Building a Leadership Culture in an Academic Department



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Build a leadership pipeline and overcome resistance to leadership within your academic department.


Many academic leaders aim to build a leadership culture in their departments that promotes faculty retention and creates a bench of future leaders. However, common challenges such as competitive, individualistic cultures and skepticism towards administration thwart many of these efforts. Academic leaders must take an intentional approach that blends strategy, communication, and collaboration to resolve these challenges. 

Join us online to learn about how a department leader from Suffolk University Law School took her program from unranked to the top five in the country in the field. You will learn how to: 

  • Take a strategic approach to building a culture of leadership in three areas: individual, department, and national field 
  • Prioritize community and collaboration 
  • Boost profile/visibility, retention, and morale 


Who Should Attend

This training is designed for current or aspiring academic leaders at the unit or division level seeking to build or enhance a culture of leadership among their faculty. Those who partner with unit and division-level leaders on the faculty affairs side may also find benefit. 


August 27, 2021

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Eastern

Background & Results 

In this opening section, you will learn about the challenges our presenter faced when she took on the role of department director: 

  • Low faculty retention and morale 
  • Lack of job security  
  • Zero-sum attitudes that curb collaboration  

You will then see the results she achieved by addressing these challenges with strategic thinking, collaboration, and communication. 



Identifying, Prioritizing, and Strategizing 

Through an in-depth case study, you will learn how to identify and prioritize goals and objectives for achieving the results your department needs.  




In this closing section, you will hear specific examples of steps our presenter took to boost faculty morale and retention, develop a leadership pipeline, and improve departmental representation and recognition within her school and field. You will then have the chance to begin creating your own strategic approach to building a leadership culture in your academic department. 


Professional portrait of Kathleen Vinson

Kathleen Vinson

Professor of Legal Writing and Director of Legal Writing, Research, and Written Advocacy at Suffolk University Law School

Suffolk Law’s legal writing program has been ranked in the Top 10 in the nation since 2013 by US News and World Report. Kathy has served as Chair of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research; President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors; a board member of the Legal Writing Institute; and an editor of the Monograph, Second Draft, and the Legal Writing Institute Journal. She also serves on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee for Professionalism in Practice. Kathy has co-authored two books, Mindful Lawyering: The Key to Creative Problem Solving and the book Legal Analysis: The Fundamental Skill.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Questions about this event? Contact this event's manager, Jenna Ledford at

What You Get

Get the live webcast and the recording for one price.

Get access to live webcast including Q&A.

Receive permanent and unlimited access to recording.

Download speaker slides and supplemental materials.


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