Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education

This event has ended.

Advanced Leadership Development in Higher Education

This event has ended.

Unlock your leadership potential and drive substantive change in a post-COVID world.


Leading in higher education is a difficult task under the best of circumstances. Shared governance, structural barriers to change, and limited discretionary funding are just a few of the many reasons why making a meaningful impact can be hard to do. But it can be done, and current and future challenges demand that we have leaders who can make substantive—not incremental—change.

Join us for a one-of-a-kind program that will help you to lead for the impact you desire. We’ll examine your leadership at a personal level, share strategies for building high-performing teams, and equip you with tools that you can use to align large groups around a new direction or vision.

Optional Executive Coaching: For those who choose to add on our Executive Coaching package, you will receive 6 sessions of executive coaching and will be paired with a coach who has extensive experience in higher education.   

Who should attend?

Given the intensive nature of the program, middle and senior managers who have experience leading teams or units will benefit from attending. We have intentionally designed this program for administrators across the institution, including those on the academic side, such as deans and provosts.



Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday, and refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

DAY ONE: Monday, Oct 23, 2023

8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)


Registration & Breakfast
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Welcome, Program Overview, and Introductions
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Future Timeline
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

The world of higher education has changed fundamentally over the last few years and will likely continue to change and transform in new and unexpected ways. In this interactive session, we’ll explore the events, trends, and issues that will impact higher ed over the next decade, and we’ll also explore practical strategies for building and practicing this anticipatory mindset.



Morning Break
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



Reframing Challenges as Opportunities

10:15 – 11:00 a.m.
The challenges facing higher education today are immense, and our morning activity will no doubt illuminate that. Advanced leadership is about having a proactive stance and finding which challenges can actually be opportunities for your institution. Through a structured activity that you can easily replicate back on campus to engage others in this conversation, we’ll reframe the discourse away from what’s not possible, to what is.



Leading through Complexity

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Often, leaders are faced with competing objectives—reducing costs but increasing outcomes; increasing workload yet maintaining morale; finding resources to grow while shrinking the overall size of the institution, etc. In this session, we’ll identify three themes that become relevant when dealing with complexity: simplification, balancing internal and external pressures, and energy management. We’ll then introduce a four-step model that can help you to embrace complexity.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



The Five Paths to Leadership℠
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
We’ll introduce you to Academic Impressions’ leadership model, The Five Paths to Leadership℠. This self-assessment will help you to understand your predominant leadership style and how it changes under stress. Knowing your leadership style will better equip you to make decisions that align with your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your leadership style during a stressful situation can help you to lead your team more effectively, make better decisions, and communicate more clearly. This will ultimately help you to navigate the situation more successfully and emerge a stronger leader.



Afternoon Break
2:15 – 2:30 p.m.



Applying The Five Paths to Leadership℠ to Collaboration, Complexity, and Change
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Each of us needs to lead from all of The Five Paths to Leadership℠ in order to be successful. In this session, we’ll focus on how The Five Paths to Leadership℠ can enhance collaboration, and how each of us—regardless of our leadership style and comfort with change—can more productively manage change and complexity.



360° Feedback
3:45 – 4:15 p.m.
Receiving feedback from others is a critical aspect of continually improving your effectiveness as a leader. Prior to the program, you will have completed our online Five Paths to Leadership℠ 360 Assessment. In this session, our experts will share these assessments and help you to interpret your results. After some time to review results, they will divide the cohort into small groups and facilitate a discussion about how to identify goals and strategies based on the feedback you received.



Q&A and Day One Wrap-Up
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.
This session offers participants a chance to reflect on the day’s events, highlights, and key takeaways, enabling them to consolidate their learning and plan for the subsequent day’s activities.



Networking Reception
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with attendees and speakers with whom you may not have connected yet.


DAY TWO: Tuesday, Oct 24, 2023

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)


Individual Coaching
7:00 – 8:00 a.m.



8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Day 1 Recap and Reflections
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Intersectionality and Innovation
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
The various backgrounds, experiences, and identities we hold as leaders influence the way we show up and how we allow others to show up, too. As we navigate adaptive challenges in higher education, we need more diversity at the table, not less. And we need to know how to create a climate and culture where everyone does not simply belong but actively contributes. In this session, we’ll examine each of our own intersecting identities, as well as the broader context in which you’re leading.



Morning Break
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Crafting a Vision for Your Leadership and Work
10:45 – 12:00 p.m.
Having a compelling vision is often the difference between getting compliance from your team, versus true commitment. And the difficult challenges in higher education—curriculum reform, finding new paths to growth, improving student outcomes, etc.—will require more than just compliance from your team. In this session, we’ll talk about a different approach to visioning—both for your own leadership, as well as to invite others to shape that vision and share ownership of it.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Stopping Activities
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Once you have engaged in a visioning process for you and your organization, it’s necessary to examine activities that no longer serve that purpose and let go of them. But stopping activities is one of the hardest things to do in higher education. In this session we’ll share proven strategies for bringing groups of people together to critically and thoughtfully examine existing activities to identify ones that can be modified or stopped all together.



Afternoon Break
3:00 – 3:15 p.m.



Peer Coaching / Reflections and Wrap-up
3:15 – 3:45 p.m.



Individual Coaching
3:45 – 6:00 p.m.


DAY THREE: Wednesday, Oct 25, 2023

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Day 2 Recap and Reflections
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Creating High-Performing Teams Built in Trust and Psychological Safety
9:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Effecting meaningful change requires building a team that can perform at the highest level. That means you must create a psychologically safe environment so that your team can experiment, fail, ask for help, contribute new ideas, and challenge others. In this session, we’ll discuss eight specific strategies for building a psychologically safe team that can innovate and lead change. We’ll then put you through a simulation so that you can see the application of these strategies in real time.



Lunch (included in registration)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Decision Making
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Senior teams often trip up in their decision making because they haven’t defined who’s involved and how decisions will be made. Or worse, they put off decisions when the stakes are high and/or they lack complete information. In this session, we’ll share a variety of decision-making methods and models that can enable participants to improve the effectiveness of the decisions they make.



Afternoon Break
2:00 – 2:15 p.m.



Action Planning and Presentations
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
As we wrap up our three days, you’ll synthesize what you’ve learned and begin to sketch out specific ways you’ll take this information and apply it back on campus. Working with a coaching partner, you’ll help each other think through specific situations and strategize meaningful but manageable ways to address them.



Final Q&A and Day Three Wrap-Up
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.
This session offers participants a chance to reflect on the event highlights and key takeaways, enabling them to consolidate their learning and plan to implement the new practices and approaches, then strategize.


A Track Record of Success

Hundreds of higher ed leaders—many of them current presidents, provosts, and deans—have attended this program since 2012. We’ve now fully reimagined and redesigned the program to speak to the challenges of a post-COVID world marked by deteriorating conditions for higher education, the rise of artificial intelligence, and other disruptive trends.


Save on In-Person Conference Registrations

Attend any three in-person conferences for $5,000 for Members ($5,500 for Non-Members) – or $1,667 dollars per registration for Members ($1,833 for Non-Members) – with a Conference 3-Pack. There’s no one way to use your 3-Pack!

  • Send 3 people to the same conference
  • Send 3 individuals to different conferences
  • Experience 3 different conferences yourself

Learn More


Location & Hotel Options

Denver, CO | October 23 – 25, 2023

The training will be conducted in person at Academic Impressions’ Denver-based office at: 5299 DTC Blvd, Suite 1400, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Nearby hotel suggestions:

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – 3-star hotel
8300 E Crescent Pkwy, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Distance from office: 0.5 miles if driving, 0.3 miles if walking

Newly renovated! A group rate of $119/night is available if you use this link to book your room.

Denver Marriott Tech Center –4-star hotel
4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 0.9-1.2 miles, depending on route

A group room rate of $179/night is available if you use this link to book your room.  

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center – 4-star hotel
7800 East Tufts Ave, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 1.1 miles