Big Ten Academic Alliance Department Executive Officers Seminar

Each year approximately 65 department heads and chairs from Big Ten Academic Alliance universities come together for a unique leadership development seminar.

The Department Executive Officers (DEO) Seminar is an annual three-day seminar for departmental executive officers across participating institutions to gather, network, and learn from experts about academic leadership at the departmental level. Topics range from conflict resolution and time management to faculty development, performance reviews, and group problem solving. In the past, the seminar agenda has featured sessions on faculty development and evaluation, resource allocation models, human resources issues, and the personal and professional challenges faced by department heads. In addition, the informal networking has proven to be of long-term value to past participants as there are few occasions for department heads to meet with peers outside of their disciplines.

The Provost’s Office covers registration, lodging, and travel costs for five department heads and/or chairs to attend the seminar. In addition, BTAA DEO fellows participate in two meetings during the academic year on the Illinois campus that focuses on issues and topics addressed in the BTAA DEO Seminar.

The seminar is most useful to relatively new unit executive officers who have at least one year of experience in their current position. The Provost’s Office will select up to five participants from those nominated by their respective colleges.

2023-24 Fellows

  • Anne Barger, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Rebecca (Becky) Fuller, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Sara Hook, Department of Dance, College of Fine and Applied Arts
  • Sarah Low, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
  • Reuben A. Buford May, Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences