ESC Partner Programs
2023 EA

Leading Engagement During Executive Leadership Transitions

An Engagement Academy for University Leaders Seminar


Monday, October 2, 2023 | 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (dinner included)
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


$210 - Participation fee includes programming and meals


Turnover of higher education executives is high and expected to accelerate in the post-pandemic context. An analysis of applications from the most recent Carnegie Community Engagement Classification revealed that nearly 75% of institutions experienced turnover in presidential and/or senior academic officer positions.

Executive transition periods create uncertainty for leaders that seek to sustain and strengthen engagement as an institutional priority. What can leaders do to position engagement as a priority for new executives as they assume their roles? In this pre-conference seminar, participants will engage with testimonies of engagement leaders, readings, and small group discussions that explore ways for engagement to thrive during executive leadership transitions.

Tentative Schedule


Prior to the event, participants will be asked to submit a short form to EA facilitators regarding the key challenges that they are facing related to executive leadership transitions. This information will be used by instructors to tailor the seminar.

Schedule of the Engagement Academy for University Leaders Workshop for October 2nd and 3rd, 2023
Time Agenda
Monday, October 2, 2023
3:00- 5:00 p.m.
  • Making sense of executive leadership transition challenges across our institutions (A summary and analysis of pre-work).
  • What we know about sustaining priorities during executive leadership transitions (best practices from the organizations literature)
  • Case study: Small group discussion and analysis
5:00- 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner and table discussion
6:00- 8:00 p.m.
  • Case study: Large group share out regarding case analysis
  • EA Challenge Session.  Applying what we have learned in our unique contexts (peer coaching and discussion). 
  • Group discussion
  • Evaluation
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
  • Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
  • Interview
    Byron P. White, Associate Provost for Urban Research and Community Engagement; University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Q&A with audience
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
  • Final reflections and evaluation

Seminar Facilitators/Instructors

Rena Cotsones, Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development, Northern Illinois University

Lorilee R. Sandmann, Professor Emerita, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, University of Georgia

David J. Weerts, Professor and Faculty Director, Office for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Byron P. White, Associate Provost for Urban Research and Community Engagement; University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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