Department Chair Summit

Multi-Campus | Engaged Learning | Leadership Development

About the Summit

Being an effective department chair or research director requires an individual to articulate and execute a vision for the future, understand their strengths and weakness as a leader, have a firm understanding of practical management skills, and serve as an effective boundary spanner between the faculty and the college administration.
The SAIL Institute offers a system-wide summit each May open to department chairs at SUNY and non-SUNY colleges and universities. These 2.5 day events provide an enriching and engaging experience designed to prepare department chairs to be effective leaders, creative managers, champions of student success, and supporters of faculty development. The summit offers participants an:
  • Immersive experience that meets leaders where they are and further advances their leadership skills.
  • Opportunity to learn with colleagues across multiple campuses, disciplines, and experiences.
  •  Environment free from daily campus distractions allowing you to focus your leadership journey.
  • NEW for 2020: Crucial Conversations training and participant tool kit.

Upcoming Summits

Summer 2020                                    Department Chair Virtual Academy          Registration is now open. Deadline to register is May 29.                  Team discounts available for any campus sending at least two chairs!                               Learn more

Academy for Higher Education Leadership Chairs                              Hosted by The University at Buffalo  August 9-11, 2020                                        Holiday Valley Resort & Conference Center  Registration to open in April                      For more information, contact Patti Napoli  716-645-6145              




Why Attend?

  • Department chairs are one of the most important leadership roles on campuses, with responsibilty for up to 80% of administrative decisions on some campuses.
  • The success of academic departments is critical to the teaching, research, and service missions of every college and university.
  • The rapidly chaging external environment necessitates academic departments by more strategic and innovative.
  • Many department chairs assume their role with limited prior leadership experience, and research suggests more needs to be done to build the leadership capacity of chairs.

Please reach out directly to the SAIL Associate Director, Carolyn Mattiske, with any questions about the retreat by phone at 518.445.4201 or email

*Note: The SUNY CPD registration system is still rather new and requires users to create a profile before registering for their event.