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ACS hosts Academic Leadership Training Workshop

by Linda Wang
March 27, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 13

A group photo.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
2017 Academic Leadership Training Workshop participants.

On Feb. 26–28, 31 faculty members and 15 academic leaders from primarily undergraduate institutions and R1 research universities participated in the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative Academic Leadership Training (ALT) Workshop (C&EN, March 7, 2016, page 47 ), held at the American Chemical Society headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

Now in its second year, the three-day workshop offers practical advice and tools to help participants enter academic leadership roles such as research center director, department head, or dean.

Participants listened to panel discussions and engaged in exercises on topics such as developing a vision for their organization, generating leadership plans, identifying their strengths as leaders, resolving conflicts, and learning strategies for effective fund-raising. Participants also had an opportunity to network with one another.

“One of the greatest challenges facing academic leaders is finding their successors,” says Rigoberto Hernandez, lead principal investigator on the ALT Workshop. “This workshop is a deliberate attempt at increasing the number and the effectiveness of future academic leaders.”

In addition to the panel discussions, mock interviews gave participants a taste of what it would be like to interview for an academic leadership position. “With this experience in hand, they will know how to prepare for their next academic leadership interview and be more likely to get it,” Hernandez says.

The workshop is supported by ACS and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement’s Cottrell Scholars Collaborative, a network of academic scientists aiming to improve undergraduate and graduate science education at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. For more information, visit

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