DEO Leadership Series For Nebraska's Department Executive Officers

The cupola on top of Love Library lit up red

The role of Department Executive Officer – a term we use to collectively refer to department chair, department head, and school director – is one of the most important, and one of the toughest, on campus. To recognize and support the faculty who serve in these roles, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor is pleased to offer the DEO Leadership Series.

With two workshops each semester plus a kick-off reception in the fall and a year-end social in the spring, this series provides DEOs with useful information as well as connections to the community of department leaders from across campus. This series is co-sponsored by the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

DEO Advisory Board

  • Mark Balschweid, Head, Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
  • Rick Bevins, Chair, Psychology
  • Dawn O. Braithwaite, Chair, Communication Studies
  • Richard DeFusco, Chair, Finance
  • Nick Pace, Chair, Educational Administration
  • Mary Kay Quinlan, Associate Dean, Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Jeffrey Shield, Chair, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • Rich Bischoff, Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Leader Success, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Judy Walker, Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor

2019-2020 DEO Leadership Series Events

These are invitation-only events for DEOs. Registration is required.

Fall Kick-Off Social

Tuesday, August 27

Running Effective Meetings

Wednesday, September 25

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (lunch provided)

Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, Ubuntu Room

Speaker: Christopher Marks, Associate Dean, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts

Running efficient and effective meetings requires skill and finesse. In this workshop, we'll look at some strategies — including but not limited to planning, interaction, and using Robert's Rules — that DEOs can employ to ensure their meetings are productive and a good use of everyone's time.

Supporting Faculty Mental Health and Wellness

Tuesday, October 29

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (lunch provided)

Willa Cather Dining Complex, Red Cloud C

Organizer: Mary Kay Quinlan, Associate Dean, College of Journalism and Mass Communications

Mental health issues have become a challenge for colleges and universities across the country. While it is the responsibility of all faculty to support the mental health and wellness of our students, it is crucial that DEOs are aware also of the need to support the mental health and wellness of faculty in their units, as well as themselves. In this workshop, we will address the issues and campus support and tools available.

Download the presentation slides.

Diversity and Inclusion at Nebraska

Tuesday, February 11

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (lunch provided)

Massengale Residential Center, Multipurpose Room

Speaker: Marco Barker, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are central to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s mission and its pursuit of excellence. Historically, the university's diversity and inclusion efforts have been mostly decentralized, grass-roots efforts initiated by colleges and departments. In an effort to form a more cohesive strategy around diversity and inclusion, Nebraska created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with the position of Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, and Marco Barker started in this role in April 2019. This workshop is an opportunity for DEOs to have a conversation with the new vice chancellor about our institutional commitment to inclusive excellence.

DEOs as Scholars

Tuesday, March 31

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (lunch provided)

Nebraska Union, Heritage Room

Organizer: Dawn O. Braithwaite, Chair, Department of Communication Studies

The multifaceted job of the DEO is often referred to as the toughest job on campus, and yet DEOs are also expected and desire to maintain their high quality research and teaching programs. This workshop will provide an opportunity for DEOs to explore this challenge and to hear from others who have successfully managed the competing demands of their administrative and scholarly work.

Spring Year-End Reception

April 2020

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Date and location TBD

Reading List

Here is a list, compiled by our DEO Leadership Series Advisory Board, of some readings that our DEOs have found helpful. If you’d like to suggest additions to this list, please email Judy Walker.

  • The Essential Department Chair by Jeffery Buller

    The Essential Department Chair

    A Practical Guide to College Administration

    Jeffery Buller

  • Positive Academic Leadership by Jeffery Buller

    Positive Academic Leadership

    How to Stop Putting Out Fires and Start Making a Difference

    Jeffery Buller

  • Making the Right Moves by Burroughs Wellcome Fund

    Making the Right Moves

    A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty

    Burroughs Wellcome Fund

  • The Department Chair Primer by Don Chu

    The Department Chair Primer

    What Chairs Need to Know and Do to Make a Difference

    Don Chu

  • Working with Problem Faculty by R. Kent Crookston

    Working with Problem Faculty

    A Six-Step Guide for Department Chairs

    R. Kent Crookston

  • Disrupting the Culture of Silence by Kristine DeWelde & Andi Stepnick

    Disrupting the Culture of Silence

    Confronting Gender Inequality and Making Change in Higher Education

    Kristine DeWelde & Andi Stepnick

  • Rethinking Faculty Work by Judith Gappa, Anne Austin, & Andrea Trice

    Rethinking Faculty Work

    Higher Education’s Strategic Imperative

    Judith Gappa, Anne Austin, & Andrea Trice

  • Chairing an Academic Department by Walter Gmelch & Val Miskip

    Chairing an Academic Department

    Walter Gmelch & Val Miskip

  • The College Administrator’s Survival Guide by C. K. Gunsalus

    The College Administrator’s Survival Guide

    C. K. Gunsalus

  • 10% Happier by Dan Harris

    10% Happier

    How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story

    Dan Harris

  • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

    Blue Ocean Strategy

    How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

    W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne

  • The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton

    The No Asshole Rule

    Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

    Robert Sutton

  • Faculty Incivility by Darla Twale & Barbara DeLuca

    Faculty Incivility

    The Rise of the Academic Bully Culture and What to Do About It

    Darla Twale & Barbara DeLuca

  • The Generational Imperative by Chuck Underwood

    The Generational Imperative

    Understanding Generational Differences in the Workplace, Marketplace, and Living Room

    Chuck Underwood

  • Reality-Based Leadership by Cy Wakeman

    Reality-Based Leadership

    Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results

    Cy Wakeman

  • The Academic Chair’s Handbook Daniel Wheeler et al.

    The Academic Chair’s Handbook

    Daniel Wheeler et al.

  • How to be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman & Rene Boer

    How to be a Great Boss

    Gino Wickman & Rene Boer

  • Straight Man: A Novel by Richard Russo

    On the lighter side (fiction)

    Straight Man: A Novel

    Richard Russo