Programs and Services for Academics

Programming and Services for the Academic Community

The Division of Human Resources supports Cornell's academics with programs that focus on interpersonal interactions, increase awareness of policy issues, foster skill-building in interpersonal and group dynamics, and provide consultation for in-unit change and climate initiatives.

Registration:  Contact Pam Strausser at, phone 607 254 1525. 

Effective Interactions in Organizations (EIO): For Department Chairs

Overview: This 3-day professional development program will allow new and continuing chairs to focus on the interactions they have with staff, students, academic professionals, faculty and a variety of other individuals in their role as chair. Cases brought to life by Cornell Interactive Theater Ensemble, set the stage for discussion of a variety of issues where law and policy may be the backdrop but the challenges are to create a climate of inclusion and respect. Appropriate responses to legal and policy issues as well as responses to issues of academic and workplace climate, diversity, inclusion, and individual performance and the emotions those situations surface.

  • Schedule: Twice per year (June and December)
  • Location: TBD on campus
  • Registration: Capped at 20

Program Goals:

  • Ensure department chairs understand the expectations of formal leadership positions in their departments, whether it is in the classroom, laboratory, research project, or other department, college or university sponsored initiative.
  • Provide chairs with practical information about law that applies to situations they are likely to encounter.
  • Optimize effective interactions with staff, students and faculty by providing concrete tools to work through challenging situations. 
  • Explore a framework for behavior feedback that recognizes and addresses the key role of emotions and the need to address individual/institutional concerns.
  • Practice using the framework, with cases similar to situations participants might encounter, and the emotional reality that professional actors bring to the antagonist role.

Chairs will gain:

  • An understanding of the expectations Cornell has for members of the academic community.
  • Self-awareness which allows them to understand how they translate intentions into behavior. They will also learn how to modify their behavior to have a positive effect on the students, faculty colleagues, and academic and administrative staff who are part of this academic community, and the larger constituencies that the Chair serves.
  • An understanding of specific behaviors associated with successful leadership in the academic environment.
  • Specific tools and practices that can be applied to a variety of situations.
  • An awareness of the resources available to help the Chair succeed in the multi-faceted role.
  • A community of practice in which scholars explore and discuss best practices in leadership, scholarship and pedagogy, share their own experiences of these things and are enriched be the experiences of their colleagues.

Conflict Resolution Skills for Faculty at Large (EIO series)

Develop your conflict resolution skills through a one-day workshop.

Program Overview: Faculty members going about the business of teaching, research, and outreach typically understand what brings about conflict in their role as program/laboratory directors, principal investigators, committee chairs and know that it important to achieve a resolution.  However, it is often challenging for academics to address conflict and simultaneously maintain productive relationships and an inclusive climate.

The program works together with the Cornell Interactive Theater Ensemble to enact common conflicts such as: difficulties with a graduate student or post doc, conflict among a teaching team, lab group or program, performance issues with subordinates, different expectations across a research collaboration, and conflicts with a more senior or more influential faculty member.  These performances serve to spark discussion and skill development for academics.

Program Goals:

  • Explore an approach to conflict resolution that recognizes and addresses both individual and institutional needs.
  • Practice using the approach with cases similar in situation and degree of emotion, which you might encounter.
  • Become acquainted with university resources available to help you address conflict.

Program Details:

Duration: Full day session (8.30 am to 4.30 pm) 

Schedule: twice per year

Location: varies, central campus

Seats available: Capped at 20 persons

Registration:  Contact Pam Strausser at, phone 607 254 1525. 

Management Institute for Academic Professionals (FACDEV400)

Sponsored by the VP of Human Resources and Cornell University Libraries, this certificate bearing program is designed for Academic Professionals who periodically lead projects, labs,  initiatives, or classes and formally or informally direct the activities of staff, students, external constituents, or volunteers. The focus is on development of intentional behaviors that foster respectful and inclusive human dynamics in the academic context through discussion and case analysis. The Institute is organized as an intensive immersion when classes are not in session. The Institute is organized as a three-day immersion when classes are not in session. Certificates are awarded at program completion.

  • Audience: Academic Professionals (Research and Extension Associates, Lecturers, Instructors, Scientists and Scholars, Librarians and Archivists)
  • Location: 100 Mann Library
  •  Cost: $25 

Registration is capped at  20.

Registration:  Contact Pam Strausser at, phone 607 254 1525. 

Post Doctoral Leadership Program

Post Doctoral Leadership ProgramLeadership involves effectively engaging people to work together to achieve organizational, political or social goals. Skill in this arena is a critical factor in organizational and career success. Every postdoc, no matter what field of endeavor, will face a variety of complex leadership challenges. How these challenges are met will have a significant impact on the postdoc’s career and life. 

Cosponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies and the VP of Human Resources, this 10-session program uses lecture, discussion, simulations and cases to introduce postdocs to key concepts and skills of leadership in today’s complex environment. It provides a practical forum to assess and develop personal leadership skills in self-knowledge, individual and group dynamics, power, the importance of organization structure and context and the role of communication in conflict resolution, team function and change.

Contact: Christine Holmes, Director Post Doctoral Studies

Schedule: September through April

Issue-Specific Services

In addition to formal programming for academic professionals, faculty and chairs, coaching and consultation is available on the following topics:

  • Department climate assessment and consultation on climate improvement 
  • Conflict management
  • Cultural fluency and inclusion dynamics
  • Team development & optimization (teams that include faculty, academic and non- academic staff, post-doctoral staff, and students)  
  • Change management
  • Strategic planning
  • Working with committees (structure, charge, process) Individual coaching
  • Developmental 360 assessments
  • Human dynamics in research collaborations
  • Influencing across different power structures
  • Process consulting/retreat design and facilitation
  • Managing performance issues

Contact Pam Strausser at, phone 607 254 1525.