Summit Details

Dates – May 19-21, 2020

Expenses: Participants or their home institutions will be responsible for covering the registration fee as well as travel and accommodations. Registration fees are discounted for SUNY CPD members and CPD points may be used to cover costs for this program.

$850 SUNY CPD Member rate
$875 SUNY rate/non-CPD member
$950 Non-SUNY rate


Register more than two people from the same institution and receive $75 off each person. To take advantage of the team discount, reach out to Carolyn Mattiske, SUNY SAIL Institute, Assistant Director, before you register your team.  Reach out by phone to 518-445-4201 or by email at



Accommodations at Carey Institute

Room and board at The Carey Institute total $398 for the two days, (includes a single overnight room on 5/22 & 5/23, all meals and beverages during the program and access to the meeting facilities and amenities) and should be paid directly to them.. You will want to provide them with your campus’ tax-exempt paperwork.

By registering for this program, your room reservations for May 19 & 20 will be made through our master rooming list and there is no need to call them to make a reservation. If you have questions about accommodations, you may reach out to Kathe Bryan at


In addition to use of the meeting facilities, property WiFi and business room, retreat participants are encouraged to enjoy the nature walking trails. Carey Institute also has an on-site local brewery.

Past Presenters


AGENDA – DRAFT and Subject to change

Check-in to The Carey Institute May 19 – overnight room included

Day 1: May 19, 2019 2 p.m


Role of the Chair

Welcome, Introductions and Setting the Stage

In this opening session, participants and facilitators will introduce each other in an icebreaker exercise and identify objectives, expectations, and program norms. Program facilitators will review the program and objectives for the retreat with participants.

The Six Domains of Leadership and the Role of the Department Chair

This session will engage participants in a discussion of the Six Domains of Higher Education Leadership use participants’ personal definitions of leadership to highlight the distinctions and complementarities between the leadership and management functions of the department chair role.

How SUNY Works

This session will provide participants contextual information about working within the SUNY System. Understanding how the system works is critical for maximizing your effectiveness as a campus leader.

Setting the Stage: What have I Gotten Myself Into?  

This session provides an overview of some of the most critical trends facing higher education. Participants will discuss what these trends mean for their departments and the implications for the role of the chair. The transition from faculty member to chair will also be discussed. This will help set the stage for coverage of leadership styles and strengths and strategic roles of leadership as a department chair.

Lunch (small group discussions about managing the move from faculty member to department chair by institutional sector)

Afternoon Session Shifting Mindsets for Success    

Reframing Academic Leadership

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Everyone approaches situations from different perspectives.  Participants will learn about the four frames (structural, human relations, political, and symbolic) and how taking a multi-framing approach to leadership can help engage faculty and support them in their endeavors.  

Moving From Being A Faculty Member to Department Chair
1:45 – 2:30 p.m.

Making the transition from faculty member to department chair can be a significant role shift. For many it means moving from caring about your work to supporting the work of the entire faculty.

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Leading & Supporting Your Faculty (Break-out sessions)

Academic departments, like the colleges and universities where they exist, need to work across a variety of different areas. During this time, participants can choose to attend two 40-minute break-sessions to learn more and discuss strategies to address these changes.

2:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Break-Out 1: Building a Transformative Research Culture 

Break-Out 2: Effectively Using Data Analytics to Drive Student Success

Break-Out 3: Engaging Part-Time/Contingent Faculty 

Break-Out 4: Connecting with Department Alumni 

Creating a Strategy for Working with Your faculty 
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Using the learning from the break-out sessions, participants will participate in a set of interactive exercises to help them create a strategy for working with your faculty. 

Reception & Networking

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.

Group Dinner

6:45 p.m.

Day 2: May 20, 2019

Morning SessionKeeping Focused on the Horizon, while Putting out Brush Fires  

Continental breakfast (included)

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Review and Synthesis From Day One
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Participants will review the key lessons from Day 1 to apply to their own definition of leadership and personal leadership development.

Unpacking Your Personality Type

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Each participant will have the opportunity to take an Everything DiSC assessment. This session will help them understand their personal working style and how to leverage their strengths to best serve as a department chair.

Creating a Vision for Your Department
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Chairs have responsibility for both managing the day-to-day functions as well as leading the department to a future vision.  It can be too easy for the day-to-day to overtake activities that help strategically advance the department.  This session will discuss the need to create a vision for your department, describe steps for staying the course, and provide you an opportunity to draft a vision. 

Afternoon SessionEncouraging and Supporting your Faculty
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.  

Working Lunch: Managing Up – Working With Your Deans

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Participants will hear from experienced former deans who will share lessons learned on leadership in the role of the department chair.

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Having Productive Conversations with Faculty
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

One of the more challenging aspects of the role of the chair is having difficult conversations with faculty, particularly regarding performance related issues. This session provides participants with tips for handling such conversations and provides opportunity to practice with each other.


Supporting & Mentoring Faculty
3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Large and small group discussions will focus on how to support and encourage career development in the academy.  Participants will be engaged in a discussion to further their professional paths forward, and also empower their faculty to do the same.


Leadership Lessons

4:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Participants will review the key leadership lessons from the program and apply them to their own leadership development.

Program Adjournment & Evaluations
4:45 – 5:00 p.m.