Participants of the 2019 GFDA workshop gather for a photo

Geography Faculty Development Alliance (GFDA) Department Leadership Workshop 2024

June 17, 2024, 8:00am Eastern Time (US and Canada) – June 18, 2024, 5:00pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting challenges and realizing opportunities inside and outside our departments and universities

You are invited to the 21st annual workshop devoted to strengthening departmental leadership across the discipline. Three virtual sessions are offered each day between 11:00 am – 3:45 pm EDT with breaks in between. There will be opportunities for networking as well as for the informal exchange of ideas and experiences.

This year’s workshop looks in two directions — inward toward practices to strengthen or transform our departments and programs, and outward toward challenges and opportunities at the local, state, and national levels.

Within our programs we are increasingly being asked to do more with less: to reinvent, rebrand, and rename classes and departments to better communicate their value and marketability post-graduation, and to rebuild a sense of community and shared purpose in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.  At the same time, we are facing a series of external challenges: declining numbers of college-age students; covert and overt pressure to abandon or reduce work promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly affirmative action; political pressure to censor what we teach, speak, and research; and a general decline in support for higher education.

The 2024 GFDA Departmental Leadership workshop will focus on strategies and practices for addressing these urgent challenges. We will also consider what opportunities may emerge as departments address these challenges: a renewed focus on the important questions that geographers ask (with regard to climate change, geopolitics, environment, health, and big data), the skills that geography undergraduate students learn in our programs (thinking in comprehensive ways, doing fieldwork/research, and analyzing geospatial data), and the multiple ways that geographic research and teaching engages and enhances communities.

The workshop is for all geographers interested in improving their programs‐‐chairs, deans, associate chairs, academic advisers, provosts and other administrators, as well as any faculty member interested in leadership issues, including those who have just been appointed to leadership roles or may soon assume one.

Enrollment is limited to 30 participants and the registration deadline is June 1, 2024.

Questions about the workshop may be directed to any of this year’s organizers:


Registration fees

AAG members: FREE!

Individuals whose AAG memberships are current may attend the 2024 GFDA Department Leadership workshop at no cost. Registration is required and may be completed by selecting the button above and following the directions to sign in to your AAG account.

Non-AAG members: $250

The fee for non-members includes access to all sessions and materials. Select the button above to register and follow the instructions to sign up for an AAG account. If you already have an account sign in to your account.