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2015 Department Leadership Workshop

June 24-27, 2015
Storrs, Conneticut


You are invited to the 12th annual workshop devoted to strengthening departmental leadership across the discipline. The workshop is for all geographers interested in improving their programs—chairs/heads, associate chairs/heads, deans, academic advisors, provosts and other administrators, as well as all faculty interested in leadership issues. The workshop is particularly well suited for individuals who may soon assume leadership positions.

The main workshop sessions will begin with a dinner/reception on Wednesday, June 24 and end on the morning of Saturday, June 27 (ending at 10:15 a.m.).

Workshop registration is $275 (see back of this flyer).  Conference housing is available on the UConn campus at the rate of approximately $58 per night plus tax.

This Year's Theme

Departments are increasingly concerned with survival in a time of disruption in higher education. The theme for this summer will be building capacity to withstand change through strong management, shared governance, and deep understanding of the new rules of engagement. What are the measures of success for departments? How can departments strategically position themselves to generate student credit hours, attract diverse majors, support faculty research and publication, innovate in high-impact learning practices, and collect evidence that they are achieving these and other goals?

Other Topics

In addition to sessions on the workshop theme, time will be set aside for presentations and discussions on a wider range of topics of interest to department leaders such as:

·                Strategic planning and self-study reports
·                Recruiting for diversity and inclusion
·                Social media and marketing
·                Supporting late-career faculty

Time will also be set aside for participants to share and discuss their own concerns and experiences. One of the most important elements of the workshop is the opportunity it affords all participants to learn from and network with new and experienced leaders and administrators.

Participants will also have an opportunity to meet and share some meals with early career faculty attending the Geography Faculty Development Alliance workshop being held in Storrs in the same week

Program Committee

With the help of past participants and leaders, the program and schedule for the workshop is being developed by Sarah Witham Bednarz, former associate dean and AAG president (2015-16).

Cost, Registration, Accommodation and Travel

Workshop cost is $275 and will include workshop materials, instructor expenses and attendee breakfasts, lunches, and two dinners.


Conference accommodations are available on the University of Connecticut campus for approximately $58 per night plus tax.  A room will be reserved for you when you register for the conference.  Your room will be confirmed before you arrive. 

Bradley International Airport (BDL) is about 38 miles from the UConn campus and is the closest airport to the university.  UConn does operate a shuttle service from the airport ( ($60 one way, $120 round trip), but reservations need to be made one week in advance.

Storrs is located in east central Connecticut about 30 miles from Hartford and the beautiful Connecticut River Valley.  Boston, New York City, and Providence are all within easy driving distance of the University of Connecticut, as are scenic areas of New England.  Many participants arrange to spend a few extra days in New England before or after the conference. Visitor information is available from,, and

If you have questions about the workshop program, please contact Sarah Bednarz,

If you have questions about registration or payment, contact AAG Conference Director, Oscar Larson, or 202-234-1450.


About the Healthy Departments Initiative

The workshop is part of the Healthy Departments Initiative launched by AAG Past President Vicky Lawson to strengthen leadership and administrative skills among geographers.  The project has organized a series of workshops to facilitate sharing of successful strategies for maintaining healthy departments.  The Healthy Departments website ( is intended as a resource to assist leaders by providing practical resources and information that can improve program quality