Higher Ed Department Chair Academy

The 2019/20 ELA Higher Ed Chair Academy is Closed

Registrants prepaying with a university/college credit card may print the already
signed/completed ELA Advanced Payment Authorization Form for your records.


The mission of the ELA Higher Ed Department Chair Academy is to provide new to relatively new (those finishing their first or second year in the position) department chairs and assistant chairs, school directors and core curriculum coordinators with basic training to manage academic departments and in-depth leadership development, sustained over a period of time, on topics and skills needed to lead academic departments.


  • Examine techniques for leading within the department/school and university culture.
  • Analyze effective hiring methodologies and apply them to their role as a department chair/school director.
  • Correlate the relationship between effective planning and effective budgeting.
  • Cultivate a sense of self-awareness through identifying a leadership vision, mission, style, and values.
  • Learn strategies that improve health and wellness to maximize the quality of life and leadership practices.
  • Develop a range of leadership skills and abilities such as effectively managing change and conflict, understanding group dynamics, diversity awareness, building trust and motivating others.
  • Demonstrate communication skills and the ability to interrelate with others.
  • Understand legal and Human Resource issues facing educational institutions.
  • Provide the opportunity for higher education professionals to network, learn and share best practices.


  • You will be trained on the basics of managing and leading an academic department.
  • You will take away a more complete understanding of how your behavior impacts peers, direct reports, supervisors, and other important key stakeholders.
  • You will have an expanded network of colleagues and professionals in higher education.


  • Information Presentation
  • Facilitate Discussion of Questions (Given ahead of time)
  • Case Study for each session
  • The May session commences at 9 a.m. and adjourns at 4 p.m., all days. The June session starts at 7 p.m. on Monday and ends at 9 p.m. The Tuesday and Wednesday session starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Thursday's session begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. Each remaining session is 1½ days: Tuesday nights and Wednesday. They begin at 6 p.m. the first night and end around 2:30 p.m. the following day.

Before each session participants will be given a reading list, a case study, and a short list of questions that they should ask of their mentors. These should be completed before coming to the session. During the session, participants will have an opportunity to network with each other and share their solutions and answers to questions.


In many programs, a mentor is someone who is assigned to you for the duration of the program. In this program you will be given a suggested list of academic leaders to contact, at your institution or others, to ask questions related to their work and/or the case study.

Session 1 - May 14-16, 2019, Edmond (Meeting – UCO & Lodging - Fairfield Inn & Suites, May 13, 14 & 15)

Role of the Department Chair

Overview of the Role of the Department Chair
Facilitator: Charlotte Simmons, Ph.D., Associate Provost, Former Dean and Department Chair for the College of Math & Science, University of Central Oklahoma

Organizational Culture and Leadership
Achieving Balance
Facilitator: Dr. Scott Newman, Vice President of Academic Affairs, OSU Institute of Technology

Strategies for Course Scheduling
Models of Curricular Development
Facilitator: J. David Macey, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Vice President of Global and Cultural Competencies, Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts, former Department Chair for English, University of Central Oklahoma

Planning and Assessment
Leading and Managing Faculty
Facilitator: Gary Steward, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, former Dean for the College of Liberal Arts, University of Central Oklahoma

Facilitating a Collegial and Civil Department and University: Strategies for Success
Facilitator: Dr. Robert E. Cipriano, Professor Emeritus and former Department Chair, Southern Connecticut State University and recognized expert on collegiality, conflict management and communication in higher education. Cipriano is also the author of the book, Facilitating a Collegial Department in Higher Education: Strategies for Success. 

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs

Session 2 - June 24-27, 2019, Marriott Conference Center, Norman

Essentials for Leadership Excellence I

Participants will participate in a 360° multi-rater assessment with analysis; an in-depth analysis of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and an exercise to clarify their values. The session will also include discussions of the levels of leadership, the neuroscience of leadership, how to give and receive feedback, and discussions on managing your health and wellness to maximize the quality of life and leadership practices.

Facilitator: Dr. Shanna Teel, Founder, and CEO of Dr. Shanna Teel & Company, Inc., a leadership and talent development consulting firm.

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs, Deans, and Human Resource personnel

Session 3 - September 10-11, 2019, OKC Downtown

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Self-Differentiated Leadership for 21st Century Teams

How can we successfully lead teams comprised of diverse members with divergent goals and in a political climate more polarized than ever? Rather than focus on team members’ behavior, this session asks participants to establish their own self-differentiated leadership that inspires and engages the teams for whom and to whom they are responsible.

Facilitator: Dr. Rhonda Dean Kyncl, Associate Dean for Students, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Oklahoma

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs, Deans

Session 4 - November 12-13, 2019, Tulsa

Managing Conflict

Using small-group and large-group discussions, simulations and role plays, mini-lectures, and other learning activities, participants will explore the most recent thinking on conflict management from the leaders in the field.

Facilitator: Dr. Christy Vincent, Professor, Mass Communications Department, University of Central Oklahoma

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs, Deans, Legal Services and Human Resource personnel

Session 5 - January 14-15, 2020, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

Legal & Human Resource Issues in Education

This session will cover a wide range of legal and Human Resource issues facing educational institutions and includes suggestions and perspectives that serve to facilitate effectiveness for administrators who must deal with the law’s impact on their campuses.

Facilitator: Dr. Jana Legako, A licensed attorney and human resources professional. Her career spans more than 25 years and has given her the opportunity to work in the three branches of Oklahoma education: common education, career-tech, and higher education.

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs, Deans, Legal Services and Human Resource personnel

Session 6 - March 10-11, 2020, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

Essentials for Leadership Excellence II

This multifaceted session, expanding on managing change, serves as a culminating leadership development experience for the participants.

Facilitator: Dr. Shanna Teel, Founder, and CEO of Dr. Shanna Teel & Company, Inc., a leadership and talent development consulting firm.

Suggested Mentors: Experienced Chairs, Deans, and Human Resource personnel


Registration Fee: $2,499.00 includes meals, lodging, and instructional materials for each session (Deadline to register: April 19, 2019). Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the session locations. The time spent out of class is an important part of the network participants will build; therefore the registration fee does not change if they do not use the lodging.

For more information contact:
Cary Williams
Director, Educators' Leadership Academy
Phone: (405) 974-5561
Email:  cwilliams56@uco.edu