Pathways to Success: A Leadership Academy for New and Aspiring Chief Diversity Officers

This event has ended.

Pathways to Success: A Leadership Academy for New and Aspiring Chief Diversity Officers

This event has ended.

Set yourself up for success in this complex role to maximize your potential for impact.


Being a new Chief Diversity Officer has never been more challenging than it is today. In addition to the learning curve that stepping into any new leadership role brings, CDOs must also contend with the changing and even tumultuous political climate around diversity, equity, and inclusion work in higher education. Given these circumstances, it is imperative that new Chief Diversity Officers receive training and support to set them up for success in their roles.

This bootcamp, which was created specifically for new and aspiring Chief Diversity Officers who have been in their positions for two years or less, is designed to do just that. Alongside a cohort of others across the nation who are also new to the CDO role, you will explore how this work aligns with your personal values, gain deeper insight into your leadership style via the Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment, and conduct an environmental scan to help you focus your efforts and form strong partnerships at your institution. You will leave feeling better equipped to navigate the complexities of the role and effect meaningful change in the communities in which you operate.

Your registration for this bootcamp includes weekly small group sessions with each of our expert faculty. A hallmark of the Academic Impressions bootcamp experience, this focused attention will provide you with the space and time to identify and work toward your career goals. To preserve the intimate and interactive nature of this training, the bootcamp is limited to 25 participants. Register early to reserve your spot!

Who should attend?

This program has been designed for current senior diversity officers (i.e. Chief Diversity Officers, VPs for Inclusive Excellence, Executive Directors of Equity and/or Inclusion, Faculty Diversity Officers, etc.) who have been in their role for two years or less. If you have identified the Chief Diversity Officer role or its equivalent as the immediate next step in your career, we also encourage you to attend.


September 21 – November 2, 2023

Individual Session Dates: September 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, & November 2, 2023


Session 1: Understanding Why You Want to Do This Work

September 21, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

The role of the CDO can be challenging, especially in today’s climate. It’s not a typical 9-5 job, you can’t make everyone happy, and you must care deeply about the work and the people impacted by your work, which creates a lot of emotional labor. In this session, we’ll explore your motivations for doing this work. You’ll reflect on and practice articulating why this work fulfills you so that you can stay grounded in your “why” while navigating the tough spots of the job.



Session 2: Understanding Why Your Role is Important

September 28, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Your work as a Chief Diversity Officer is far-reaching and has tremendous impact—not only on the college campus but also within your local community. Often, this community impact translates into trust, community support, and reputational improvements that transfer to the campus writ large. In this session, we’ll evaluate how your role and the work you do impacts your community and how to communicate the ways in which this community impact benefits the campus overall.



Session 3: Understanding Your Leadership Approach

October 5, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Your role as Chief Diversity Officer positions you as a campus leader. Therefore, it’s important to understand your approach to leadership, both under normal circumstances and under stress. In this session you’ll complete the The Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment, which sheds light on your strengths and potential blind spots as a leader by examining five key forms of intelligence including intellectual, emotional, intuitive, action, and spiritual. The assessment will help you to understand ways of achieving greater balance among the five forms of intelligence so that you can improve your overall effectiveness as a leader.



Session 4: Understanding the Leadership Approach of Others

October 12, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Your campus leadership team ultimately determines how successful you can be in your role as Chief Diversity Officer, so it is important to understand the leadership styles, approaches, and interests of those with whom you work. In this session, you’ll complete an environmental scan that helps you to understand how others approach their own leadership, and how they perceive your role and your work on campus. Then, you’ll identify and discuss where there is alignment and common goals.



Session 5: Understanding What Battles You Should Fight

October 19, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Some days, you might feel there are more battles to fight than you have time and energy to engage in. In this session, we’ll explore your capacity for, preparedness for, and interest in engaging in the tough conversations related to power dynamics, institutional history and priorities, and developing allies and influence to increase the likelihood of success while working within a challenging landscape.



Session 6: Applying What You Have Learned

October 26, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

As we near the end of the bootcamp, this session will focus on integrating and applying all of the lessons learned from previous sessions. You’ll work alongside your peers to review several case studies of common problems that Chief Diversity Officers face. Together, you’ll discuss and brainstorm effective strategies you can implement to help advance your work on campus.



Session 7: Reclaiming Your Peace of Mind and Avoiding Burnout

November 2, 2023 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

The impact of your work often takes a long time to be realized. As such, it will be important for you to manage your well-being and avoid burnout along the way. In this closing session, we’ll discuss ways you can balance the demands of the job and how you can sustain your passion and commitment to the work for the long run.