Strategic Financial Management for Department Chairs

Strategic Financial Management for Department Chairs

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Gain confidence in your ability to manage the financial health of your department.


Chairs and Program Directors often step into their roles without proper orientation or training on how to understand and manage the financial health of their departments or programs in a strategic manner. In today’s complex environment marked by hurdles like leadership transitions, budget cuts, restructures, and challenges with faculty and staff retention, it is more important than ever that you provide strong oversight and management of your division’s budget and finances to ensure long-term sustainability.

Join us for a two-day virtual conference to learn how to more effectively manage your financial responsibilities as Department Chair or Program Director. You’ll discuss methods for approaching revenue generation, resource allocation and budget cuts in ways that also support the quality of your programs, student outcomes, and faculty and staff morale. Specifically, you’ll discuss how to:

  • Use data to assess the financial health of your department or program
  • Align financial decisions with the strategic plan of your institution or department
  • Identify opportunities to manage resource scarcity in new and creative ways
  • Communicate financial decisions and ROI to faculty and staff in ways that build morale and buy-in

If you’re looking to better understand how you can effectively and responsibly manage the financial health of your department or program, this training is for you.


Upgrade Your Experience

To enhance your conference experience, join us for a highly practical training on cultivating external partnerships.

This workshop begins by highlighting examples of various types of external partnerships, then helps you to understand the value that each one can have at your institution. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to identify, align and communicate the needs of both partners to ensure mutual return on investment.

Register for the Workshop


Who Should Attend

This virtual conference is designed for Department Chairs and Program Directors who are looking for creative and effective ways to manage and communicate about the financial health of their department or program. This training will benefit both new and experienced Chairs, as you’ll walk away with an expanded toolkit that helps you analyze data, make decisions, and communicate those decisions in ways that disarm faculty and staff.


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 and add Success Coaching during registration.

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


Day 1 | March 29, 2022

All Times Eastern


Welcome and Opening Remarks
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. ET



Assessing the Current State of Your Department
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
In order to effectively manage your department’s finances, you must first understand its financial health, which in turn requires you to understand what’s driving revenue and how important financial decisions are being made. In this session, we will explore different methods for auditing and assessing the financial performance of your department. Specifically, we’ll address how to:

  • Acquire and use data to measure the financial health of your department and identify potential opportunities for budget cuts or gains
  • Interpret data to understand return on investment (ROI)
  • Identify levers for change and innovation within your sphere of influence



Short Break
12:30 – 12:45 p.m. ET



Establishing Strategic Goals for Maintaining Financial Health
12:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
Building upon the previous session, you will explore how information gathering can inform your path forward and help you to establish strategic goals for improving the financial health of your department. Your instructors will share success stories related to how they creatively managed such budget line items as enrollment, course selections, and research. Through this conversation, you will gain ideas for how to:

  • Cut costs and/or increase revenue by focusing on your department’s top priorities and non-negotiables
  • Identify opportunities to scale back or eliminate those initiatives that are not priorities
  • “Do less with less” while continuing to deliver quality outcomes to stay competitive



Long Break
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET



Practice: Using Data to Create Opportunity for Financial Sustainability
2:30 – 3:30p.m. ET
This session is designed to help you integrate your lessons learned so far. You’ll work with peers to analyze data and use it to brainstorm creative and strategic opportunities for financial growth and sustainability.



Day 1 Q&A
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET


Day 2 | March 30, 2022

All Times Eastern


11:00 – 11:15 a.m. ET



Collaborating on Financial Decision-Making
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
Many financial decisions within your department require input from others not only because of shared governance, but also because it’s the right thing to do to ensure that your decisions are informed by the voices of those who will be impacted. In this session, we’ll discuss effective ways to include faculty, academic staff, senior leadership and even students in your financial decision-making. You’ll explore how to:

  • Identify the right time, place, and frequency to include faculty, staff and students in your decision-making
  • Calibrate your thinking with your Dean to ensure that you’re making sound decisions



Short Break
12:30 – 12:45 p.m. ET



Communicating about the Financial Health of Your Department
12:45 – 2:00 p.m. ET
As Chair, you will be faced with situations that require you to communicate the financial health of your department with various stakeholders. This may require you to communicate about ROI, which may not be a common practice. Likewise, some decisions may be perceived as negative to the department, faculty, students, and/or community. This can leave your stakeholders feeling dissatisfied and possibly even resistant. In this session, we will discuss how to:

  • Position critical financial decisions in ways that support and align with the strategic plan of your institution and department
  • Control the narrative, especially as it relates to who is included, how much information to share, and when to share it
  • Communicate with stakeholders in a way that minimizes resistance and helps them to understand ROI as the leadership team sees it



Long Break
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET



Practice: Communicating with Your Stakeholders
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET
This final session will provide you with an opportunity to put your communication skills to use by participating in role-plays with your peers. You will practice how to communicate with various stakeholders regarding the financial health of your department.



Wrap-Up and Final Q&A
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET



Optional Post-Conference Workshop: Identifying and Communicating the ROI of External Partnerships
March 31, 2022 | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Upgrade your conference experience by joining us for a highly practical training on identifying and communicating the ROI of external partnerships.

This workshop will help you strategize ways to effectively cultivate and communicate the value of external partnerships for your college or department. You’ll be introduced to a variety of successful partnerships as inspiration for what’s possible. The power of this workshop comes from the practice you’ll get in strategizing, crafting, and communicating a compelling elevator pitch for various types of partnerships.

This session will be led by Wade Weast, Dean of the College of Arts at Georgia State University.

Register for External Partnerships Workshop


Portrait of Kelly Ball

Kelly Ball, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Kelly completed her PhD at Emory University, earning prior degrees at Transylvania University and The Ohio State University. First joining Agnes Scott College as a faculty member, she is the founding dean of the graduate and post-baccalaureate programs at Agnes Scott College.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Chris Ray

Dr. Christopher Ray

Dean of the College of Health Sciences, Texas Woman’s University

As Dean of the College of Health Sciences at Texas Woman’s University, Dr. Christopher T. Ray oversees five departments, two schools, and five on-site clinics across three campuses. He has spearheaded the expansion of research, enhanced clinical learning opportunities for students, and capitalized on the many synergies across programs.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Brian Shook

Brian Shook

Assistant Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communication & Associate Professor of Music, Lamar University

Brian Shook has over 10 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, Department Chair and Assistant Dean. Prior to joining the faculty at Lamar University, Shook toured the United States with The King’s Brass.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Lisa Lafflam

Lisa Lafflam
Senior Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions

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