New Department Chair Professional Development Learning Series

The New Department Chair Professional Development Learning Series (formerly the New Department Chair Boot Camp) will be offered in a modified format for the 2020-2021 academic year. This learning series will address many of the crucial aspects of the work involved in leading a department, addressing topics such as financial, personnel, and issues management, governance and effective meetings, supporting teaching and learning, mentoring faculty and staff, and outreach and development.

The series is designed and intended for department chairs and directors of “department-like” units new to their role in 2020-2021, as well as those who assumed this responsibility since the 2019 Department Chair Boot Camp and did not attend a previous boot camp.

The series will be divided into three sections:

  • Part 1: two, half-day, virtual sessions, to be held at the end of August 2020
  • Part 2: four, mid-day, 90-120 minute virtual sessions in September and October 2020
  • Part 3: a single, half-day session in January 2021, to be held in-person or virtually, dependent upon status of the COVID-19 and campus operations

Read below for details on each part of the series.

Register now for one or more parts of  the series

Part 1 – August 2020

This part of the series consists of two, half-day, virtual seminars on Aug. 19 and 20, from 9am-2pm. The seminars are designed to address the following learning outcomes:

  1. To review campus resources that will facilitate success in your role as department chair
  2. To increase your self-knowledge (identifying your preferred behavioral style:  what motivates you; how do you respond to conflict’ what causes you stress, how do prefer to solve problems)
  3. To examine application of financial principles and budget models to various scenarios
  4. To identify conduct and action steps to address inappropriate conduct
  5. To explore leadership behaviors and departmental action that foster inclusivity, diversity, and equity among team members and in your unit
  6. To foster critical problem solving, listening and team-building skills


Wednesday, Aug. 19

  • 9-9:15am Blackboard Collaborate Overview
  • 9:45-11:15am Leadership During Crisis: Prepare to Lead by Understanding YOU
  • 11:15am-noon Lunch & Screen Break (on your own)
  • Noon-12:20pm Thoughts from the Provost
  • 12:30-2pm Financial Management: Money Matters in Uncertain Times

Thursday, Aug. 20

  • 8:30-8:45am Welcome Back: Opening Exercise
  • 9-10:30am Personnel Management: People, Climate, and Culture Matters in Action
  • 10:30-10:45am Break
  • 10:45am-12:45pm Issues Management: Living with Disruptions, Ambiguity, and Unexpected Issues
  • 12:45-1:00pm Reflection and Close

Part 2 – September & October 2020

This part of the series consists of four, mid-day, 90-120-minute, virtual sessions in September and October. Learning outcomes for this part of the series are forthcoming.

Session Details

All sessions will be held virtually, from 11:30am-1pm.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 16 – Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in a Changed Instructional Environment
    • Featuring: John Zumbrunnen, vice provost for teaching and learning; Anja Wannar, department chair, English; Mo Bischof, associate vice provost for academic affairs
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30 – Effective Departmental Governance: Meetings, Committees and Roberts Rules of Order
    • Featuring: Heather Daniels, secretary of the faculty; Jake Smith, secretary of academic staff and former faculty senate parliamentarian; Michael Bernard-Donals, professor, English & Jewish Studies
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Hostile and Intimidating Behavior: Policy and Process 
    • Featuring: Michael Bernard-Donals, professor, English & Jewish Studies; Tanya Hubanks, senior administrative program specialist, Office of the Provost; Tamie Klumpyan, program manager and trainer, Office of Talent Management, Learning & Development
  • October TBD –  Supporting and Managing in Changed World of Work

Part 3 – January 2021

This part of the series consists of a single, half-day session in January 2021, to be held in-person or virtually, dependent upon the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and campus operations. The specific date, time and learning outcomes are also forthcoming.

Planned Topics

  • Managing Conflict & Having Difficult Conversations
  • Mentoring Faculty and Staff: It’s More than Tenure and Promotion
  • Outreach & Development