Managing a Departmental Rebirth

with Michael Lango, Gerald Mitchell

About This Course

Taking a new position can be a challenge for professionals at any level, and many face the question, “How do you step into a leadership role within a struggling department, change its reputation, and improve its outcomes?” The presenters will share experiences rejuvenating struggling departments and improving employee performance within public and private universities. 

Accepting a new leadership role comes with many different opportunities and challenges. The presenters of this live briefing will share their experiences accepting roles leading departments that were suffering from poor reputations, a narrow viewpoint of their work, an attitude of “but we have always done it this way…why would we change?”

Utilizing two different frameworks, each professional tackled their leadership challenge and were able to turn things around. One professional used Clark & Estes (2002) Performance Improvement Model and Bolman & Deal’s (2008) Leadership Frames to guide his decision making and actions. The other used Watkins (2013) business model focused on the early period of a career transition. Using these frameworks and strategies, they were able to create sustained change within their departments. This presentation will help leaders at any stage develop a theoretical framework and practical guide to leading change and improving employee performance within their departments. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • be able to analyze and create solutions for departmental challenges and performance issues using Bolman & Deal’s leadership frames and Clark & Estes performance improvement model; and
  • leave with an understanding of Watkins steps to establish themselves in their new role, develop strategic partnerships, and achieve lasting success within their office/division/university.

Accessing the Presentation

Once you complete your registration, you will be able to access the course by clicking on the "Login" button at the top of this page (or any page on

  • You will be asked to login with your NASPA user name and password. Once you have done so, you will hit continue and be redirected to your dashboard in the Online Learning Community.

  • You will find the session listed under "Enrolled."

  • This session is recorded. By clicking into, "Contents," you will find the session recording, resources, and PowerPoint slides. You may view the materials as many times as you'd like, at whatever pace you would like.

  • If you have any difficulty accessing the materials, please contact Jace Kirschner (

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