Leading and Influencing as a Department Chair Online Bootcamp


Leading and Influencing as a Department Chair

May 19 – June 9, 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 four-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 collaborate with colleagues, manage difficult faculty, and resolve conflict.

We’ve trained thousands of department chairs over the last 20 years. In addition, our curriculum is designed by 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.


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 24 participants to maintain a productive online learning environment. Register early to reserve your spot!


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 learn more, contact Lisa Lafflam at lisa.lafflam@academicimpressions.com or purchase the Bootcamp + Success Coaching product below.

Hear About the Bootcamp Experience

What to Expect

  • This online course consists of four live online sessions, happening weekly. Each session is facilitated by our experts, to help you explore your leadership tendencies and to 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.

“This program is one of the best leadership development workshops I have been to. Their use of a problem-solving, solutions-focused approach leads to results within yourself and organization.”

Dr. Cory Church

Program Director, VA Nursing Partnership, Texas Woman’s University

“This training allows for the opportunity to self-reflect about my role as Chair and what that means for my department, institution, and staff. I highly recommend.”

Ebony Perez

Associate Chair Undergraduate Social Work, Saint Leo University

“An insightful and effective program that was well above my expectations. Essential tools and fantastic speakers. I am excited to begin my new role.”

Kathleen Bacer

Chair of Advanced Studies, Azusa Pacific University

Need More? Bring This Training to Your Campus


Are you looking to train a team of ten or more department chairs or seeking out a customized learning track designed for your institution?

Let us come to you and facilitate an exclusive on-campus workshop. Immerse your team in a shared learning experience to get them on the same page and move everyone towards a common approach.




Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

The Foundations of Leadership Theory and Practice
There is no single right way to lead. Rather than present a single model of leadership, this bootcamp is designed to help you identify a leadership style that develops from your values and plays to your strengths. We’ll also explore the unique context of leading as a Chair. 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.

After exploring leadership theory and these dynamics, you’ll create a definition of leadership that’s unique to you and that forms the basis of our future sessions.


Defining Your Leadership Strengths and Mission
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.



Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Leading Up, Down, and Across
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. Developing authentic relationships is key to successfully leading up, down, and across, while nurturing your communication skills is essential to building those relationships.

In this session, you will explore different ways to build and enhance trust, as well as align goals and interests across different stakeholders. 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.



Wednesday, June 2, 2021 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Understanding Conflict
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 ways of approaching conflict regardless of the situation, including sharing your facts, telling your story, asking for others’ paths, talking tentatively, and encouraging testing. You’ll work in small groups to practice these techniques and hone your skills.


Managing Difficult Faculty

You’ve probably encountered challenging faculty who exhibit unprofessional, unproductive, and even destructive behavior. When faculty 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 faculty 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



Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Integrating and Sustaining Your Leadership

You cannot lead your department or colleagues effectively if you're burned out, stressed, or overwhelmed. Sustaining your leadership isn’t just about self-care, it’s about making sure you develop the right habits to lead with intentionality. In this final session, we’ll discuss strategies and best practices for time management, setting priorities, and overcoming inevitable obstacles by building your resilience as a leader. You’ll also develop a practical and effective action plan that can guide your leadership in the future. Lastly, you'll complete and share a leadership philosophy with your peers—one that explores your own unique approach to leadership and reflects on the lessons learned during this bootcamp.

The February 25 - April 28, 2021 bootcamp is at capacity. If you are registered you can view the overview here.


Portrait of Gary Meyer

Gary Meyer

Senior Vice Provost Faculty Affairs, Marquette University

Dr. Gary Meyer is communication professor and senior vice provost for faculty affairs at Marquette University. In this role, he helps prepare faculty for a meaningful and successful career at Marquette University across the many roles they will take on as teachers, scholars, and university leaders. Among his responsibilities, Dr. Meyer oversees new faculty orientation as well as the broader first-year faculty experience, faculty mentoring, faculty leadership development, and the promotion and tenure system on campus.

Read Gary's Full Bio.

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

$3,095 $2,745

through May 12, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp only.

Online Bootcamp +
Success Coaching

$3,795 $3,445

through May 12, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp + success coaching.


Online Bootcamp Only

$3,095 $2,995

through May 12, 2021

Get access to THIS online bootcamp only.

Online Bootcamp +
Success Coaching

$3,795 $3,695

through May 12, 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
Instructional Designer, 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.