Academic Leadership Certificate

Academic Leadership Certificate

For New and Aspiring University and College Academic Administrators

Great work starts with great leaders. Join a select group of academic peers to develop your leadership skills. Become part of a nation-wide community of academic leaders who have the skills and capabilities to emerge as visionary, collaborative and effective leaders in the complex, unique, multidisciplinary world of academia. 

For more information and to add your name to the interest list for updates, email execed@dal.ca.

Program at a Glance

Program Length: 10 courses over 22 weeks (January 4 - June 5, 2021)
Program Includes: Leadership Assessment, Action Leadership Project with guidance from a faculty mentor
Instruction Method: Fully Online
Cost: $4,250, includes all course materials and assessment
Optional Activities: Leadership Coaching can be arranged on request.
Who Should Attend: Open to university and college academic administrators, Chairs, Heads, Directors, Associate Deans, Deans, and those aspiring to positions in academic administration. 

2021 Schedule

Course

Dates

Strategic Leadership and Self-Management 

January 4 - 23, 2021

Performance Management 

January 25 - February 6, 2021

Collaboration & Leading Teams 

February 8 - 20, 2021

Strategic Financial Management 

February 22 - March 6, 2021

Using Institutional Data in Decision-Making 

March 8 - 20, 2021

Strategic Decision Making 

March 22 - April 3, 2021

Relationship Management: Inter-cultural Communication

April 5 - 17, 2021

Relationship Management: Stakeholder Management

April 19 - May 1, 2021

Innovation

May 3 - 15, 2021

Leading Change in Complexity

May 17 - June 5, 2021

Course Descriptions

Intro to Leadership: Self-management, Self-Awareness

Self-awareness and self-management are the foundation of successful leaders. This course will focus on four core elements of self-management – emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, thinking strategies, and reflective practices.

Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of their skill levels in each of these areas, practical skills to use when they return to the workplace, and a self-management plan to take forward. 

By the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Develop and refine the practice of mindfulness, feedback and reflection
  • Understand their preferred style of conflict management
  • Identify ways to apply conflict resolution skills creatively and effectively
  • Apply an Emotional Intelligence framework that will make them a more successful leader
  • Identify their key strategic thinking styles and develop the capacity to use multiple thinking strategies
  • Assess their ability to lead responsibly, create a self-management profile for themselves and create an action plan to move forward

Instructor: Dr. Heidi Weigand

Dr. Weigand focuses on leadership development and social communications technology. Prior to completion of her PhD in Management, Heidi held senior leadership roles in the high-tech industries with Xerox Corporation and IBM Canada Ltd. She has extensive experience working with First Nation leaders and Communities with a passion for cultivating self-governing practices and sustainable communities. Heidi is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has served on a variety of boards. She is often invited to speak on the topics of leadership and developing a contagious innovative mindset in others. Heidi’s research interests include inter-generational and inter-cultural organizational dynamics and communication technologies.

Performance Management

This course provides an overview of the concepts in managing human performance.  Participants will gain a general understanding of contemporary human resource management concepts, including motivational theories.  It is expected that participants will learn to motivate, influence, and inspire followers to higher performance.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of human performance (e.g. what people can do vs. what people will do) to get the most from their employees
  • Appreciate the root cause for poor performance
  • Discover HR Management techniques to motivate followers (e.g., set goals, measure performance, provide feedback, offer rewards and recognition)
  • Outcome directly relating to Action Leadership Project

Instructor: Dr. Heidi Weigand

Dr. Weigand focuses on leadership development and social communications technology. Prior to completion of her PhD in Management, Heidi held senior leadership roles in the high-tech industries with Xerox Corporation and IBM Canada Ltd. She has extensive experience working with First Nation leaders and Communities with a passion for cultivating self-governing practices and sustainable communities. Heidi is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has served on a variety of boards. She is often invited to speak on the topics of leadership and developing a contagious innovative mindset in others. Heidi’s research interests include inter-generational and inter-cultural organizational dynamics and communication technologies.

Collaboration & Leading Teams

"no one of us is as smart as all of us," Ken Blanchard

This course is built on the premise that in today’s fast-paced higher education marketplace, institutions are increasingly relying on collaborative work to integrate and align their human resources, better tap into the external environment, adapt a flexible stance, innovate, and achieve a competitive advantage. To build effective collaborative communities, institutional leaders must develop and expand their collaborative leadership repertoire and identify the essential elements for designing teams for collaboration and creating effective boundary-spanning strategies. Through the course, participants will learn about tools and strategies for conceiving and leading collaboration in institutions, in particular, how to engage others, build coalitions across silos, mobilize campus to action, and stimulate innovation within and across institutional service lines and departmental boundaries.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand tools and strategies needed to lead collaboratively.
  • Know how to build a collaborative organization, i.e., an innovative, efficient, agile and scalable organization.
  • Reflect in a critical and informed manner on individual, unit, and institutional collaboration practices.
  • Appreciate the collaboration spectrum (collaboration versus teamwork, coordination, & cooperation).
  • Identify, build and maintain formal and informal relationships and networks to support the achievement of unit and institutional goals.

Instructor: Dr. Joyline Makani

Joyline is an experienced information management professional and assistant professor, with MLIS, MBA and PhD degrees from Dalhousie University. With over 25 years working in the information management field, Dr. Makani brings both practitioner and academic experience to the Faculty of Management.  She has published a variety of award winning articles in scholarly management journals and conference proceedings. Her current research activities sit at the intersection of information science, data management, and knowledge management, as well as, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation. She focuses on exploring how organizations, in a bid to align and sustain innovation, growth and success, continuously learn and build or deploy systems to effectively and efficiently create new knowledge.

Strategic Financial Management

The financial management module will serve to give the participant a broad understanding of accounting and accountability. It will link accounting to financial administration and ultimately accountability and comptrollership. It will examine two main themes.

First, while not an accounting course, it is designed to provide an overview of accounting in Canada. To understand financial management and budgeting, it is necessary to first understand how accounting works and why it works the way it does. We will aim to develop an understanding of the assumptions and principles of accounting as a tool to further understand and analyze financial statements and how they connect to budgeting, budget decisions and accountability.

Second, it offers participants the opportunity to review the way organizations have tried to connect what they want to do with what they spend money for, including attempts to link planning, programming, budgeting, and accountability.

Instructor: Bruce Hennebury, CMA, MPAM

Bruce Hennebury is a retired public servant with over 35 years’ experience. He held senior positions throughout the Nova Scotia government in Finance, Treasury and Policy Board, Economic and Rural Development and Communities Culture and Heritage. He has extensive experience in policy, finance, budgeting, accountability, governance and administration. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA), Bruce also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (Management) from Dalhousie as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University. He has been teaching public sector comptrollership and accountability at Dalhousie in the MPA and MPA(M) programs since 2002. He enjoys fly fishing, and is actively involved in the local ringette community as a Level 3 referee. He has also served on volunteer boards.

Using Data in Decision-Making

This module introduces data, and the role it can play in making better decisions. The goal is to provide a broad understanding of what is involved in ensuring that high-quality data is available to those who need it, that decision-makers are prepared and equipped to use it, and that data-informed decisions can be implemented. A mix of theory, examples, and data-in-practice will explore how this plays out at universities in general and Dalhousie in particular. We’ll explore the skills and tools needed to make effective use of data, and we’ll talk about the dangers of relying too heavily on data.

Course Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the key ingredients of a data-ready organization
  • Identify common barriers to effectively leveraging data in institutions
  • Summarize the dangers of leaning too heavily on data, particularly in a university context
  • Reflect critically on their personal level of readiness to use data to inform decisions, and how that compares to their unit and the institution
  • Discuss key tools and approaches to using data to inform administrative decisions
  • Apply the concepts from this course to the Action Leadership Project, using data to better understand their context and evaluate hypotheses.

Discussion Forum Expectations

Quick note of clarity because this August module is a bit different!

Everyone will post to the discussion board at least once for Assignment 1.

Those who miss several live sessions can meet the expectation of discussion, reflection, and engagement asynchronously through the designated discussion forum. I'm not too worried about missing one, because you have the recording; if you missed 2 or more, the recordings plus the discussion forum is a great way to make up for that.

Course Description
This module introduces data, and the role it can play in making better decisions. The goal is to provide a broad understanding of what is involved in ensuring that high-quality data is available to those who need it, that decision-makers are prepared and equipped to use it, and that data-informed decisions can be implemented. A mix of theory, examples, and data-in-practice will explore how this plays out at universities in general and Dalhousie in particular. We’ll explore the skills and tools needed to make effective use of data, and we’ll talk about the dangers of relying too heavily on data.

Course Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the key ingredients of a data-ready organization
  • Identify common barriers to effectively leveraging data in institutions
  • Summarize the dangers of leaning too heavily on data, particularly in a university context
  • Reflect critically on their personal level of readiness to use data to inform decisions, and how that compares to their unit and the institution
  • Discuss key tools and approaches to using data to inform administrative decisions
  • Apply the concepts from this course to the Action Leadership Project, using data to better understand their context and evaluate hypotheses.

Instructor: Dr. Mike Smit

Mike Smit is a professor in the School of Information Management, Dalhousie University, where he studies the intersection of people, information, and technology. He draws on his background in computer science to explore how we can best leverage emerging technology to benefit people, organizations, and society, while also mitigating risks changing technology poses. This fascination has led to deep and broad explorations of technologies like cloud computing, social media, Big Data, and artificial intelligence; he's unpacked these technologies, and the social change associated with them, for regional, national, and international audiences. His work in advocating for increased data literacy to respond to technology shifts has led to curriculum development, research projects, and organizational change in fields like ocean science, culturomics, and healthcare.

 

Strategic Decision-Making

Strategic decisions have a direct impact on organization performance. It is where the rubber meets the road for the unit and organization-level managers who make them.  In this course, we will examine what strategic decisions are, how effective decisions are made, the obstacles that challenge decision effectiveness, and mechanisms with which to combat the challenges.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

Have a basic understanding of

  • 3 related components of strategy
  • 3 sequential elements of a decision-driven organization,
  • 6 steps in rational decision-making, and
  • 3 main challenges to, and techniques for boosting, creative problem-solving.

Be able to apply your course learning to

  • Your Action Leadership Project
  • Your area of management responsibility

Instructor: Dr. Ramon Baltazar

Dr. Baltazar is an assistant professor of strategy and management at Dalhousie University. He has been teaching and consulting for 30 years and has published a variety of articles, cases and chapters in scholarly management journals, conferences and books. At the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, Dr. Baltazar received the Professor of the Year Award at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels on three separate occasions.

Relationship Management: Intercultural Communications

This course brings together theories and practices of communication between people in society. Participants will explore the role of culture, identity, and perception in communication, and examine how these factors shape the way people think, speak, and behave. A variety of communication models, styles and strategies of effective communication, and verbal and nonverbal behaviour will be presented and critically analyzed. Participants will learn to negotiate and manage interpersonal conflicts and overcome barriers to effective interpersonal and intercultural communication.

Instructor

Dr. Oksana Shkurska

Relationship Management: Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholders are any person, group or organizational unit, inside or outside your Faculty, that are impacted by the decisions you make and the actions you take.  They may have a positive or negative influence on your ability to accomplish your goals.  Stakeholder networks coalesce around issues and they are often very influential when it comes to initiating change. Stakeholder engagement is a continuous process of identifying, getting to know the values and interests of various stakeholder groups, and working to incorporate their concerns and the outcomes they desire into your decisions and strategies.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Understand the stakeholder engagement process and see the importance of stakeholders in successful strategy implementation.
  • Identify key stakeholders that you need to engage with to design and implement your Action Challenge Project.
  • Identify their interests and expectations and rank them according to the power and influence they will have on the success of your project.

Instructor

Dr. Teri Balser is cross-appointed as a faculty member at Dalhousie in Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture, and the College of Sustainability. She is a Principal Fellow of the U.K. based Higher Education Academy. In addition to recognition as an accomplished international research scholar, Dr. Balser has received numerous accolades for her teaching accomplishments including a USDA National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in 2009, and recognition as the 2010 U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching). She is widely known in higher education as a change agent and leader in STEM. She co-founded the Society for Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER), was a National Vision and Change Leadership Fellow with the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE), and has been a Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair to India to help build capacity at the national level for pedagogically advanced and responsive STEM education. She has long been an active advocate, speaker, and workshop facilitator in research, leadership and teaching. 

Innovation

BEYOND THE BUZZWORD: FRAMEWORKS AND TOOLS FOR INNOVATION

“Innovation” is a buzzword so prevalent in contemporary dialogue that many may find its use insubstantial and vacuous. However, behind its use is the recognition that our world is changing rapidly around us — how we communicate, how we teach, how people are influenced to make decisions, and the kinds of jobs universities are preparing students for. As a university we cannot simply do things as we have done before, if we wish to remain relevant and serve our students and society well. This module will introduce the processes of human-centered design and value proposition design for the academic context. These are processes for developing and testing novel solutions to problems that have been used successfully in organizations from high-growth startups to NGOs in developing countries, and employ familiar methods such as hypothesis testing and qualitative research. Participants will both learn the core principles and mindsets, and work through these in the context of their ACPs.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Articulate the principles of human-centered design and work through the associated processes
  • Articulate the principles of value proposition design and work through the associated processes
  • Identify critical hypotheses and metrics, and use these to validate problem statements and solutions
  • Use the human-centred design and value proposition design frameworks to help frame your ACP and design a series of experiments to identify an optimal solution

Instructor: Dr. Aaron Newman

Aaron is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology & Neuroscience, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery at Dalhousie University, as well as Director of the NeuroCognitive Imaging Lab and Director of the Faculty of Science Innovation Sandbox. He led the successful RADIANT NSERC CREATE neurotechnology innovation training program, creating a novel curriculum that includes graduate and undergraduate certificates and an entrepreneurship “boot camp” for graduate students. Over 100 trainees from Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, and India have participated in the program to date, and several have gone on to launch companies, including Halifax-based Spring Loaded Technology, Axem Neurotechnology, and NeuroAmel. Dr. Newman's research program in cognitive neuroscience focuses on how brain organization for language, hearing, and vision can be altered by experience. In this work he uses numerous non-invasive brain imaging and neurostimulation technologies. His research has been supported by a Canada Research Chair and numerous grants from NSERC, CFI, SSHRC, CIHR, and private foundations, and has resulted in dozens of peer-reviewed scientific publications and over 100 peer-reviewed conference presentations. Dr. Newman has extensive experience collaborating with industry, including NSERC- and Mitacs-funded projects with several startups including Copernicus Labs, Halifax Learning, Mindful Scientific, and SageCrowd.

Leading Change in Complexity

The course engages new and innovative practices for creating change in complex organizations. Participants will develop an understanding of the complex process of organizational change and how stakeholders (internal and external) make sense of organizational change.  Participants will then practice using various tools that enhance their ability to move an organizational initiative in the direction they need it to move.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Envision the organization as a complex system of communicative relationships
  • Understand the importance of sense making and forward movement in complex organizations.
  • Identify the steps and conditions required to generate forward movement.
  • Identify the impediments that inhibit my ability to move forward and plan for their mitigation.
  • Apply the concepts from the course to your Action Leadership Project

Instructor: Dr. Scott Comber, Academic Director, Executive Education

Scott is a senior lecturer in the Rowe School of Business. He co-created and teaches the 22-month Personal and Professional Effectiveness (Leadership) curriculum for the Corporate Residency MBA. Scott’s teaching areas are leadership, organizational behavior and organizational change. Prior to his Dalhousie appointment, Scott held senior leadership roles in the information technology, finance and healthcare industries. He has led initiatives in organizations to develop leaders, create conflict resolution systems and facilitate teams and leaders through change. Scott is a certified Executive Coach, has served on a variety of boards and is often invited to speak on the topics of leadership and change management.


Program Details

Program Objectives: By the end of this Certificate Program, you will be able to: 

  • Employ conceptual and creative thinking in making strategic decisions.
  • Recognize and understand your leadership style, philosophy and values, and engage in on-going professional development to enable self-reflection and obtain feedback on performance.
  • Develop innovative unit strategies that align with your institution's vision and your unit’s resource capabilities.
  • Manage change initiatives and ensure results are in alignment with your institution’s vision, goals and strategies.
  • Identify, build and maintain formal and informal relationships and networks to support the achievement of unit and institutional goals.
  • Facilitate the personal and professional development of a diverse staff complement, ensuring the growth and valuing of an inclusive work environment that supports success for everyone.
  • Manage human performance through employee engagement and commitment to achieve organizational goals.

Prerequisites: Program is designed for current and aspiring college and university academic administrators at the Chair, Head, Director, Associate Dean and Dean levels. Enrolment is open to all applicants who possess a minimum of a four-year equivalent undergraduate degree from a university recognized by the Senate of Dalhousie University. 

Program Structure: The ten-course program is delivered through the flexibility and convenience of Dalhousie’s enriched and engaging online learning platform (BrightSpace). Courses include weekly group activities, live streaming lectures and project work. Course delivery is designed to provide maximum benefit and flexibility through distance study. Courses may be taken individually. All ten courses must be completed to earn the Academic Leadership Certificate.

Certificate Requirements: All ten (10) courses must be successfully completed in order to receive the Academic Leadership Certificate. Courses can be taken in any order. All ten (10) courses must be completed within three years of your program start date.

Timetable: Courses are offered in the same sequence each year in the Winter term, from January to early June. The program can be completed in this timeframe (approx. five (5) months). Students have up to three (3) years to complete.