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Academic Leadership Development

The Office of Faculty Affairs strives to invest in leadership development for faculty and academic leaders at Vanderbilt. Our program will focus on building strong managerial skills, including: financial literacy; mission and vision setting; team building; communication; and the ability to manage issues. 

Our Academic Leadership Development initiative will be split into three pathways: 

These workshops will be geared toward both new and current department chairs. We plan to collaborate with different Vice Chancellor and Deans’ offices across campus, depending on the topic. ​

Topics included in this pathway: ​

  • Finance Fundamentals

  • Mental Health 

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 

  • Connecting, supporting, and motivating others 

  • Essential leadership skills 

This path is open access to any faculty member in a leadership role at Vanderbilt University which includes associate deans, programs directors, Chancellor’s Faculty Fellows, SEC ALDP Fellows and others. These conversations will be geared toward first-hand experiences and scholarship. ​

Programs included in this pathway: ​

  • Pathways to Vice Provost Areas

  • Pathways to Leading at the College/School Level

  • Cross-Functional Programming

A cohort leadership program, set to launch in AY 21/22, will give a group of 15-20 academic leaders an opportunity to delve deeper into certain topics related to academic leadership, including Vice Provost and Vice Chancellor areas. The cohort can also access the general sessions listed above. ​

The purpose of the cohort model is to provide a more focused look at academic leadership and additional resources/tools for these academic leaders. This will provide an opportunity for collaboration with all Provost and Vice Chancellor areas in developing content that will further impact academic leaders. ​

Further details to come. ​


Current Offerings 



Wednesday, June 23, Noon–1:30 pm CT (ZOOM)

How Vanderbilt Faculty Can Engage the Nashville Community: On and Off the Books

The Office of Faculty Affairs, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Press, invites faculty to join the editors of Greetings from New Nashville: How a Sleepy Southern Town Became “It” City (Steve Haruch) and I’ll Take You There: Exploring Nashville’s Social Justice Sites (Amie Thurber and Learotha Williams Jr.) in a panel discussion focused on the faculty responsibilities of research, teaching, and service and how having Nashville as our backyard can impact all three areas.

This session will provide academic leaders with a fresh lens when viewing Nashville as an integral part of a faculty member’s experience at Vanderbilt. The panel of recent VUP authors will provide an overview of their book projects and their desire to capture the changing features of Nashville life. The panelists will provide some content and context focused on how the Nashville represented in their books can impact the overall faculty experience. Other topics discussed will include how Nashville can be a part of a faculty member’s research agenda, how faculty can incorporate Nashville into their teaching, and how faculty can immerse themselves into what the city offers.

In order to facilitate a conversation with the panelists, please enjoy complimentary copies of both recent VUP titles. Books will be sent in advance of the panel and we encourage you to read widely across the two volumes. Register here.


Alex Jahangir
Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Executive Medical Director, Vanderbilt Center for Trauma, Burn, and Emergency Surgery
Chair, Metro Coronavirus Task Force

Panelist bios:

Steve Haruch is a writer, editor, and filmmaker based in Nashville. His work has appeared in the Nashville Scene, the New York Times, NPR’s Code Switch, the Guardian, and elsewhere. He is the editor of the previous VUP volume People Only Die of Love in Movies: Film Writing by Jim Ridley (2018). He is currently producing a documentary film about the history of college radio.

Amie Thurber is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. She completed her PhD at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. She is currently the Principal Investigator on a multi-year study evaluating the effects of Portland’s North/Northeast (N/NE) Preference Policy, which recreates housing access in a historical community of color to those displaced by urban renewal and gentrification.

Learotha Williams Jr. is a professor of African American, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Public History at Tennessee State University. Williams has worked as a Historic Sites Specialist for the State of Florida, acted as coordinator for the African American Studies Program at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and served as trustee of the Historic Savannah Foundation in Savannah, Georgia. He also spearheads the North Nashville Heritage Project, an effort that seeks to encourage a greater understanding of the history of North Nashville, including but not limited to Jefferson Street and its historic relationship to the greater Nashville community.





A printable schedule is available here.