Wednesday, October 18, 2023 - Thursday, November 16, 2023

Join us online! Each week includes live, synchronous meetings plus interactive activities to help you apply your understanding.

The following dates are interactive sessions. Please plan to attend all dates and times. There will also be some homework between sessions. Academy graduates will earn the Leadership Academy microcredential.

Oct. 18, 2023


At this first session, you'll learn more about the academy and how the course delivery works. You'll also introduce yourself and meet your cohort.


Wednesday, October 18, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)

Week 1
Oct. 19-25, 2023

Learning to be a strengths-based leader

What does being a strengths-based leader even mean? Am I supposed to only focus on what I am good at and ignore my weaknesses? What about the people on my team?

In this session we will explore your top 5 CliftonStrengths and how you can leverage them as a leader in your organization.

This session will be highly interactive and will give you various materials for both your development and leading those around you.


Marissa LeClaire Weaver
Your Leadership Trainer


Thursday, October 19, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
Monday, October 23, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)

Week 2
Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2023

From strategic plan to action plan

An organization’s strategic plan outlines goals, objectives and priorities that set a course for the future. But with so many moving (and often decentralized) parts, it can be hard to apply these high-level plans to our own day-to-day work.

This session will help you see your work in your organization’s strategic plan. Together, the cohort will walk through the steps of creating an action plan, setting goals and objectives for yourself and your team, and deciding how best to measure success — all in alignment with an overarching strategic plan.

In this session, we will:

  • Walk through strategic planning frameworks.
  • Practice setting strategic goals and objectives.
  • Outline tactics and practice prioritizing work strategically.
  • Identify internal and external metrics.
  • Use an action plan template that you can immediately apply in your current role.

Participants are encouraged to reference their own organization’s strategic plan (if possible) in order to start an action plan that is tailored to their needs. Otherwise, sample strategic plan documents will be used for the purpose of workshop exercises.


Alaina Wiens
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
StrategyCar // Flint & Genesee Group


Thursday, October 26, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
Monday, October 30, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)

Week 3
Nov. 2-8, 2023

Leading teams from anywhere: How to be effective in any context

Effective leadership is the ability to successfully influence and support a team or group of people. Whether you are an aspiring manager, new to management or an experienced manager, leadership is about inspiring, aligning and activating others to achieve specific outcomes. That challenge is greater than ever as we’re tasked with leading across multiple contexts — managing down, up, laterally and now remotely in a post-pandemic world.

In this session, we will explore:

  • Effective leadership principles.
  • Conflict resolution and how to navigate difficult conversations.
  • Managing up and creating alignment with the organization.
  • Leading laterally and without authority.
  • Practical ways to rethink work in hybrid or remote settings.

Attendees are encouraged to share real challenges they face within their organizations to help tailor the discussion.


Josh Charles
Director of Web Strategy and Technology
Rutgers University-New Brunswick


Thursday, November 2, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
Monday, November 6, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CST)

Week 4
Nov. 9-15, 2023

Driving digital governance

Governance empowers digital communicators to effectively support their specific goals while drawing from a consistent strategy; clear objectives and audiences; digital best practices; thoroughly documented processes; and well-defined roles and responsibilities. But in higher ed, governance can be elusive, owing to politics, silos, fear, decentralization, stasis and more.

This session will help solidify your understanding of what governance entails, why it’s important, how to assess your current state, and how to set yourself and your institution up for future success.

Topics of discussion may include:

  • Governance diagnostics.
  • Training, documentation and policies.
  • Roles and workflows.
  • Sustainable processes.
  • Systems oversight.
  • Internal community building.

Attendees can virtually share challenges and ideas with their cohort, problem-solving real challenges together.


Shelley Keith-Panulla
Director of Web and Digital Experience
Cornell University


Thursday, November 9, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CST)
Monday, November 13, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CST)

Nov. 16, 2023

Panel and closing

Build off what you've learned during the four weeks of the Leadership Academy, and bounce ideas and questions off a panel of seasoned leaders in the digital higher ed space. 

Then celebrate with your cohort at the concluding session.


Brett Bruner
Assistant vice president for student success and persistence
Wichita State University
Alonda Thomas
Chief communications officer and associate vice president for marketing and communications
Jackson State University
Allison Turcio
Assistant vice president for enrollment and marketing
Siena College
Tyrell Warren-Burnett
Senior director of annual giving
Oregon State University Foundation


Thursday, November 16, 202312:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CST)