Spotlight Sessions

(2020 Information Coming Soon!)



Surviving to Thriving – Ethan Krase and Gian Pagnucci 

One of the chief difficulties for newer department chairs is that there is often little formal training for the job. As a result, many chairs spend their first few years learning by trial and error, which is often a sure recipe for chair burnout. Exacerbating the trial-and-error approach, newer chairs often find much of their time and energy gets consumed by small-scale, daily issues. When this happens, chairs are less able to become the forward-thinking academic leaders their departments need them to be.

As chairs ourselves, we come to ACC looking practical ideas for making our work more efficient, less mysterious, and ultimately more doable. The strategies discussed in this presentation aim to equip chairs with concrete, easily usable methods for operating their departments on a day-to-day basis. Our hope is to help chairs learn to spend less time and energy on the common problems we cover in this session so that they can devote time and energy to the larger, more complicated, more impactful issues of their home departments.

Using Student Ratings for Personnel Decisions – Ken Ryalls and Steve Benton (IDEA)

Student evaluations of teaching (SET) are a necessary component of any chairperson’s assessment of teaching performance, yet many of the SET developed by faculty committees lack the psychometric quality to meet professional and legal standards. In this workshop we will discuss how to create quality SETs, how to use them effectively to give your faculty actionable feedback, and how to use them appropriately in personnel reviews. Bring an example of your SETs with you, as the workshop will be highly interactive.

Women in Leadership:  Pathways, Problem-Solving and Advocacy –  Marilyn Amey, Kristi Haik, Maureen Doyle, Joyce Taylor Gibson, Katherine Frank, and Audrey Williams June.  

This parallel plenary will feature the expertise of female leaders in higher education at various stages of their career. These individuals have pursued unique professional pathways within different educational contexts and have been exposed to opportunities and challenges that have called for a range of problem-solving skills. They will share these experiences and what it means to advocate for oneself, others, and issues as a female leader within the complex and shifting landscape of higher education.

Budgeting Basics for New Academic Chairpersons – Doug Lees, Jane Williams and David Malik

This interactive session has been designed for would-be chairs and new chairs but may also be of value to more experienced chairs. We will review the typical sources of academic income used to establish department budgets as well as the institutional budget models that are currently in place in higher education. Various aspects of the department operational budget will be considered as well as questions about the personnel budget and other accounts for which a chair may have oversight responsibility. Chairs will be encouraged to inquire about about the flexibility of monetary resources, whether excess cash and debt carry over from year to year, and what incentives may be negotiated within the budgeting process. Finally, strategies for increasing the expenditure freedom of chairs and for making the “resource pie” larger will be presented.

Pink Flamingos for the Soul: Work/Life Balance and Pursuing Passions – Kim Nehls

UNLV Visiting Assistant Professor / Executive Director of ASHE (Association for the Study of Higher Education) Kimberly Nehls poses October 28, 2014 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services)

Everyone is welcome at this fun and interactive session that will discuss the ways department chairs can learn lessons from flamingos: Get rid of the mud in your life, you are what you consume, build a flamboyance, allow yourself time to grow, balance is a myth, and do the unexpected. The session is designed to explore options for work and life balance and incorporating more joy in the everyday.


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