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Leading in Higher Education

Leading in Higher Education

Senior University Administrators Course

The Senior University Administrators Course (SUAC) has been part of the higher education administration landscape for over 30 years. Revised annually, it embraces an integrated approach to the multi-faceted challenges facing today’s university leaders. The program utilizes an active learning approach by taking full advantage of the wealth of skills and experience that participants and course leaders bring to the program.

SUAC 2018

SUAC 2018 will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba from June 10-15, 2018

Hotel room booking:

Inn at the Forks
75 Forks Market Road
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0A2

Call 1-877-377-4100 to book and quote the group reservation number 331472 to receive the special rate being offered.

What to expect

Senior academic leaders face a formidable array of challenges ranging from fiscal constraints to accountability along with new budget models and an evolving educational context. SUAC 2018 will provide a valuable opportunity for administrators to reconcile leadership goals with accomplishments, or to assess and renew leadership skills. It will consider the major issues and trends impacting higher education, share essential techniques for managing the interpersonal aspects of an academic leadership role, and provide the specific tools to assist in managing day-to-day operational needs. Led by a team with extensive senior university experience, the program will incorporate case studies, interactive presentations, discussions, and one-on-one consultations. In recognition that participants will bring varying perspectives and represent a diverse range of institutions a community of practice approach to learning will be implemented.

Who is the Program for?

SUAC is appropriate for senior post-secondary leaders with significant responsibility for strategy and policy matters. Individuals with senior decision-making responsibilities in both academic and professional roles are accepted, including:

  • Presidents, Rectors and Principals
  • Provosts, Vice-Presidents and Associate Vice-Presidents
  • Deans, Associate Deans
  • Registrars, Chief Librarians and Senior Directors of Services

Program Objectives

The goal of SUAC is to bring together a rich mixture of participants and course leaders from various institutional, disciplinary and professional backgrounds to create a unique opportunity to work on topics of common interest. The benefit of shared insights and experiences will enable participants to develop new approaches to personal practice.

Key Topic Areas

  • Academic Leadership: Leadership essentials, professional responsibility and performance management, mentoring, recruitment and onboarding, dealing with difficult situations.
  • Evolving Context: Major trends in Canadian and global higher education
  • Planning and Managing the Operational Needs of Your Unit: Strategic and integrated planning, budgeting and resource management models, responsibility-centered management, prioritizing programs and leveraging resources, risk identification, assessment and accountability.
  • Managing Change: Leading and implementing change in academic institutions, challenges to governance and working in a multi-union environment.
  • Indigenization: University responses to the TRC
  • Emerging student issues: Understanding and responding to student needs.

Instructional Team

  • Dr. Michael Atkinson, (former Provost and Vice-President Academic), Professor, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr. Maureen Mancuso, (former Provost and Vice-President Academic), Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph

Guest Presenters

  • Peter MacKinnon, former President University of Saskatchewan
  • Bonnie Patterson, former President and CEO Ontario Council of Universities, former President, Trent University
  • Katherine Frank, Partner Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette
  • Kevin Lamoureux, National Education Lead, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba. Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg
  • David Attis, Managing Director of Strategic Research, EAB
  • Brenda Whiteside, AVP Student Affairs, University of Guelph

Delivery Methods

5-day residency program in a select city in Canada
All course materials are provided virtually along with pre-course readings and materials.


$4,000 CDN (includes tuition, course materials, refreshments, and some meals)


Participants are nominated to SUAC by their home institutions. Universities and colleges can nominate individuals who have records of achievement in their academic or professional work, people who are motivated to enhance their leadership skills, and/or those who are interested in the benefits to be obtained from attending a specialized leadership development program.

Apply now and secure a place at SUAC 2018.


Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Applicants will be notified within one week of submission of application regarding acceptance. Late applications may be accepted depending upon availability of space.



SUAC 2017 Highlights

“Every new Dean should be required to take this course.”

“SUAC fulfilled all of my requirements – leadership training, an opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country, and a chance to reenergize and remind myself about the importance of the work that I do.”

“Sound leadership is best learned through example and shared wisdom. SUAC provides both.”

“Working at post-secondary institutions is all about relationships. SUAC provides both content and understanding more relationships. Highly recommended!”

Past Participants' Comments