Leading an Academic Unit at Duke (LAUD) Workshop Series 2020–2021

Designed for Department Chairs and Other Unit and Program Leaders Across Campus


Upcoming Workshops

Friday, January 22, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

LAUD 7: Faculty and Staff Dynamics

Speaker: Keisha Williams, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources

Moderator: Abbas Benmamoun, Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

LAUD 8: Fostering a Positive Climate in your Unit

In this interactive workshop, we will discuss the different types of bias, discrimination, harassment, and unwelcome conduct that adversely impact a unit’s climate. Participants will learn practical tools and strategies for promoting a culture that aligns with Duke’s values of inclusion, equity and respect.

Speakers: Kerry Haynie, Director of Duke's Center for the Study of Race; Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment; Georg Vanberg, Chair and Ernstine Friedl Distinguished Professor of Political Science

Moderator: Claudia Gunsch, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Theodore Kennedy Professor

Past Workshops

Friday, November 20, 2020

LAUD 6: Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on the Academic Progress of Underrepresented Faculty (Access Resources)

Recent articles in Nature, the New York Times, and other venues have documented the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the academic careers of women and faculty who are underrepresented in the academy. This new crisis adds to preexisting biases in hiring, funding, promotion, and tenure. Bias shows up in the metrics that are used to evaluate impact, define sub-disciplines, and determine research areas that are considered core. This in turn affects research funding, access to prominent publication venues, and even the language that is used to characterize research abilities, roles, and contributions. The bias particularly affects underrepresented minority and female faculty.

In this workshop, academic leaders from across the consortium will have the opportunity to discuss and share strategies to mitigate bias as well as the challenges caused by COVID-19 on the professional advancement of their colleagues. This workshop will feature a moderated 45-minute panel followed by 45 minutes of Q&A. Participants will be introduced to:

  • Evidence of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on underrepresented faculty members.
  • Research on bias in the faculty tenure and promotion processes.
  • Practical tools to mitigate both bias and disproportionate impact in tenure and promotion processes at the departmental and institutional levels.
Thursday, November 5, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

LAUD 5: APT - How to Lead a Thorough, Rigorous and Fair Promotion and Tenure Review Process (Access Resources)

Join Provost Kornbluth, Divisional Dean of Humanities William Johnson and Senior Associate Dean in the Pratt School of Engineering George Truskey for a discussion about the APT process. This workshop will cover topics including the different stages of the tenure and promotion review process; components of the dossier such as how to prepare dossiers in a thorough, rigorous and fair way; and issues and questions that commonly come up during the dossier construction, evaluation and review. Additionally, this workshop will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on research plans and progress and issues of equity and bias to be mindful of and ways to mitigate them.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

LAUD 4:  Confronting Systemic Racism as an Academic Leader (Access Resources)

Academic leaders have a critical role to play in addressing systemic racism and fostering an inclusive and equitable work environment. Through personal commitment, education, equitable policies, and targeted investments, leaders can enhance academic excellence by creating environments that reduce - rather than perpetuate - racial disparities.

In this interactive session Professor and Senior Associate Dean Ashleigh Shelby Rosette of the Fuqua School of Business will lead the discussion on strategies and skills that academic leaders can lean on to address systemic racism and inequities in their departments and programs, including:

  • Understanding systemic racism 
  • Engaging in conversations about race and racism
  • Minimizing barriers that foster anti-racist behavior
Friday, September 25, 2020

LAUD 3: Systemic Racism and Its Impact on Creating a Diverse Faculty in Higher Education (Access Resources)

This talk explored what systemic racism is and how it works in American society to normalize and render invisible the highly consequential workings of anti-black racism today. Participants focused on how systemic racism distorts the processes, experiences and core features of the academic community including: the academic pipeline, playing field, hiring, the ways of thinking, evaluating and mentoring deeply shaping our faculty composition and outcomes. How can we develop a process that generates diverse faculty? What role should a systemic analysis play in shaping diversity efforts in higher education?

Monday, September 21, 2020

LAUD 2:  Leading through a Crisis - Transforming a Challenge into an Opportunity for Significant Change (Access Resources)

Leading during extremely challenging circumstances - such as the current climate where programs are facing unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19 and the on-going national reckoning with racism, particularly anti-Black racism, that has impacted higher education – presents challenges but also opportunities.  When major challenges occur they engender fear, but they can also shake loose some embedded assumptions and traditions and can thus provide an opportunity to overcome inertia and improve normal organizational practices and effect systemic change. Participants in this workshop learned how to acknowledge the challenge and overcome key obstacles to addressing it by building trust, fostering a focus on solving problems including an openness to radical change and promoting a culture of shared leadership where colleagues become partners and co-leaders.

Friday, August 28, 2020

LAUD 1: Engaging with Students around Race and Racism (Access Resources)

Recent events will require conversations with undergraduate and graduate students about race and racism within your department, discipline, and institution. These conversations are likely to be challenging and tense. Do you have the knowledge and information you need to effectively initiate and lead these conversations? How can you engage productively with students who are angry, disappointed, and frustrated with the slow pace of progress? What language and tools can you use to demonstrate genuine commitment to change without raising unrealistic expectations? How can you empower students to focus on ambitious and achievable goals for your department? How can you serve as a bridge between students and faculty colleagues who are overwhelmed by or skeptical of student concerns? What curricular and programmatic steps can you take in the short and long terms to drive positive and sustainable change in your academic unit?

The Office for Faculty Advancement hosts the Leading an Academic Unit at Duke (LAUD) Workshop Series, which is designed for department chairs and other unit and program leaders across campus. The goal is to engage in dialogue with peers, experts and key leaders about issues relevant to academic leadership and share best practices and strategies to improve and strengthen programs and navigate opportunities and challenges such as financial management, leading during crises, fostering a sense of community among your unit’s members and promoting an inclusive and supportive word, research and learning environments for everyone.