Most college and university administrators have days when they'd like to talk with someone who knows about the challenges of their job, but who—on the other hand—does not work at the same institution … someone who is not encumbered by the same institutional norms, and someone who isn't likely to inappropriately share the conversation with others. Sometimes it's just helpful to share a frustration or two; more often, it's helpful to get an outside perspective on a particularly vexing problem.
The American Association of University Administrators is collaborating with Widener University to offer a series of Higher Education Administrators Think-Tanks. Each Think-Tank is a year-long professional development program designed especially for practicing higher education managers and leaders. The think-tank sessions are organized for role-alike participants and are offered in a professionally safe-setting that allows discussion of topics and attention to skill-building away from one's home institution. Participants are bound by a mutually expressed promise of confidentiality.
Think-Tanks are the perfect place to critically examine trends and models in higher education; to present and get feedback on new ideas, and new leadership techniques and managerial strategies; to receive advice and counsel of colleagues on annoying, frustrating, or worrisome institutional problems; to explore alternative approaches in administration; and to network and expand your higher education colleague connections. Each session includes discussion of common readings and a good allotment of time for collegial collaboration. The agenda is often set by the participants themselves; guests are sometimes invited to present especially unique ideas or perspectives.
Each year-long Think-Tank program enrolls a maximum of 15 participants. It includes four full-day (10:00am - 3:30pm) sessions with organized collaborative online discussions between sessions. For participants who wish to continue their engagement, a discussion group will be maintained for one year beyond the conclusion of the seminar (at no additional cost).
Location and Daily Schedule
All scheduled Think-Tank sessions will be held on the campus of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. The campus is located less than ten miles from the Philadelphia International Airport. For participants from distant locations free shuttle service from both the 30th Street Amtrak Station and the Marriott Philadelphia Airport Hotel will be provided.
Daily Schedule - Morning Session: 10:00am-12n. Luncheon Session (working lunch): 12n-1:30pm. Afternoon Session: 1:30-3:30pm.
2016-17 Think-Tank Programs
Think-Tank For Academic Affairs Administrators At Two-Year Institutions: September 29, November 3, January 26, March 2. Designed for administrators at two-year colleges with institution-wide responsibility in academic affairs such as provost/vice president for academic affairs and assistant/associate provost/vpaa, dean of faculty, academic dean or associate/assistant dean (institution-wide, not deans of schools or divisions within an institution). Important Note: In order to ensure the most open Think-Tank atmosphere this Think-Tank program is restricted to one individual per institution.
Think-Tank For Academic Affairs Administrators At Four-Year Institutions: October 6, November 10, February 2, March 16. Designed for administrators at four-year/graduate colleges and universities with institution-wide responsibility in academic affairs such as provost/vice president for academic affairs and assistant/associate provost/vpaa, dean of faculty, academic dean or associate/assistant dean (institution-wide, not deans of schools or divisions within an institution). Important Note: In order to ensure the most open Think-Tank atmosphere this Think-Tank program is restricted to one individual per institution.
Think-Tank For Academic Deans: October 13, November 17, February 9, March 23. Designed for academic unit deans, associate/assistant deans, directors of colleges, schools, or large divisions at two- or four-year colleges and universities; not appropriate for department chairs.
Think-Tank For Academic Department Chairs: October 20, December 1, February 16, March 30. Designed for academic department chairs at two- and four-year colleges and universities.
Think-Tank For Student Affairs Personnel: October 27, December 8, February 23, April 6. Designed for personnel with institution-wide responsibilities in student affairs.
Cost of Participation
The fee for participating in the year-long Think-Tank Program is $1000. This fee is all-inclusive (including reading materials, lunches, snacks & refreshments, and parking).
Don't delay; each program is limited to a maximum of 15 participants. Registration form is available on the AAUA website. (Click here for registration form.)