NCA Chairs' Summer Institute

NCA Chairs' Summer Institute

June 25 and 26, 2021, VIRTUAL 

On June 25 and 26, 2021, more than 30 Communication department chairs from around the country met virtually for NCA’s 6th biennial Chairs’ Summer Institute (CSI). This year’s CSI, themed “Leadership Challenges in a Changing World,” explored how to cultivate respect and inclusive cultures, how to manage challenges associated with digital learning and socially distanced department communities, how to motivate and mentor faculty, and more. The keynote address was delivered by Helen Sterk (Western Kentucky University), and seminar leaders included Timothy J. Brown (Montgomery County Community College, PA), Ann Bainbridge Frymier (Ohio University), Ralph A. Gigliotti (Rutgers University), Wendy Howard (University of Central Florida), Christina McDowell (Cornell University), Charles E. Morris, III (Syracuse University), and Sarah Stone Watt (Pepperdine University). Participants were also provided with access to additional asynchronous sessions led by Elizbeth Goering (IUPUI), Ashley Noel Mack (Louisiana State University), and Devin Scott (University of Tennessee Health Science Center).

For more information, please contact LaKesha Anderson, Director of Academic and Professionals Affairs.

June 13-15, 2019, College Park, MD 

NCA hosted its Chairs’ Summer Institute June 13–15, 2019 at The Hotel at the University of Maryland. This year’s theme, “Chairperson Leadership: Advocating, Mentoring, and Managing,” attracted more than 20 department chairs to the DC area for a workshop designed to help department chairs better understand and address a variety of issues within their departments and larger university communities. Session topics included the role of administrator, negotiating identity as a chair and administrator, and balancing research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities; managing issues of faculty mentoring and advocating for the department and faculty; identifying a departmental vision, goal-setting, generating faculty buy-in, and strategic planning; recruiting, hiring, and evaluating faculty; and managing departmental and campus crises.

Seminar leaders included John Caughlin (University of Illinois), Thomas Endres (University of Northern Colorado), Maurice Hall (The College of New Jersey), Kent Ono (University of Utah), and Helen Sterk (Western Kentucky University).

2019 CSI Participants

For more information, please contact LaKesha Anderson, Director for Academic and Professionals Affairs.

June 23-25, 2017, Washington, DC 

Department chairs from around the country participated in NCA’s fourth Chairs’ Summer Institute in Washington, DC, June 23-25. The institute’s theme was “Communication that Matters: Creating Inclusive Environments.” Discussions focused on perspectives and practices of inclusive leadership, administrative strategies for inclusivity, and the role of diversity in relationship building and department processes. Dawn Michele Whitehead, Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, served as the keynote speaker. The NCA Chairs’ Summer Institute provides department chairs with an opportunity to participate in dialogue about the various challenges they face in administering their departments, and to share successful approaches. NCA has hosted nearly 150 department chairs at this biannual event. Seminar leaders in 2017 included Brenda Allen (University of Colorado Denver), Jon Hess (University of Dayton), Shawn Long (University of North Carolina Charlotte), and Helen Sterk (Western Kentucky University).

2017 CSI Participants

For more information, please contact LaKesha Anderson, Director for Academic and Professionals Affairs. 

June 26-28, 2015, Washington, DC

Department chairs from around the country participated in NCA’s third Chairs’ Summer Institute in Washington, DC, June 26-28. The institute’s theme was Assessment and Accountability and the 21st Century Communication Department. In the context of the theme, discussions focused on demonstrating the value of communication research, learning outcomes in communication, and assessing the role of service in the university. Keynoter Kate McConnell, the Director of Assessment at Virginia Tech, for example, highlighted the value of a culture of “academic hospitality” as the foundation for fruitful discussions about assessment. Now a biennial event, the NCA Chairs’ Summer Institute has hosted nearly 100 department chairs since 2012 for discussions regarding successful department and disciplinary leadership.

June 28-30, 2013, Washington, DC

NCA's Second Annual Chairs' Summer Institute was held at the St. Gregory Hotel in Washington, D.C., June 28-30, 2013. Our theme was Building Connections, Creating Community: Best Practices for the Communication Department Chair, and the institute featured presentations by a number of speakers, including Illinois State's Cheri Simonds on the Basic Course, Loyola Marymount Dean Bryant Keith Alexander with the keynote for the conference, and Maryland's Linda Aldoory along with National Humanities Alliance's Stephen Kidd on the benefits of interdisciplinary inquiry. 

June 22-24, 2012, Washington, DC

Approximately 30 department chairs and heads from around the United States and Canada gathered in Washington, DC, June 22-24, for the first NCA Chairs’ Summer Institute to discuss new and creative ways of “Raising a Program Profile.”  

In discussions and presentations, the chairs considered both the rationale for raising a program’s profile as well as specific strategies and tactics to employ at their home departments and universities to bring about an increased program profile. 

Highlights from the CSI include:  

  • A panel of speakers that included Bill Hooke from the American Meteorological Society, Barbara Kline Pope from the National Academies, and Monique Mitchell Turner from the Department of Preventive and Community Health at George Washington University discussed reaching “Beyond COMM” in pursuit of interdisciplinary connections and partnerships. You can read Dr. Hooke’s reflections about the role and power of communication based on his experience at CSI at his blog
  • A presentation from Chancellor Charles R. Bantz of Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis that reflected on the unique and important dimensions of the Communication discipline relevant to departmental promotion efforts. 
  • Panels on specific strategies for departmental promotion that featured speakers from the National Office, NCA Chairs’ Advisory Council member Carl Cates & Jon A. Hess, and a university relations specialist.