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AAUA Awards

2018 AAUA Leadership Seminar

June 7-8, 2018 │ Metropolitan Philadelphia
(On the campus of Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania)
Optional Preseminar Workshops Available on Wednesday June 6th

"Things That Keep Higher Education Leaders Awake at Night:
Considering Creative Approaches to Common Problems"

The AAUA Annual Leadership Seminar comprises a limited number of American higher education professionals who are keenly interested in administrative practices. The number of seminar participants is limited to no more than 75; this limitation ensures opportunities for meaningful interaction between presenters and participants as well as among participants themselves. Many participants find the seminar as a place of meaningful professional networking and/or a place where scholarly collaborations are initiated. Perhaps most importantly, the AAUA Leadership Seminar is intended and designed as an administrators' professional development meeting where we "close the doors and talk about issues that we might not be willing to talk about in larger, more open venues."

Keynote Presenter for the 2018 Seminar – Dr. Norman R. Smith

Norman SmithNORMAN SMITH, President Emeritus of Elmira College, New York, has logged over 45 years in higher education, both in the US and internationally, 30 years as a college/university chief executive. Prior to being President of Elmira College, he was President of Suffolk University Boston. Smith is also President Emeritus of Wagner College in New York City and is widely credited as having saved the College from closure and elevating Wagner to its sustained status as one of the top colleges in the Northeast. During his tenure, Wagner was named a College of the Year by TIME magazine citing a new and innovative first-year experiential curriculum that became a national exemplar. Smith is Past-President of Richmond, The American International University in London; a multi-sited residential and study abroad university with campuses in Richmond-upon-Thames, central London at Kensington Square, Rome and Florence.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Smith was at Harvard University where he was Assistant Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then of the John F. Kennedy School of Government where he was part of the inaugural management team assembled from within the University. He earned his doctorate from Harvard and was a research fellow of the Harvard Philosophy of Education Research Center. Still earlier, he was Executive Vice President of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Vice President and Dean of Philadelphia University and Assistant Dean of Students at Drexel University where he earned his BS and MBA.

President Smith's awards and honors include honorary doctorates from Richmond University, Wagner College and Philadelphia University. Drexel University cited him as one of their inaugural most distinguished and accomplished alumni from among over 120,000 graduates and he was more recently cited for lifetime achievement. New York University awarded him their Presidential Medal for excellence in educational leadership.

Smith's past publications include Selecting the Right College, and Top Tier: The Wagner College Turnaround Years, both available from on-line book retailers. Top Tier was cited by the Council of Independent Colleges as a "Book of Note" for college presidents and academic leaders. "What College Trustees Need To Know" was coauthored with George J. Matthews, Chairman Emeritus of Northeastern University and Bryan Carlson, President of the Registry for College and University Presidents. His most recent book, published in June 2017, Top Problems Facing Colleges is available from on-line retailers.

Smith has served on numerous boards including the Executive Committee of the New York Council of Independent Colleges and Universities and as a Director of the Dime Savings Bank in New York City. He was host, in London, to the Presidential Summit of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities.

All seminar participants who register for the seminar by the April 1st Discounted Early Registration deadline will receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Smith's latest book, Top Problems Facing Colleges.

Other Seminar Topics and Scheduled Presenters
(Schedule, topics, and presenters listed are subject to change.)

Academic Program Budgeting Template: A New Model. Lloyd Russow, Associate Provost for Academic Analytics and Modeling, Thomas Jefferson University

Another New President?!? Coping with Organizational Change. Chris Hubbard Jackson, Director of Research, St. Charles Community College.

Busting the Party Culture: Social Policies and Norming Strategies. Shane Pruitt, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership, Oglethorpe University.

Coping with the Demands of Title IX. Ronald A. Wilson, Director of Social Equity and Title IX Coordinator, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Effective Education in the 21st Century: Thinking Critically About Instruction on Your Campus. James A. Gerald, Assistant Professor of Physics, Delta State University; and James R. Tarr, Associate Professor of Business, American Intercontinental University.

Ethics for Everyone: An Intrapersonal Perspective in Higher Education. Henry J. Findlay, Assistant Dean, School of Education, Tuskegee University.

Guns on Campus: Implementing Campus Carry in Texas. Vicki Brittain, Professor of Political Science, Texas State University; Nelly R. Herrera, Deputy General Counselor, Texas State University System; and Cynthia Opheim, Professor of Political Science, Texas State University.

Impact of Educator Professional Community on Student Evaluation. Becky Bertain, Nursing Remediation Specialist, Gadsden State Community College; Janet Gardner, Nursing Program Director, Gadsden State Community College; and Shawn Wilson, Nursing Remediation Coordinator, Jefferson State Community College.

Increase Student Engagement to Increase Student Retention. Carol Walker, Assistant Vice President, and Academic Worldwide Liaison, Saint Leo University; Karen Han, Assistant Vice President of Learning Design, Saint Leo University; Colleen McIlroy, Lead Learning Designer, Saint Leo University.

Issues in Structuring Schools and Colleges: A Case Study. J. A. Eve Krahe, Dean of Graduate Programs, School of Health Services Administration, College of Health Professions, University of Phoenix.

Presidential Turnover: So Many, Why? Who Will Fill the Void? Where Will They Come From? Neil Trotta, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies and MBA Program Director, Fisher College.

Shared Vision and Connection to Overcome Adversity and Realize Growth. Thomas Mitzel, President, Dickinson State University; Marie Moe, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Dickinson State University; Ty Orton, Executive Director, DSU Heritage Foundation; Marty Parsons, Vice President for Finance, Dickinson State University.

Solving the Assessment Puzzle: Guidance for Measuring Co-Curricular Leadership Program Effectiveness. Shane Pruitt, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership, Oglethrope University.

Stepping Down? – Personal and Institutional Considerations for Senior Academic Leaders who Return to the Faculty. Lisa Jasinski, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Trinity University.

Stopping the Bleeding Before the Cut: A New Model of Higher Education Human Resource Development and Management. Henry J. Findlay, Assistant Dean, School of Education, Tuskegee University; and Sydney Freeman, Jr., Associate Professor of higher Education, College of Education, Health, and Human Services, University of Idaho.

Using Online Conversation Insights to Restore the Public's Trust in Higher Education. Tim Jones, Chief Communications and Integrated Marketing Officer, Beloit College; Liz Gross, Director, Campus Sonar; Joshua Merchant, President, Buena Vista University; Michael Berman, Chef Innovation Officer, California State university, and Vice President for Technology and Innovation, California State University Channel Islands.

When the Show Must Go On: Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Faculty Member. Mark J. Brenner, Professor of Social Work, Bridgewater State University.

Whole System Integration: An Uncommon Methodology to Solve a Common Problem in Higher Education. Mark Rubenstein, President, Granite State College; Donald L. Birx, President, Plymouth State University; Jason Moran, Dean of Enrollment Management, Plymouth State University; Annette M. Holba, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, and Transition Leadership Team Member, Plymouth State University; Ann McClellan, Professor of English and Transition Leadership Team Member, Plymouth State University; and Janette Wiggett, Title IX Coordinator, Plymouth State University.

Widener University Common Ground Project: Creating an Environment for Civil Discourse. Julie Wollman, President, Widener University.

Plus, research reports from recipients of outstanding dissertation awards; program descriptions from representatives of institutions being cited for outstanding higher education innovation.

Optional Preseminar Workshops

Participants are invited to join one of four preseminar workshops to be held on Wednesday afternoon, June 6th. There is no additional charge for participating in a preseminar, but—since space is limited—preregistration is necessary. Each of the four preseminars has a unique purpose and is intended to respond to a particular administrative interest. The seminars include:

Ethics Case Studies Writing Workshop. Facilitators: Chris Cavanaugh, President, Pathways II; Karen M. Lee, Assistant Vice President, University of San Diego; Jerome Neuner, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (retired), Canisius College. This pre-seminar workshop welcomes attendees interested in contributing to a writing project on ethical leadership in higher education. In 2017 the AAUA released its "Ethical Principles for College and University Administrators". At the onset of the release, several AAUA Board members agreed that compiling a series of ethical leadership case studies and dilemmas in higher education for publication could be an avenue for encouraging dialogue and conversations around these principles. In this pre-seminar workshop, attendees will discuss ethical leadership issues/dilemmas, generate related questions, and identify information needed to address the issues/dilemmas. Prior to the session, participates will be asked to complete an anonymous online questionnaire about an ethical leadership issue or dilemma. Information gathered in the pre-seminar workshop will help frame the AAUA writing project in support of a publication that will "engender conversations and dialogues on the ethical issues facing university administrators, especially individuals new to our profession" (AAUA Ethical Principles, 2017).

Department Chairs Discussion Group – Departmental Advocacy Strategies. Facilitators: John Cavanaugh, President, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; and Scott Miller, Dean of the College of Business, and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. One of the most important skills of department chairs is that of advocating for the unit and for personnel (faculty and students) in the unit. This discussion group is an opportunity for practicing department chairs to learn from one another about advocacy strategies that have been found to be effective. Participants are expected to come to the table with strategies that they've used—both effectively and ineffectively; the preseminar pedagogy is one of mutual exploration of this important skill area.

Applying Google Leadership in Higher Education. Facilitators: Michele Cuomo, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Montgomery County Community College; Adrian Haugabrook, Senior Vice President and University Chief of Staff, Southern New Hampshire University. Every once and awhile, higher education leaders should look to other, non-education sources for effective managerial and leadership strategies. This session will consist of a facilitated exploration of the book, How Google Works to determine whether there are useful strategies and skills that can be applied in the collegiate setting. Participants must read the book prior to attending the preseminar: Schmidt, E., & Rosenberg, J. (2014). How Google works. New York: Grand Central Publishing.

New Deans Discussion Group. Facilitators: Judson Edwards, Dean, Sorrell College of Business, Troy University; Henry Findlay, Assistant Dean, School of Education, Tuskegee University. This discussion group is an opportunity for deans who are in their first two or three years of service to consider those issues, problems, and experiences of common interest. The focus will be on helping participants (a) reduce the feeling of isolation in the role of dean, (b) identify new strategies for dealing with common problems, and (c) begin development of a new collegial group for future professional consultation and personal support.

Seminar Registration Costs and Registration Procedures

Discounted Early Seminar registration: $100 (April 1st deadline.)
Seminar registration: $150 (Not accepted after May 31st. No onsite registration.)
Graduate Student Registration: $40

Registration fee includes continental breakfasts on Thursday and Friday; luncheons on Thursday and Friday; reception and dinner on Thursday. Guests of participants may purchase tickets to the Thursday reception and dinner ($30), and to the Friday luncheon ($25); preregistration/purchase is required.

NOTE: Seminar participants who remain through the Friday awards luncheon (included in the registration fee) will receive complimentary membership in AAUA for the 2018-19 membership year.

The seminar registration form can be accessed beginning February 1st under the "Meetings" tab on the AAUA website (www.aaua.org).


Arrangements for seminar participant lodging have been made at two hotels; one is located directly across the street from Widener University, the other is approximately three miles from campus (complimentary bus service between the hotel and campus will be provided exclusively for AAUA seminar participants). Participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements.

Courtyard by Marriott Philadelphia Springfield
400 West Sproul Road – Springfield, Pennsylvania 19064
AAUA conference rate: $199 (plus tax) per night. This hotel is located about three miles from the Widener University campus. Scheduled bus service between the hotel and campus will be provided for AAUA seminar participants. The hotel is up-to-date, clean, and pleasant; it is located at a country club site (golf and spa accommodations are available); it has a very nice restaurant and bar. (Deadline for reservations is May 6, 2018. Our room allotments often sell-out prior to the reservation cut-off date; early reservations are recommended.)
Reservation Procedures: Phone 610-543-1080, refer to the group name of AAUA Leadership Seminar. Or, click here.

Less Expensive Alternative:
Best Western Plus Airport South at Widener University
1450 Providence Avenue – Chester, Pennsylvania 19013
AAUA conference rate: $116.99 (plus tax) per night. This is a very basic hotel, located directly across the street from Widener University. Other than the Uno Chicago Grill that is located next door, dining options are very limited. (Deadline for reservations is May 9, 2018. Our room allotments often sell-out prior to the reservation cut-off date; early reservations are recommended.)
Reservation Procedures: Phone 610-872-8100, refer to group name of American Association of University Administrators – AAUA.

Friday Evening Social/Cultural Event
~ A Visit to Longwood Gardens ~


Each year, AAUA plans an optional social/cultural event to participants the leadership seminar; this is designed to give participants an opportunity to interact with one another in a less-formal setting and to offer an opportunity to experience some special event or unique characteristics of a less-familiar location.

One of the world's great gardens, Longwood's story is one of legacy, innovation, and stewardship. The Gardens are a living expression of all that the founder, Pierre S. du Pont, found inspiring, meaningful, and beautiful. From the intricate fountain systems to the meticulous gardens to the architectural grandeur, awe-inspiring discoveries await at every turn.

There have been many stewards of the land that is now called Longwood Gardens. For thousands of years, the native Lenni Lenape tribe fished the streams, hunted its forests, and planted its fields. The early years of Pierre duPont (born 1870) were influenced by the area's natural beauty and by the du Pont family's long tradition of gardening. But not even duPont himself could have predicted that he would someday become one of the country's most influential gardeners.

It didn't take duPont long before he started making his mark on what he called Longwood. In 1900 laid out his first garden–the 600-foot-long Flower Garden Walk, which is today one of Longwood's most popular gardens. By 1916 he was contemplating grand indoor facilities. The result was the stunning Conservatory, a perpetual Eden, that opened in 1921.

From 1925 to 1927, duPont constructed an "Italian" Water Garden in a low-lying, marshy site northeast of Longwood's Large Lake with 600 jets in nine separate displays that shot from six blue-tiled pools and 12 pedestal basins. By the mid-1930s, Longwood had grown from the original 202 acres to 926 due to duPont's purchase of 25 contiguous properties over the years. In addition to horticulture, agriculture had always been important at Longwood, which started out, after all, as a farm.

Following duPont's death the late 1950s and early 1960s saw tremendous change at Longwood, comparable to the building program of the 1920s except the emphasis was now on public comfort and education. There is one project that took center stage during this time period. The enormous Azalea House–now called the East Conservatory–opened in 1973 with much fanfare.

As Longwood Gardens approached the new millennium, its full attention turned toward long-range planning and maintaining its place as one of the world's great gardens.

The Longwood Gardens of today bears little resemblance to the farm that Pierre du Pont purchased in 1906. With a yearly budget of nearly $50 million and a staff of 1,300 employees, students and volunteers, Longwood is continuously evolving to meet the demands and tastes of the next century.

Longwood Gardens is more than a collection gardens. Quiet paths, stunning landscape, dining options, and the evening "Festival of Fountains" promise to inspire. The Main Fountain Garden will dazzle you with its grand allées, hand-carved limestone, and more than 1700 fountain jets and streams.

DINING OPTIONS AT LONGWOOD GARDENS: (1) 1906 Fine Dining – This completely redesigned fine dining restaurant offers fresh fare and beautiful décor for a sophisticated dining experience. Reservations are required and may be made through the Longwood Gardens website (www.longwoodgardens.org). (2) The Café – A casual setting offering selections of fresh local salads, soups, sandwiches, hot entrees, pastries, and more. (Casual. Reservations are not accepted.) (3) The Beer Garden – Enjoy a pizza, burger, brat, or wrap with your beverage. (Very casual. Outdoors.)

REGISTRATION FEE FOR FRIDAY EVENING SOCIAL/CULTURAL EVENT: There is an additional registration fee for participating in the Friday evening social/cultural event. The registration fee for the Longwood Gardens excursion on Friday evening is $25 per person. This covers transportation and admission to the Gardens. Food and beverage costs are not included and are the responsibility of individual participants.

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