Leadership in Turbulent Times

76th Annual Meeting

American Conference of Academic Deans

Now more than ever, higher education needs leaders who can navigate our institutions through these turbulent times.  Parents and prospective students are questioning the value of a liberal arts education, and indeed, the value of a college degree. Demographic trends are exerting enrollment pressure on our institutions. In our increasingly polarized society, we must model respectful and civil discourse for our students. Recent conflicts suggest that successful leaders must have a sophisticated understanding of and sensitivity to diversity and inclusion, academic freedom, freedom of speech, and conflict mediation.  New technologies and media, such as social networking, present powerful tools for outreach and social engagement, but are fraught with potential perils.  

All of these challenges call for academic leaders who understand the current higher education landscape and have the wisdom, experience, and courage to move our institutional missions forward in a sustainable way. The 2020 ACAD Annual Meeting program will feature sessions that academic administrators will find useful, challenging, and enriching.  ACAD sessions will engage participants asking them to consider the multiple capacities, approaches, and opportunities that academic leaders must develop in order to lead during turbulent times.

ACAD Workshops
Wednesday, January 22, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

  • A Year in the Life of a College Restructure Process (SOLD OUT)
  • Cultivating and Sustaining a Grants Culture on Campus through National Science Foundation Grants

ACAD 9th Annual Deans’ Institute
Wednesday, January 22, 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Deans’ Institute, sponsored by the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD), provides an opportunity for academic administrators to develop their leadership abilities in a supportive environment.  It is designed especially for deans, provosts, associate deans and associate provosts, and other academic leaders above the rank of department head.

The featured opening plenary speaker for the day is Bonnie Irwin, Chancellor, University of Hawai’i at Hilo. The closing plenary will feature a panel discussion on Preparing “Next Generation” Colleges: Deans Leading the Way. The Institute will also include a series of roundtable discussion opportunities on over 16 different topics/themes.

The goals of the day-long institute are:

  • Advancing the leadership abilities of deans and academic administrators
  • Sharing valuable information about the current state of the deanship
  • Providing updates on important developments in the world of higher education
  • Creating networking opportunities

A full Institute program can be found by visiting the ACAD website at www.acad.org.

ACAD Keynote Luncheon (SOLD OUT)
Friday, January 24, 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Still Standing: Leadership and Resilience in Turbulent Times

Carroll_web.jpgDonna M. Carroll, President, Dominican University (IL)

The relentless pressures on higher education today can squeeze the joy out of leadership if resilience-building strategies are not part of your toolbox. Academic leaders face a particular set of challenges, sandwiched between the expectations of presidents and faculty, public opinion and student outcomes, and mission and market. How do you cope in these turbulent times? Where are the opportunities and pitfalls? What strategies can amplify your leadership contribution? Dr. Carroll will share some practical wisdom and present a framework for grappling with the pace and complexity of academic leadership today.

Donna M. Carroll is in her 26th year as President of Dominican University (IL). She has served with seven board chairs, launched four strategic plans, completed three capital campaigns, changed the name of the university, and she is still standing. Since 2013, she has co-facilitated the CIC Seminar on Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission for aspiring university presidents.

ACAD Sessions

ACAD sponsored sessions are open to all attendees and include the following:

  • Courageously Collaborative Leadership: Engaging Campus Stakeholders for Positive Change
  • Breaking Down the Silos: Genuine Academic Engagement with Institution-Wide Retention
  • Framework for Cultivating Leaders within Your Academy
  • Navigating a “Perfect Storm”: Lessons from a Disruptive Campus Incident
  • STEMming the Tide of Enrollment Shifts from Humanities to STEM
  • Preparation and Leadership during a Natural Disaster: Lessons Learned in the Midst of Crisis
  • Walk the Talk: A Cross-Divisional Approach to Institutionalizing Diversity at The College of Wooster
  • Difficult Conversations in Challenging Times
  • Building the Next Generation of Academic Leaders
  • Assistant/Associate Deans—Extending Impact in Turbulent Times

ACAD and CCAS Joint Reception
Friday, January 24 5:45 p.m.

ACAD and CCAS (Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences) are co-hosting a reception Friday evening. All are welcome to join us as we celebrate 75 Years of ACAD and 75 years of partnerships, collaboration and community.

A full program with a list of all ACAD sessions can be found on the ACAD website at www.acad.org.