Managing Difficult Faculty & Staff: A Bootcamp for Leaders

Online | July 9, 2024 1:00 pm ET - July 30, 2024 3:30 pm ET

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Managing Difficult Faculty & Staff: A Bootcamp for Leaders

Online | July 9, 2024 1:00 pm ET - July 30, 2024 3:30 pm ET

Grow your skillset in managing the difficult people who can make leadership so hard.


Join us online for a four-week bootcamp where you will learn how to intervene and correct the most problematic performances and behaviors within your team. Within the bootcamp, you will be introduced to the “EM & EM” model, which includes four increasingly authoritative steps intended to engage, set expectations for behavioral change, communicate consequences for non-compliance, and minimize the ill effects of bad behaviors on others. We will also address the unique aspects of higher education culture that complicate employee oversight, including tenure, union contracts, and ill-defined leadership structures. Further, we’ll examine the impact of intersectionality on both the giver and receiver of clear and direct messages, and we’ll also offer tools to mitigate the potential harmful effects of implicit and explicit bias. 

This bootcamp will provide multiple opportunities for you to both apply this model to your unique context and practice these difficult conversations with other leaders experiencing similar challenges. You’ll be encouraged to bring your most difficult personnel scenarios to the group for practice and valuable feedback. Throughout the bootcamp, you’ll also develop an intervention plan specifically tailored to challenging people you’re managing, and it will also document how the EM & EM model can help you to customize your approach to your toughest situation. You’ll walk away from this bootcamp feeling more comfortable, confident, and ready to take on your most difficult conversations. 

Who should attend?

This program is aimed at supervisors, managers, and leaders from all levels in higher education, including but not limited to associate directors, directors, department chairs, deans, associate deans, vice presidents, and associate vice presidents. Perhaps you are:

  • A department chair with an assistant professor trying to make tenure who’s fully focused on research and neglecting their teaching duties.
  • A dean facing a faculty member who disrupts meetings to vent about a policy which they encourage others to disregard.
  • A director or AVP with a long-standing team member who consistently undermines efforts to innovate or change.
  • A vice president with a direct report who is bullying others, although not necessarily violating policy.

No matter where you work on campus, if you’re looking for new strategies to help you gain confidence in communicating with your most challenging team members, this bootcamp is for you.


Each session of the bootcamp will introduce one of the four steps of the EM & EM Model, with some discussion of the previous steps continuing into the following week’s session:

  1. Engagement
  2. Management
  3. Enforcement
  4. Marginalization



Session 1 | Engagement
July 9, 2024, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET  
During the first session of this course, we’ll introduce the EM & EM model for supervising challenging individuals on your team. We’ll then dive deep into the first step of the model: engagement. In this step you’ll practice how to:

  • Clearly articulate the problem.
  • Actively listen.
  • Acknowledge others’ perspectives.
  • Set standards and expectations for behavioral change.
  • Schedule follow-up and offer support.



Session 2 | Management
July 16, 2024, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET 
When handled thoughtfully, many situations can be resolved at the engagement stage. However, when this proves ineffective, the next step is management. During this second session, you’ll strategize how to rearticulate the problem with a stronger emphasis on expectations, building upon the methods employed during engagement.



Session 3 | Enforcement
July 23, 2024, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET 
If engagement and management fail to address performance or conduct, the final chance for behavior change is the third step: enforcement. Enforcement requires you to establish expectations and consequences for non-compliance. These are the thorniest aspects of the process and are all too easy to get wrong, so we will engage in plenty of practice.

During this session, we’ll spend time discussing when and how to:

  • Involve Human Resources.
  • Develop a behavior modification plan.
  • Facilitate a formal meeting to address concerns.
  • Document the process.



Session 4 | Marginalization
July 30, 2024, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET 
In the event that circumstances make it impossible for you to take effective disciplinary action, or if that’s not the appropriate next step, your last resort is to minimize or remove the impact of the negative conduct in question on others. We’ll discuss when this is appropriate, along with strategies to support your community.

What You Will Get

This online bootcamp consists of:

  • Four live online sessions, happening weekly. Each session is facilitated by our expert instructors to help you understand each step of this management model.
  • Short assignments that you may be asked to complete between meetings in order to practice and prepare for the next session (approximately 30-60 minutes per week).
  • A small-group feedback session as an opportunity to share one of the toughest challenges you face, and to workshop solutions with your instructor and peers.
  • A unique intervention plan that you’ll create during the bootcamp as a way to provide you with direction on how to implement the model moving forward.