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Miami welcomes academic leaders to inaugural conference

07/09/2012

Dozens of higher education academic leaders from around the country will gather at Miami University July 11-12 for the inaugural offering of the American Council on Education (ACE) Leadership Academy for Department Chairs.

More than 110 department chairs, program directors and unit leaders will be on campus for the sold-out workshop. The Leadership Academy will address the evolving role of the department chair as an academic leader, as well as major higher education issues such as the role the department chair can play in helping colleges and universities achieve higher college degree attainment rates.

Miami Provost Bobby Gempesaw will be among the speakers, and will stress the importance department chairs play in helping provide leadership to institutions.

"Miami University is pleased to partner with the American Council on Education in hosting the inaugural offering of this leadership academy which will enhance the ability of department chairs to promote institutional effectiveness and vitality," Gempesaw said.

Phyllis Callahan, dean of Miami’s College of Arts and Science, played an instrumental role in bringing the leadership conference together in Oxford, and a dozen of Miami’s department chairs will attend the leadership academy.

ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide.

Sharon A. McDade, director of ACE’s Emerging Leaders Group, said that department chairs are at the front-line of the intersection between students and their academic success, including degree attainment goals.

“Department chairs from across the country will spend two days at Miami University focusing on the importance of effective leadership at the departmental level, especially during these challenging times for higher education,” McDade said.

She added, “Helping students with academic advising to enable them to complete their degrees on time, learning how to better collaborate between departments, thinking about how to innovate for the future—these are just some of the issues attendees will examine as they hear from national experts and have the opportunity to break out into small group discussions with their peers.”

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