return to campus.

 


 

Conference Wrap Up

 


 

Post-Conference Workshop: Marketing Your Skills as Chiefs of Staff

This post-conference event will focus on skill sets you are building as you serve as Chief of Staff and how you can use those in other capacities, both present and future. Presented by Chris Romano, VP of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Ramapo College, we will discuss transferable skills, options, and furthering your development for success.

Speakers

N Bryant

Nate Bryant, Ed.D.

Chief of Staff, Salem State University

Dr. Nate Bryant joined Salem State in 1987 and today brings his 30 years of leadership at the university to his role as Chief of Staff. In his role, Nate is responsible for the oversight of the president’s office, including: overseeing the offices of Civic Engagement, External Affairs, Grants, and Public Relations. Nate provides oversight for the president’s office day-to-day activities, supports the work of the Board of Trustees, and administers coordination between the president’s senior leadership team and their respective offices.

Read Nate's full bio here.

BrittanyGoldstein

Brittany Williams-Goldstein, Ed.D.

Chief of Staff & Board Liaison, Ramapo College

Dr. Williams-Goldstein serves as the President’s primary liaison to the Senior Cabinet and the Board of Trustees. She is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, and coordination of Cabinet and Board activities as well as the coordination of the Office of the President. She chairs the Space Management and Allocation Committee and also leads the College’s Administrative Assessment Committee. During her tenure at Ramapo, she has served as a member of the Campus Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee, Accreditation Steering Committee, Position Review Committee, and two Strategic Planning Task Forces.

Read Brittany's full bio here.

Tom Hennessey

Tom Hennessey, Ph.D.

Chief of Staff Emeritus, George Mason University

As Chief of Staff at George Mason University, Dr. Hennessey was responsible for all administration in the Office of the President, served as the University Legislative Liaison to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, University Liaison to the Board of Visitors, and the chair of multiple University-wide committees. During his tenure as Chief of Staff, he was twice recognized by Student Government as the Outstanding Administrator of Year.

Read Tom's full bio here.

ChristopherRomano

Chris Romano

Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Ramapo College

In his current role, Christopher leads the division of enrollment management, including the offices of admissions, advising and first-year experience, career services, financial aid, marketing and web administration, athletics, residence life, the Educational Opportunity Fund, public safety, and the division of student affairs. Christopher chairs the strategic enrollment management planning committee and is responsible for the development and maintenance of Ramapo’s strategic enrollment management plan.

Read Chris's full bio here.

Questions About the Event?

Elizabeth Hubbell
Senior Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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