Leading and Influencing as a Department Chair Bootcamp


Leading and Influencing as a Department Chair Bootcamp


September 22 – October 27, 2021 | Live sessions September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2021

Assess your leadership effectiveness and gain confidence in your ability to be your best self as an academic leader.


Leading as an academic chair is difficult under the best of circumstances. You need to balance the competing interests of faculty and administration and stretch limited resources, all while maintaining your own scholarship and teaching loads. Add the uncertainty and complexity of COVID-19 and it becomes clear that the current environment can test even the most seasoned leaders.

Join us online for this six-week leadership bootcamp designed specifically for academic leaders to discover or reconnect with the most effective ways to lead in a variety of situations and circumstances. We’ll explore your leadership style and how it changes under stress, as well as how you can more effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues, manage difficult faculty and staff, resolve conflict, and grow your influence.

We’ve trained thousands of department chairs over the last 20 years. In addition, our curriculum is designed by a former Chairs and current senior academic leaders. You will leave this bootcamp with a set of proven strategies and tactics for leading in a changing academic context.

As Featured in The Chronicle

“Overall, I found the workshop to be incredibly interactive. Participants were able, much more than I expected, to get to know each other and build personal and professional connections. We enjoyed one another’s company so much that we’ve asked the organization to hold bimonthly Zoom check-ins for us, and a reunion next spring.”

“My favorite activities were the self-assessments and the leadership “audit” that solicited anonymous feedback from our department colleagues. [...] I then had a one-on-one meeting with a workshop leader to review the results. This 45-minute conversation was extremely valuable as it (a) allowed me to get to know one of the facilitators, and made me feel as though he was genuinely invested in my professional development, and (b) provided an opportunity to process the departmental feedback. [...] I’ve opted to do three additional coaching sessions, post-bootcamp, [...] and I’m glad I did. Those sessions will offer more individualized support for my leadership development.”

Manya Whitaker
Associate Professor of Education, Colorado College


Is This Program Right For Me?

Since this program focuses on leadership and not just the nuts and bolts of running the department, we invite Chairs, Program Directors, and Center Directors of all experience levels to attend.

If you have never received anonymous feedback about your leadership, this is a unique opportunity to do so via an expertly facilitated process. You’ll also be able to debrief your feedback with one of the program facilitators.

Due to its highly experiential nature, this program is limited to just 20 participants to maintain a productive online learning environment. Register early to reserve your spot!


What You Will Get

  • This online course consists of six live online sessions, happening weekly. Each session is facilitated by our expert instructors, to help you explore your leadership tendencies and give you key strategies to implement.
  • In-between meetings, you may be asked to complete assignments to practice and prepare for the next session (approximately 1-2 hours per week).
  • To help you evaluate your effectiveness as a leader, you will participate in two assessments—the 5 Paths to Leadership Self-Assessment and a Leadership Audit—which allows your faculty and staff to provide anonymous feedback to you.
  • You will have the opportunity to sign up for a personalized, 45-minute feedback session with a program facilitator to debrief the results of your Leadership Audit.


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 Bootcamp + Success Coaching product below.

Learn More About Success Coaching

Hear About the Bootcamp Experience

“This boot camp was so very helpful to help me think about leadership, in general, and about my own leadership strengths and areas of growth. I've already used a number of the tools that were shared and have recommended the boot camp to others!  I've already recommended this boot camp to several folks! I appreciated having greater insight into my natural dispositions and what I needed to continue developing. It was validating to learn that some of the challenges that I've faced and continue to face are.” 

- Sue Hildebrandt

Interim Chair of the Department of Special Education, Illinois State University

“Although I started this program with a bit of reticence (do I really have time for this?), I quickly realised that this would be a game changer for me. As a relatively new Department chair (6 months in), it was comforting to realise that some of the leadership approaches I was using were actually good ones! More importantly, learning new "tricks of the trade" as well as the frameworks with which to think about my interactions with colleagues will truly help me as I tackle the numerous challenges ahead of me. Whether you are new to your position or already a few years into the role, there will absolutely be gems that help you in adapting and enhancing your leadership skills!”

- Glyn Williams-Jones

Professor and Department Chair, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University


September 22 – October 27, 2021 | Live sessions September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 2021


Session 1: Introduction and Leadership Theories

Wednesday, Sept 22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
There is no single right way to lead. Rather than present a single model of leadership, you’ll be introduced to various leadership theories. More importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to explore how your leadership style develops from, and is informed by, your personal strengths as well as challenges you face, so that you can learn how to adapt to different situations.



Session 2: Putting Leadership into Practice

Wednesday, Sept 29, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
In this session, we’ll explore the unique context of leading as a Chair and understand what makes leadership in higher ed different. Chairs often play multiple roles— advocate for the faculty, member of the Dean’s leadership team, administrator, faculty member, etc. We’ll discuss how to navigate these different roles and balance the inevitable tensions that emerge when leading from the middle.

It is also important to realize that you cannot develop as a leader without getting feedback. When you receive feedback, you get a clear picture of your impact as a leader and whether your impact aligns with your intent. You will do this in two ways:

  1. 5 Paths to Leadership Self-Assessment: This assessment sheds light on your strengths and potential blind spots by examining five key forms of intelligence including intellectual, emotional, intuitive, action, and spiritual. The assessment will help you understand ways of achieving greater balance among the five forms of intelligence, so that you can improve your overall effectiveness as a leader.
  2. Leadership Audit: You’ll have the opportunity to invite a small number of your faculty and staff to share feedback with you regarding your strengths and areas to develop, and put forward ideas for ongoing growth. This feedback is submitted through Academic Impressions and is completely anonymous. Your results will be shared with you privately during the program and a program facilitator will provide you with a personalized coaching session to help you interpret and act on the feedback.



Session 3: Effective Communication and Delegation

Wednesday, Oct 6, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
The key to your role as Chair is communication. When done with intention, it will allow you to unite your department, grow your faculty, and get your most important work done. In this session, you will explore different methods for effective communication and discuss the role communication has in your leadership. Particular focus will be given to best practices for delegation and leading inclusive meetings.



Session 4: Understanding and Addressing Conflict

Wednesday, Oct 13, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Understanding how to effectively navigate conflict is a vital skill for chairs, but it can also be one of the most difficult and complicated ones to get right. In this session, you’ll complete the Style Matters: The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory, which identifies your typical response in conflict and offers ways to optimize your response. You’ll then discuss effective strategies for approaching conflict regardless of the situation. You’ll work in small groups to practice these techniques and hone your skills.



Session 5: Managing Difficult Faculty and Staff

Wednesday, Oct 20, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
You’ve probably encountered challenging faculty and staff who exhibit unprofessional, unproductive, and even destructive behavior. When they decline in productivity, stop attending meetings, or criticize their junior colleagues, you will need to step up and deal with these inevitable and uncomfortable situations. To help you do this, you’ll explore and practice a four-stage process for managing difficult personalities. Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Identify and address problematic behaviors early
  • Use appropriate strategies for different behavior types
  • Learn how and when to escalate your intervention
  • Create written agreements that establish conduct expectations and consequences
  • Minimize the impact of problematic behavior in your department



Session 6: Managing Up, Goals, and Accountability Plans

Wednesday, Oct 27, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
For chairs, effective leadership cannot rely on formal authority or top-down decision making. Instead, chairs must learn to lead with a collaborative stance and from a position of influence. In this session, you will explore different ways to grow your influence. We will also discuss a range of strategies for managing up and identify which techniques can help you more successfully persuade and appeal to senior leadership. Finally, you’ll end the bootcamp defining short-term and long-term leadership goals as well as accountability tools for each.


Portrait of Jeanne Hey

Jeanne A.K. Hey

Associate Provost, Dean Emerita, and Professor of Political Science, University of New England

Jeanne Hey is an experienced provider of professional development programs, specializing in leadership training for department chairs, program directors, and deans. She served as dean of the University of New England’s College of Arts and Sciences for eight years, overseeing 13 academic departments and 35 major programs at a time of upheaval and risk in higher ed. Hey served for 19 years in a joint appointment in Political Science and International Studies at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio.

Read Jeanne's Full Bio.



Online Bootcamp Only

$3,395 $3,045

through Sept 15, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp only.

Online Bootcamp +
Success Coaching

$4,095 $3,745

through Sept 15, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp + success coaching.


Online Bootcamp Only

$3,395 $3,295

through Sept 15, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp only.

Online Bootcamp +
Success Coaching

$4,095 $3,995

through Sept 15, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp + success coaching.

Become a Member

Get $250 off this bootcamp + 100s of FREE trainings with membership!

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Lisa Lafflam

Lisa Lafflam
Learning & Development Manager, Academic Impressions

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*All-inclusive members receive $250 off of conference registrations (in addition to the early bird discount if applicable). Please note this discount is not applicable on pre- or post-conference workshops or conference binders.