Managing Difficult Faculty & Staff: A Bootcamp for Leaders

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Managing Difficult Faculty & Staff: A Bootcamp for Leaders

This event has ended.

Grow your skillset in managing the difficult people who can make leadership so hard.


Join us online for a four-week bootcamp where you will learn how to intervene and correct the most problematic performances and behaviors within your team. Within the bootcamp, you will be introduced to the “EM & EM” model, which includes four increasingly authoritative steps intended to engage, set expectations for behavioral change, communicate consequences for non-compliance, and minimize the ill effects of bad behaviors on others. We will also address the unique aspects of higher education culture that complicate employee oversight, including tenure, union contracts, and ill-defined leadership structures.

This bootcamp will provide multiple opportunities for you to both apply this model to your unique context and practice these difficult conversations with other leaders experiencing similar challenges. You’ll be encouraged to bring your most difficult personnel scenarios to the group for practice and valuable feedback. Throughout the bootcamp, you’ll also develop an intervention plan specifically tailored to the challenging people you’re managing, and it will also document how the EM & EM model can help you to customize your approach to your toughest situation. You’ll walk away from this bootcamp feeling more comfortable, confident, and ready to take on your most difficult conversations.

A Highly Personalized Experience

Your registration for this bootcamp includes a small-group session with Dr. Jeanne Hey, who brings extensive experience in higher education leadership. A hallmark of the Academic Impressions bootcamp experience is how the individualized attention in this meeting will allow you the time to dig deeper into the specific challenges you may be facing. To preserve the intimate and interactive nature of this training, the bootcamp is limited to 24 participants. Register early to reserve your spot!

What You Will Get

This online bootcamp consists of:

  • Four live online sessions, happening weekly. Each session is facilitated by our expert instructor to help you understand each step of this management model.
  • Short assignments that you may be asked to complete between meetings in order to practice and prepare for the next session (approximately 30 minutes to one hour per week).
  • A small-group feedback session as an opportunity to share one of the toughest challenges you face, and to workshop solutions with your instructor and peers.
  • A unique intervention plan that you’ll create during the bootcamp as a way to provide you with direction on how to implement the model moving forward.

Who should attend?

This program is aimed at supervisors, managers, and leaders from all levels in higher education, including but not limited to associate directors, directors, department chairs, deans, associate deans, vice presidents, and associate vice presidents. Perhaps you are:

  • A department chair with an assistant professor trying to make tenure who’s fully focused on research and neglecting their teaching duties.
  • A dean facing a faculty member who disrupts meetings to vent about a policy which they encourage others to disregard.
  • A director or AVP with a long-standing team member who consistently undermines efforts to innovate or change.
  • A vice president with a direct report who is bullying others, although not necessarily violating policy.

No matter where you work on campus, if you’re looking for new strategies to help you gain confidence in communicating with your most challenging team members, this bootcamp is for you.



October 23 – November 13, 2023
Individual Sessions Dates: October 23, 30, November 6, 13, 2023


Each session of the bootcamp will introduce one of the four steps of the EM & EM Model, with some discussion of the previous steps continuing into the following week’s session:

  1. Engagement
  2. Management
  3. Enforcement
  4. Marginalization



Session 1 | Engagement

October 23, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET  
During the first session of this course, we’ll introduce the EM & EM model for supervising challenging individuals on your team.  We’ll then dive deep into the first step of the model: engagement. In this step you’ll practice how to:

  • Clearly articulate the problem
  • Actively listen
  • Acknowledge others’ perspectives
  • Set standards and expectations for behavioral change
  • Schedule follow-up and offer support



Session 2 | Management

October 30, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET 
When handled thoughtfully, many situations can be resolved at the engagement stage. However, when this proves ineffective, the next step is management. During this second session, you’ll strategize how to rearticulate the problem with a stronger emphasis on expectations, building upon the methods employed during engagement.



Session 3 | Enforcement

November 6, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET 
If engagement and management fail to address performance or conduct, the final chance for behavior change is the third step: enforcement. Enforcement requires you to establish expectations and consequences for non-compliance. These are the thorniest aspects of the process and are all too easy to get wrong, so we will engage in plenty of practice.

During this session, we’ll spend time discussing when and how to:

  • Involve Human Resources
  • Develop a behavior modification plan
  • Facilitate a formal meeting to address concerns
  • Document the process



Session 4 | Marginalization

November 13, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET 
In the event that circumstances make it impossible for you to take effective disciplinary action, or if that’s not the appropriate next step, your last resort is to minimize or remove the impact of the negative conduct in question on others. We’ll discuss when this is appropriate, along with strategies to support your community.