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‘Forward-Looking Focus’ Inspires New Leaders at AACTE Academy

For new or prospective deans and department chairs, there’s no better place to get up to speed than AACTE’s Leadership Academy, June 26-30 in Portland, Oregon.

Have you ever puzzled over the relationship between a dean and a department chair? Struggled to organize an effective meeting or to get your message across to higher administration? Wondered how to approach persistent dilemmas or deal with difficult people? These are just some of the topics that past attendees say provided valuable lessons during the Leadership Academy.

“It was very beneficial to listen to others’ experiences and solutions to our similar challenges,” one participant wrote. “These ideas will help me be more efficient and celebrate faculty more.”

“Excellent discussions,” said another. “[It was] great to hear other types of relationships and how they’re handled. Also, I appreciate the forward-looking focus.”

With dedicated sessions for deans and department chairs as well as both structured and free time together, you’ll have ample opportunity to interact with your peers and our faculty. The academy has a reputation for connecting leaders with fresh ideas, useful resources, and a supportive network of colleagues that lasts far beyond the 5-day event.

2013 Leadership Academy alumna Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University, said the academy filled her professional toolbox to overflowing, allowing her to enter her new deanship “with confidence, enthusiasm, and purpose.”

“The AACTE Leadership Academy was one of the most enlightening, engaging, and empowering professional development opportunities of my career in higher education,” she said. She now serves on the faculty for the event, sharing her experiences with the next wave of new leaders.

Longtime faculty member Walt Gmelch, who is a veteran education dean and current professor of leadership studies at the University of San Francisco (CA), articulated the need for professional development of deans and chairs in a blog last year:

The time of “amateur administration” must end – where professors play musical chairs, stepping occasionally into the role of department chair or dean. Too much is at stake in this time of change and challenge in the field of education to let leadership be left to chance or taking turns. In fact, the department chair position is the most critical role in the university, and the most unique management position in America. Consider the facts: 80% of university decisions are made at the department level; of the 50,000 chairs in America, one in five turns over every year; and while it takes 10,000 hours of practice to reach competence (projected as 8 years for chairs and deans and already established as 7 years for faculty to get tenure), only 3% of chairs receive training in leadership.

Gmelch will return to this year’s academy faculty along with Hill-Clarke, John Henning (Monmouth University, NJ), Patricia McHatton (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), Jennifer Roth (Fort Collins High School, CO), and Angela Sewall (University of Arkansas at Little Rock).

Join these experts in an intimate setting this summer to advance your administration career. Space is limited to optimize participants’ experience. Registration is open through June 2, but don’t delay to secure your spot on the roster.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.aacte.org/professional-development-and-events/leadership-academy.


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