Values-Based Academic Leadership in Times of Crisis

Institutions are confronting not only the global pandemic but the national crisis stemming from our long legacy of racism. How you and your institution responds to these challenges are at the core of a values-based leadership approach. Many of us find that decision-making is easier as we lean on our values to guide us and to create unexpected opportunities. Please join us as we continue to navigate this crisis with integrity, trust, and transparency. Values-Based Academic Leaders will share experiences and engage in a dialog to support you in this challenging time.  

S4HE Panel Events - continued by demand!

S4HE Deans Panel 

October 21st, 2020    

4 pm EST via Zoom (RSVP here by October 19th; free event)

Distinguished Panelists (more information on panelists is available here)

Dr. Sophia Maggelakis, Dean of the College of Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Abigail Tilton, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Woman's University

Dr. Theo Koupelis, Academic Dean, Broward College

Dr. John McNeill, Dean of Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

S4HE Chairs and Directors Panel

November 11th, 2020

4 pm EST via Zoom (RSVP here by November 9th; free event)

Distinguished Panelists (more information on panelists is available here)

Dr. Reid Bishop, Chair of Chemistry, Belhaven University

Dr. Ulla Hasager, College of Social Sciences Director of Civic Engagement, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 

Dr. Vikki Rodgers, Chair of Math and Sciences, Babson College

Dr. Robert Seiser, Director of Graduate Programs and Academic Partnerships, Roosevelt University

Dr. Kathy Browne, Chair, Department of Geological, Environmental & Marine Sciences, Rider University

S4HE Workshops and Events


Case Studies in Academic Leadership 2020

July 30, 2020 (2 pm - 4 pm EST - please note the new start time of 2 pm)

A S4HE Workshop presented before the SENCER Summer Institute (free and via Zoom, registration in the Summer Institute is not required, RSVP here)

Times of crisis challenge all leaders.  The unprecedented global pandemic is challenging leaders in higher education as the very foundations of University life have been upended.  How have your institutional leaders fared?  How have you led through this time of crisis? We will use case studies as well as your own experiences to discuss leadership approaches and decision-making strategies in this time of great uncertainty.  There is no clear path or magic bullet but we, as grounded, values-based leaders, can navigate this crisis with integrity, trust, and transparency.


Values-Based Academic Leadership Presentation Series

at the SENCER Summer Institute July 30-August 2, 2020 ($50 Institute Registration is required (Register for SSI here) and provides access to all events)


Creating your Next Professional Career Move: Exploring Options even in a Pandemic

Friday, July 31 at 1 pm

Karen Oates, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and S4HE Partner and Amy Shachter, Santa Clara University, S4HE Partner

Your career goals and aspirations are not put on hold even during a pandemic. In this session, we explore what a successful career means to you, what fulfills your needs both professionally and personally, what strengths you bring to shaping a new academy, and what strategies may be helpful in navigating the challenges of this time. 

Maintaining Trust and Morale in a Time of Crisis

Saturday, August 1 at 1 pm

Ellen Goldey, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Centre College and S4HE Associate, Theo Koupelis, Dean, Academic Affairs and STEM/Math Pathway at Broward College and S4HE Associate, and Amy Shachter, Santa Clara University, S4HE Partner


As educators and leaders, we strive to build trust and maintain high morale in our classrooms, board rooms, and, now, zoom meetings. In normal times we can model our values (integrity, honesty, courage, humility, equity, compassion, gratitude, e.g.) daily, and as a result trust is earned and morale grows over time.  However, in times of crisis the need for fast-paced decision making can challenge the norms of shared governance and lead to an erosion of trust.  And at many institutions, budgetary losses have forced deep cuts, even furloughs and layoffs, severely undermining morale.  As values-based leaders, what lessons have we learned from this crisis about establishing, building, and maintaining trust in times of crisis?  How can we continue to uplift and motivate our colleagues even as our own morale may be flagging?  We will share our most successful strategies and our mistakes and invite participants to do the same, as together we strive to be ever-better values-based leaders.  


Grappling with Controversial Subjects: Can Lessons Learned from the Debate on Creationism inform COVID-19  Vaccination?

Saturday, August 1 at 2 pm  

Jay Labov, S4HE Associate, and Karen Oates, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and S4HE Partner


As the nation prepares for a potential COVID 19 vaccine, the medical community is already facing resistance. In a recent poll, one third of the US population indicated they will not take a  COVID-19 vaccine. How do individual values, group affiliations, and one’s civic responsibility  contribute to decision making? In this session, we study best practices derived from years of work on dismantling the evolution and creationism wars. We explore how what we learned can be transferred to the new war against vaccination. 

External Review: Strategies for Opportunity in a Time of Crisis

Sunday, August 2 at 1 pm

Karen Oates, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and S4HE Partner and Amy Shachter, Santa Clara University, S4HE Partner


Colleges and Universities are in the process of responding to incredible financial pressures.  Rapid decision-making has resulted in deep cuts that will transform science education.  Program reductions are on the horizon.  We offer a discussion aimed at using a values-based approach to develop proactive strategies to leverage external review processes to create opportunities in the midst of this crisis.