DELTA New Department Leaders Institute

The DELTA New Department Leaders Institute is designed to provide new department chairs with the knowledge and tools needed to positively launch and navigate this leadership role.

Type: Instructor-Led Course
Delivery Method: Live Online
Level: Intermediate
Duration: 12 hours


No upcoming dates at this time.


ASEE Member: $850
Non-Member: $950

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The DELTA New Department Leaders Institute is an intermediate-level, instructor-led program designed for new department chairs. By the end of this program, participants will have the knowledge and tools to positively launch and navigate their role as department chairs.

This program takes place in three (3), four-hour-long sessions, for a total of 12 hours of instruction. The program will offer  opportunities for participants to interact with facilitators and each other, with ample time dedicated to breakout activities and discussion.

How You Will Benefit

• You will gain the knowledge and tools needed to lead a successful, thriving department.
• You will become a change agent for the engineering professoriate and the profession of engineering.
• You will form an enduring network of engineering faculty leaders.

Intended Audience

This program is intended for new chairs or heads of departments who show promise of significant impact as a department leader. Eligibility is limited to department leaders who have completed less than three years of service prior to participation in the Institute.

About the DELTA (∆) Institutes

The DELTA (∆) Institutes are designed to develop engineering and engineering technology faculty and administrators as change agents for 1) the ongoing transformation of higher education and 2) the transformation in engineering education, research, and community engagement necessary to address the NAE Grand Challenges and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through the inclusion of leading-edge knowledge and best practices in professional development for faculty and administrators, the DELTA (∆) Institutes will improve efficiency and effectiveness for each participant and thus also do so broadly across the universities they serve.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Create a vision and develop a strategic planning process that will be collaboratively implemented.
  2. Organize academic programs and facilitate a culture of student success and continuous improvement.
  3. Form an effective and supportive network of valuable professional relationships internal and external to your institution.
  4. Practice strategies for leading, evaluating, and mentoring faculty and staff and demonstrating effective communication and conflict resolution skills.
  5. Examine methods for successful departmental resource management and stewardship.
  6. Identify techniques to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion during recruitment and hiring processes and effect positive change at the classroom and department level.
Application Details

Engineering Deans are invited to nominate up to two department leaders per institution to participate in the DELTA New Department Leaders Institute. Applications should be submitted by the nominating Dean, with necessary information (e.g., CV, personal statement) provided by the applicant.

Click here to apply. The application period will end on December 3, 2021.

Participant selection will be based on the Dean’s recommendation, a brief applicant statement, and the overall credentials of the applicant as demonstrated in a CV. Considerations of diversity, equity and inclusion for participants (gender/race/ethnicity/discipline) and their institutions (type/location) will also factor into the final selections.

A complete and eligible application will include the following materials:

Applicant* Materials:

*New Department Leader
• Contact and demographic information
• CV
• Brief (1,000 characters or less) personal statement summarizing accomplishments thus far, goals and aspirations, and/or what they hope to gain from participating in the DELTA New Department Leaders Institute

Nominator* Materials:

• Contact information
• Brief (1,000 characters or less) statement explaining why this department leader is being nominated, what factors contributed to the appointment of this department leader, and/or what role and impact you anticipate the department leader having in the future.
• A commitment that the financial support necessary for the department leader’s participation in the workshop has been identified and dedicated

MSI Application Supplement (Optional)
Minority Serving Institution (MSI)* Fee Waiver Application Supplement

*For eligible applicants
Thanks to a generous donation from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, we are able to waive program fees for a select number of eligible applicants from Minority Serving Institutions.

Session I 

• Core Functions of the Department Chair
• Leadership Approaches
• Continuous Improvement and Assessment
• Strategic Planning

Session II

• Faculty Assignment, Evaluation, and Mentorship
• Conflict Resolution
• Effective Communication
• Budget Stewardship

Session III

• Inclusive Excellence
• Recruiting and Hiring Diverse Faculty
• Departmental Climate
• Inclusive Classrooms
• Relationship-Building

Current Facilitator

Dr. Stephanie Farrell Professor and Founding Department Head of the Department of Experiential Engineering Education (ExEEd) at Rowan University.  She joined Rowan as a founding faculty member of the Chemical Engineering Department in 1998, where she served until launching ExEEd in 2016.  Stephanie served as Interim Dean of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering from 2019-2021.  Stephanie is past president of the American Society for Engineering Education, and she is a Fellow of ASEE and AIChE.

Stephanie leads Rowan’s Revolutionizing Engineering Diversity organizational change initiative, funded through NSF’s Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) Program.  She is on Rowan’s ADVANCE team for intersectional gender equity in STEM, and she leads ASEE’s national initiative to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in engineering, funded by NSF.

Past Facilitator

Beena Sukumaran is Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at Miami University in Ohio since August 1, 2020. Previous to that she was on the faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Rowan University. She worked at Amoco and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute on offshore foundations for deepwater applications before joining Rowan University. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1996.

Her previous leadership positions at Rowan was Vice President for Research from 2018 to 2020. During her tenure, research awards to the University doubled from $30M to $60M. She also served as the President’s Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion from 2017 to 2018 during which she examined strategies to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion. She served as Department Head of CEE for seven years from 2010 to 2017. During this period, the department doubled the undergraduate student enrollment and grew to a highly competitive and sought after program. In addition, she supported the development of a new undergraduate program in Construction Management and the department inaugurated a new Center for Transportation Research, CREATEs. In 2016 while serving as Chair of CEE, she and her team were awarded the NSF-Revolutionizing engineering, and computer science Departments (RED) grant for $1.92M, which is titled “Revolutionizing Engineering Diversity (RevED).” The RevED grant explores new strategies to recruit and retain a diverse engineering student body while creating an inclusive civil engineering curriculum.

Requirements and Resources

Pre-Work: You will complete a pre-program assignment related to the program’s learning outcomes.

Inter-session Work: You will complete homework assignments related to the program’s learning outcomes.

Supplemental Resources: You will be provided with (1) a participant guide, (2) presentation slides, and (3) workshop recordings.

Attendance and Completion

Full and active participation will enhance the learning experience for all participants. At the end of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion via email. Professional development hours (PDH) will be provided upon request.

Terms and Policies

• Cancellation Policy
• Recording and Privacy Policy

If you have questions, please contact

“The best part of the program was the case-study driven and discussion-oriented sessions… The program gave me several ideas on how to improve departmental operations by promoting shared-governance, thinking bottom-up, and to be an effective communicator. From the program, I took home several lessons and actions points, one of which was to develop a strategic plan for the Department, on which we are actively working on.”

Samee U. Khan
James W. Bagley Chair Professor and Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mississippi State University