Institute for Experienced Chiefs of Staff: Improving Your Processes, Communications, and Relationships

Institute for Experienced Chiefs of Staff: Improving Your Processes, Communications, and Relationships

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Improve your processes and relationships to ensure continued success in a chief of staff role.


When it comes to job-specific training and professional development opportunities, Chiefs of Staff often find it difficult to find training specific to their needs. We have designed two highly practical programs, based on level of experience, that are both facilitated by a panel of current and former chiefs of staff and a president to help you take charge of your own development. We hope you can join us at one of these must-attend workshops specifically developed for Chiefs of Staff in higher education.

During this workshop for more experienced chiefs of staff, 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 three current and former chiefs of staff and a president to help you:

  • Advance your role and responsibilities as a key player in decision-making and strategic planning
  • Navigate a complex workload by streamlining processes, delegating, and prioritizing
  • Learn strategies for achieving strategic goals and assessing your progress
  • Maintain critical internal and external relationships with stakeholders
  • Oversee presidential transitions, conflicts, and crises as a leader in your organization


Who Should Attend

This program is designed for those in a chief of staff role with more than three years of experience in the position.

If you are closer to the beginning of your chief of staff position, please check out Fundamentals for Chiefs of Staff: Understanding Your Role and Ensuring Success from the Start. This program is designed for new or emerging chiefs of staff who have been in the role for three years or less, as well as professionals aspiring to the chief of staff position.

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 get success coaching, simply purchase the Conference + Success Coaching product below.

Learn More About Success Coaching

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts

See What Our Attendees are Saying

“The virtual design of this conference coupled with the amazing work of our program manager promoted a high level of engagement and sense of community among attendees. The speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their experiences. It was a refreshing shift from long days of traditional meetings on Zoom!”

“This is the first time I’ve ever attended a virtual conference, and to be honest, I had low expectations. Well, I was wrong. I am very impressed with the platform used and the quality of the content shared. Oftentimes, these conferences only talk about ideas and what could work, but at this event, actual pathways and practical next steps were shared. Academic Impressions did a great job featuring quality speakers who were willing to share what they know.”

“Although the workshop was online, it felt as if the presenters were right there with us. All presenters were knowledgeable and really related the content to real work experiences. They were so willing to answer questions and offer assistance—I learned so much that I can apply.”

“Many conferences leave you with learning but not always sure how to turn that into action for your organization. There were actionable tips shared throughout the two days and tools provided to help move the learning into action. I am always impressed with Academic Impressions conferences and this virtual one did not disappoint.”

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


AUGUST 5, 2021

All Times Eastern


Welcome and Introductions
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
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.



Advancing Your Role on Campus
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
In this opening session, we will discuss ways you can advance your role as Chief of Staff, learning how to serve as a hub for strategic initiatives as well as a sounding board for your President, Chancellor, or other leader.



12:30 – 1:00 p.m.



Five Paths to Leadership: Understanding How You Manage Stressful Situations
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
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 is essential for success in your role. In this session, you will use the results from an assessment to engage in a discussion on how you act when under stress and how to manage potential pitfalls.



Final Questions and Day 1 Close
2:30 – 3:00 p.m.


AUGUST 6, 2021

All Times Eastern


Welcome and Day 1 Debrief
11:00 – 11:15 a.m.



Strategies for Achieving and Assessing Strategic Plans
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
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. In this session, you will learn how to hone your existing negotiation and communication strategies so that you are better able to implement these initiatives while also hearing and addressing concerns of staff and faculty.



12:30 – 12:45 p.m.



Challenging Situations: Managing Internal Conflicts and External Crises
12:45 – 2:00 p.m.
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. Crises require 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 in this session will help you prepare for these challenges and give you resources for when you need them.



2:00 – 2:30 p.m.



Breakout Sessions
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
These four sessions will give you a chance to hone specific skills based on your needs.

Option 1: Working with your Board and Executive Cabinet

Option 2: Marketing Your Skills as Chiefs of Staff

Option 3: Strategies for Effective Communication



3:30 – 3:45 p.m.



Panel Discussion: Keeping the Pulse of Campus
3:45 – 4:15
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.



Closing Remarks
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.


portrait of Christopher Romano

Dr. Christopher Romano

Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Ramapo College of New Jersey

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 Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Karen M. Whitney

Dr. Karen M. Whitney

President Emerita, Clarion University

Throughout her 40 year career in higher education, Dr. Karen Whitney has held a variety of executive and leadership positions with increasing levels of responsibility, beginning as a Director to Associate Vice President, Vice Chancellor, President, and Chancellor. Karen is also a nationally recognized organizational and leadership development writer, speaker, consultant and advisor. She holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in Higher Education Administration and is a certified coach through the Center for Executive Coaching.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

portrait of Brittany Goldstein

Dr. Brittany Williams-Goldstein

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 Speaker's Full Bio.


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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Jess Landis

Jess Landis
Learning & Development Manager, Academic Impressions

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