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The 11th annual Department Leadership Workshop will focus on geography, technology, social media and Web 2.0+. Information and computer technologies (ICT) have changed and continue to change how we teach in the classroom and online; conduct research; communicate with colleagues, students and the public; publish; build community; and advance the discipline. Rather than face these opportunities and challenges piecemeal, this workshop focuses on how departments can take steps to address these changes in a strategic, holistic way. Geographers are among the leaders in thinking creatively about the opportunities ahead and this workshop will provide a forum to share ideas and strategies.

The workshop, which will take place June 25-28, 2014, is devoted to strengthening departmental leadership across the discipline and is inclusive for all geographers interested in improving their programs — chairs, deans, associate chairs, academic advisors, provosts and other administrators, as well as all faculty interested in leadership issues. It is particularly well suited for individuals who may soon assume leadership positions. The main workshop sessions will begin with a dinner/reception on Wednesday, June 25, and end on the morning of Saturday, June 28 (ending at 11:45 am). For those wishing to stay over until Sunday, June 29, a free field trip will be available on Saturday afternoon to the beautiful Connecticut coast along Long Island Sound.

Workshop registration is $275 (including most meals). Conference housing is available on the UConn campus at the rate of $58 per night plus tax.

Other Workshop Topics

In addition to sessions on the workshop theme, time will be set aside for presentations and discussions on a wider range of topics of interest to department leaders such as:

  • Strategic planning and self‐study reports
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Getting started as a department chair
  • Supporting early‐career faculty

Time will also be set aside for participants to share and discuss their own concerns and experiences. One of the most important elements of the workshop is the opportunity it affords all participants to learn from and network with new and experienced leaders and administrators.

Participants will also have an opportunity to meet and share some meals with early career faculty attending the Geography Faculty Development Alliance workshop being held in Storrs in the same week (

Program Committee

With the help of past participants and leaders, the program and schedule for the workshop is being developed by Ken Foote (U of Connecticut), department head and AAG president (2010-11); J.W. Harrington, Jr., vice-chancellor for academic affairs (U Washington Tacoma) and former department head; Michael Solem, AAG Director of Educational Affairs and principal investigator on the EDGE project, and others.

Cost, Registration, Accommodation and Travel

Workshop cost is $275 and will include workshop materials, instructor expenses, field trip expenses, and attendee breakfasts, lunches, and two dinners.

Please register at

Conference accommodations are available on the University of Connecticut campus for just under $58 per night plus tax. A room will be reserved for you when you register for the conference. Your room will be confirmed before you arrive.

Bradley International Airport (BDL) is about 38 miles from the UConn campus and is the closest airport to the university. UConn does operate a shuttle service from the airport ( ($60 one way, $120 round trip), but reservations need to be made one week in advance.

Storrs is located in east central Connecticut about 30 miles from Hartford and the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. Boston, New York City, and Providence are all within easy driving distance of the University of Connecticut, as are scenic areas of New England. Many participants arrange to spend a few extra days in New England before or after the conference. Visitor information is available from,, and

If you have questions about the workshop program, please contact Ken Foote, ken [dot] foote [at] uconn [dot] edu or 303‐641‐3346. If you have questions about registration or payment, contact AAG Conference Director, Oscar Larson, olarson [at] aag [dot] org or 202‐234‐1450.

Field Trip

An optional field trip will be available on Saturday afternoon for workshop participants wishing to stay over until Sunday, June 29. Although there is no charge for the fieldtrip itself, participants will need to pay for one additional night of lodging at the conference facility. Participants will be able to purchase dinner on Saturday evening at one of the stops on the way back to Storrs.

About the Healthy Departments Initiative

The workshop is part of the Healthy Departments Initiative launched by AAG Past President Vicky Lawson to strengthen leadership and administrative skills among geographers. The project has organized a series of workshops to facilitate sharing of successful strategies for maintaining healthy departments. The Healthy Departments website ( is intended as a resource to assist leaders by providing practical resources and information that can improve program quality.

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