Excellence in Academic Leadership: Tulane 2023

Excellence in Academic Leadership: Tulane 2023

Greetings and welcome to the Excellence in Academic Leadership (EAL) program presented by the National Center for Principled Leadership & Research Ethics (NCPRE). Our goal is to support your growth as an academic leader. The program will be offered through online group Zoom sessions augmented by outside readings and your reflections and analyses.
NCPRE creates and shares resources to support better ethical and leadership practices in academic and other professional contexts. Leadership—and particularly ethical leadership—is central to creating a culture that establishes healthy and productive professional interactions. We equip you with evidence-based tools to support intentional leadership development and institutional integrity.
Your cohort’s presenters are Ann Briggs Addo, Robert Stacey, and BrandE Faupell. Sarah Mustered is your Cohort Coordinator and will be your main point of contact for scheduling and logistics.
Please feel free to contact Sarah Mustered, the Cohort Coordinator for this program, if you have any questions: mustered@illinois.edu
General Reference Materials:


Session Seven: Giving/Receiving Feedback

Session Date: February 21, 2024 12-2:00pm CST

Pre-Session Materials:



Leadership Collection Resources: 

LC Section: Maintaining Processes for Managing Careers

LC Section: Handling Difficult Situations


Session Six: Negotiation

Session Date: January 24 at 12:00 pm CST

Before our meeting, we ask that you do the following:
  1. Please read “Are You the Doormat?,” the case study sent via email. 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.
  2. 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 out to have ready for the activity. We ask in the strongest terms that you please refrain from reading them beforehand. 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.

Pre-Session Reference Materials:

Leadership Collection Resources:

Rob Rutenbar, Senior Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh, talks about the use of data in discussions with decision-makers.

Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):

Homework Assigned:

  • 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).



Session Five: Exploring Leadership

Session Date: December 6, 2023 at 12-2:00pm CST

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 have your definition of leadership from our first session on hand and ready to discuss

Session Materials:

Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):

Session 5 Slides

Homework Assigned:

  • 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

  • We invite you to reflect on paradigm shifts occurring in your field or life. How you recognize and respond to these events is key to being a successful academic leader. 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

  • In preparation for our next session on Negotiation, read the case study, “Are You the Doormat?”

Session Four: Difficult Conversations and Personal Scripts

Session Date: November 8, 2023 at 12-2:00pm CST

Please be prepared to share your one-minute elevator pitch and to report back on your Critical Friends sessions.

We 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 persuasion at 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.

Pre-Session Materials:
Leadership Collection Reference Materials:

Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):

Homework Assigned:

  • 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” 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.

  • Select and continue to read a book of your choice to support your growth interests. Our team members are available for recommendations if you need any!

  • Prepare personal scripts and consider sharing 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.

Session Three: Vibrant Academic Units

Session Date: October 25 at 12-2:00pm CST

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. 

Pre-Session Materials:
Homework Assigned: 
  • 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! 
Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):

Session Two: Critical Friends & Group Problem Solving

Session Date: October 11 at 12-2:00pm CST
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.
Pre-Session Materials:
Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):
Homework Assigned:
  • 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: Leadership in the Academic Environment

Session Date: September 13, 12-2:00 PM CST
Prior to our meeting, 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 will begin the session by discussing this scenario, after which we will take some time to explore the unique challenges our environment presents.
Pre-Session Materials:
Slide Deck Reference (for Personal Use Only):
Homework Assigned:
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 Yourself  exercise 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.