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Department Head and Academic Leader Support

The positions of Department Head and Academic Leader pose a unique set of challenges, while also playing a crucial role in the success of the core academic functions of teaching, research, and scholarship, at the unit level as well as the College/School level and the Institution as a whole. Programming for Department Heads and Academic Leaders provides systematic leadership support through workshops, panel discussions, and information sessions specifically tailored to the needs of this cohort.

Virtual Coffee/Tea for Department Heads

Department heads continue to play a vital role as Drexel University transitions to remote teaching in response to COVID-19. They bear primary responsibility for maintaining the quality and rigor of academic programs and ensuring that courses run as smoothly as possible, while working through any issues that emerge. Part of the challenge will involve providing support and managing expectations for faculty, students, and professional staff within their departments. During these weekly hour long Virtual Coffee/Tea sessions, we will engage in a range of activities and topics to share resources, promote self-care, and build community. 

Department Head Discussions: "Wicked Cases"

Department Heads face “wicked cases” every single day – cases and situations that seem to defy logic and cause us to truly struggle towards resolution. From managing a diverse group of people, overseeing pedagogy and the curriculum, to sustaining the faculty and communicating the value of the department's work across the University, the Department Head is often in a pinch point as a higher education leader.  This "wicked cases" session will use case studies as the basis of conversation--inviting open discussion from Department Heads who can bring their own expertise, and also their own desire for deeper knowledge to the table.

Department Head and Academic Leader Workshop Series 

Managing Up, Managing Out and Managing Within

Working with Harris Sokoloff from the Penn Center for Education Leadership, the Office of Faculty Advancement will continue its Department Head and Academic Leader Workshop Series "Managing Up, Managing Out and Managing Within," launched in Academic Year 2017-18. The three half-day workshops in this series are aimed at providing Department Heads and other Academic Leaders with the opportunity to grow their leadership capacity and develop relationships with their peers. Moving into a faculty leadership role can be a challenging and exciting opportunity. However, these opportunities are not often paired with adequate training and support. With the guidance and insight provided by Dr. Sokoloff, participants will explore best practices for leading departments, programs, labs and other units in times of change. The format for the workshops will be interactive and will provide ample time for interaction among participants. Workshops will be held on the following dates:

What people are saying:

  • “Topics did provide food for thought. It was nice to have some time to reflect vs. day-to-day routine/tasks.”
  • “I greatly enjoyed this morning’s session and the perspectives shared with which we can use to examine and address situations in our work.”
  • “I found [the topics] all very useful and applicable.”

Department Head and Academic Leader Advisory Board

The Department Head and Academic Leader Advisory Board consists of a group of 13 long-standing faculty and department heads that assist the Office of Faculty Advancement (OFA) in the development of activities to engage, support and develop critical leaders at Drexel. 

Past Programming

Guest Speaker Presentation: The Art of Woo

On Friday, November 10, 2017, the Office of Faculty Advancement hosted Dr. Mario Moussa, Ph.D., co-creator of Wharton Executive Education’s Strategic Persuasion Workshop for a luncheon with Department Heads and Academic Leaders. Dr. Moussa presented key concepts from his book The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas, co-written with G. Richard Shell, which focuses on important moments of influence in strategic and relationship-based persuasion.

Thank You Luncheon

On June 4, 2018, the Office of Faculty Advancement hosted a "Thank You Luncheon" for Department Heads and Academic Leaders to show appreciation for the work of this group in promoting faculty excellence and furthering the goals of their units as well as the Institution as a whole. This gathering also served as an opportunity to collect feedback on past and future programming.