Thank you for participating in Excellence in Academic Leadership, formerly known as Academic Leadership in Challenging Times. We wanted you to maintain access to the slide decks, videos, and resources used throughout the program as you navigate your career. Don't forget the Leadership Collection is still available for your use as well. Some of the homework assignments may look a little different or be in a different order than you remember as we continue to develop the program.
Use the attached capstone case study to develop a plan to address the scenario. Your task is to describe how to navigate the difficult process before you as effectively and constructively as possible. Each group of 2 people will present its approach to the full cohort in a 5-minute presentation. You are welcome to use slides, a document, or any other vehicle for making your presentation. You will be able to share your screen.
Be prepared to field questions from the NCPRE team and your peers following your presentation.
If you are unable to attend the final session, you are still encouraged to participate in preparing the capstone case with your colleagues.
You are not expected to have a complete IDP ready by our meeting. We ask that you start to construct one and be prepared to informally discuss your progress with the group.
Session Eight: Bullyproofing Academic Units
Below are copies of a case study and situation analysis we will be using in the session. In order to make the best use of our time, we ask that you read them ahead of the session. Please make sure to have them on hand for our group discussion tomorrow.
As a reminder, we ask that you dig far back to our first session together and revisit the short video featuring “Professor Major” having a conversation with a new Department Head on his first day
We will be opening our session with a group discussion of the behavior you see in the video and the dynamics involved in the interaction. Please be prepared to share your thoughts.
Review the second version of the Professor Major video below. Make note of your thoughts on what the department chair learned in this program. What changes did he make to the interaction and its outcome?
Meet in a group to develop a list of skills you’ve acquired through this cohort program that you see being applied in the second version of Professor Major. Be prepared to report at our next session.
Meet in a Critical Friends group: use an issue a member of your groupis facing. If you would like a case study to discuss, please contact us and we will provide one for you.
Use your Critical Friends to work on difficult feedback situations, whether giving or receiving. (Feedback is a gift.)
Session Six: Negotiation
Before tomorrow’s meeting, we ask that you do the following:
Please read “Are You the Doormat?”, the case study sent via email (marked with “READ ME” in the file name for clarity). We will be discussing this in breakout rooms later in the session and taking the time to read it ahead of time will give you more time to have meaningful group discussions.
You have also been assigned one of two roles for a negotiation role play to be undertaken in pairs. Typically, these documents would be distributed the moment before beginning the exercise. To adapt to an online setting, we will be providing them now, so that you may print them outto have ready for the activity. We ask in the strongest terms that you please refrain from reading them beforehand. For clarity, I have marked these files with “PRINT ONLY” in the file name. The experience will be far more valuable and provide a better learning opportunity if you read their contents for the first time during the exercise.
Consider interactions you have that you now see as negotiations: what can do you do to improve your preparation for these conversations? Record them in your journal.
Send us topics of difficult conversations around feedback you find challenging (next session is about giving and receiving feedback).
Finish reading Crucial Conversations or Crucial Accountability to prepare for our session on giving and receiving feedback.
Session Five: Exploring Leadership
This session will focus on leadership through the lens of preparing for (and responding to) paradigm shifts–Leadership Through Challenging Times, if you will.
In preparation for this week’s session, we ask that you take the time to:
consider and identify a fundamental change occurring in your field and be prepared to describe how your unit will adapt to it. Consider the impact that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity had on Newtonian Physics, or the impact of genetic engineering on agriculture, or the introduction of satellites on meteorology. These are all examples of major paradigm shifts. Other changes are smaller in scale and still impactful. How you recognize and respond to these events is key to being a successful academic leader. Please prepare to discuss the fundamental changes occurring in your fields in breakout sessions.
In addition, we ask that you remember to have your definition of leadership from our first session on hand and ready to discuss.
Re-visit your definition of leadership and reflect on your strengths; how will you play to them? What would you like to focus on going forward? Record your thoughts in your journal.
Do you see a paradigm shift in your field or institution? How will your leadership help your colleagues prepare for or react to it? Record your thoughts in your journal.
Submit via email discussion questions or a topic you would like to discuss with the group from your reading of Crucial Conversations or Crucial Accountability (whichever you read).
Session Four: Difficult Conversations and Personal Scripts
Please be prepared to share your one-minute elevator pitch and to report back on your Critical Friends sessions.
I have attached the conflict self-assessment we sent once before. We ask that you continue to keep this in mind as you consider your conflict style and how you tend to react to difficult conversations. Among other topics we will cover, we will revisit your conflict comfort and style and introduce the And Stance, a powerful tool that grows out of work on influence and persuasionat the Harvard Project on Negotiation. The idea behind the And Stance is that ‘but’ is a stopper word in American English; the exercise is to practice moving to the And Stance, where you use “and” instead of “but” (or “however” or “although”)–without changing your message. If you have time to look over the exercise in advance, we can spend more time discussing and working on it during the session.
Practice applying the And Stance in your everyday life. First, try to go one week without using “but” in an email, instead restructuring the statement with “and” in order to align with others. Then, try to go 24 hours without saying “but” at all. This is a very difficult and worthwhile exercise that helps make you aware of just how often you use stopper words and where you can change your approach.
Start reading either Crucial Conversations or Crucial Accountability. (If you haven’t read either, start with Crucial Conversations.) Both are readily available for purchase online. We wish to provide time for all members of the cohort to read one or the other before we start a discussion, so are providing a head start for a future discussion.
Prepare personal scripts and share them with other members of the cohort, using the Personal Scripts Quick Tips as a guide. Also consider the Complaint-Handling Guidelines. You may find these helpful for handling difficult conversations and for constructing personal scripts when faced with these scenarios.
Before our next session, find and have ready the definition of leadership you recorded in your journals during the first session. Prepare to discuss.
Session Three: Vibrant Academic Units
We ask you to be prepared to discuss the AUDiT that you filled out for your unit along with the real or hypothetical situation you developed for use with a Critical Friends group. We have also attached a self-assessment document that we will be using during today’s session. Please download it to have at hand during our meeting.
As always, please make sure that you have your journals at hand. We will be asking you to refer back to them throughout the program.
These slides contain the AUDiT, which has different versions depending on your institution.Edition A is for research-intensive institutions andEdition B is for hybrid teaching and research institutions.
Create a ONE MINUTE or shorter elevator pitch for your unit, based in its purpose and mission.
Remember that there are books available to support your development—use your funds!
Session Two: Critical Friends/Group Problem Solving
For this session, we would like you to watch, in advance, the video provided below. This one is a bit longer than last time, around 9-10 minutes. It depicts a staged meeting discussing the Thomas Santo case study we addressed in the first cohort meeting, using a protocol created by the Annenberg Institute known as Critical Friends. We have provided a description of the protocol along with the full background from the Annenberg Institute for reference. We also have included a quick reference summary sheet of the Decision Making Framework (DMF) discussed in our last meeting that many find useful during a Critical Friends session. We will discuss the protocol, its uses, and do an abbreviated Critical Friends session during our upcoming online meeting.
We will be opening with your reviews of items in the Leadership Collection and the Testing Yourself prompts provided as homework after our last meeting, and discussing the AUDiT assessments you started.
Review the AUDiT you filled out for your unit; be prepared to discuss
Develop a real or hypothetical situation to use in a Critical Friends group
Session One: The Special Challenges of the Academic Environment
Prior to our first session, we ask that you watch this short vignette that was filmed as part of our larger Leadership Collection. This particular clip features a faculty member named “Professor Major” having a conversation with a new Department Head on his first day.
As you watch the scene unfold and the behavior of the characters within it, we invite you to think about what is really happening in this interaction. Please consider the questions posed within the video and write some thoughts down in the Journal we have asked you to maintain as part of the program.
We invite you all to take a look through NCPRE’s Leadership Collection. This library of resources has been developed over several years, built on the experiences and wisdom of our experts. The collection includes Quick Tips, Executive Briefings and Annotated Bibliographies, as well as many video interviews with our experts themselves sharing their thoughts on a variety of subjects. Please take some time to browse the collection – during our second session we will ask each of you to share a couple of the assets you found most interesting or useful.
Find attached the Testing Yourselfexercise and take a few minutes to respond to the prompts within. We will discuss these prompts and share responses in our next session when we dive deeper into handling contentious situations like these.
Also attached is a copy of the AUDiT Dashboard,developed by NCPRE to help systematically assess the health of your department. Our observation has been that many leaders tend to focus on areas that they think are problematic. The AUDiT approach helps ensure that your assessment is comprehensive. Use the AUDiT table to score your unit. Start by putting a number in each cell – the more the cell describes your unit, the higher the number should be. In the green and red columns, scores run from 0 to 5; in the yellow column, it is 0 to 3. When you are finished, add up your green scores and subtract the totals from your yellow and red scores. We will be revisiting this tool throughout the course so please keep the original with your journal.