Three SUNY New Paltz Faculty Attend AASCU’s Inaugural Department Chair Leadership Institute

Three SUNY New Paltz faculty are among 36 higher education professionals selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for their inaugural Department Chair Leadership Institute (DCLI), a program designed to address the unique needs of department chairs at state colleges and universities.

Lizabeth Cain (Teaching & Learning), Jonathan Raskin (Psychology) and Jessica Welsh (Communication Disorders) are joining this select cohort of academic department leaders from across the U.S. for comprehensive professional development including an in-person meeting in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 10–11 and multiple virtual sessions later in the year.

The goal of the program is to provide support to scholars who add department leadership to their teaching, researching and publication portfolios.

“Chairs are the most critical front-line managers for academic and institutional effectiveness,” said Richard Helldobler, president of William Paterson University (New Jersey) and former AASCU board member. “AASCU is taking this issue head on with the development of this new program to help department chairs understand roles and responsibilities, finances, and navigating the complexities of university leadership.”

New Paltz faculty representation in this initiative aligns with President Darrell P. Wheeler’s emphasis on investing in faculty and staff, which was a key takeaway from his first-year listening tour with colleagues around campus.

Sessions will cover how to lead a department based on an institution’s mission and strategic plan; tips for navigating difficult conversations; sustaining a future-focused department; and maintaining relevance as higher education changes.

A full list of Department Chair Leadership Institute participants, and more information about the program, is available at this link.

About the AASCU

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.

More information at


Reproduced from New Paltz News. 

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