Preconference Workshops

Register for a Preconference Workshop

To register for a preconference workshop, simply select the workshop of your choice on the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo registration form. If you have already registered for the conference, please call the CUPA-HR office at 877-287-2474 to sign up for a  preconference workshop.

Full conference registration is required to attend a preconference workshop.


To be added to a waitlist, e-mail

Pre-approved for 6.5 HRCI and SHRM business credit hours.

Sunday, October 7 | 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. | Rooms 101-102
(Continental breakfast and boxed lunch are included) 
Monday, October 8 | 7:00-8:15 a.m. | Rooms 101-102
(Continental breakfast is included) 

$255 for CUPA-HR Members | $300 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

The CHRO Summit is a two-day workshop (Sunday all day and Monday morning) that offers chief HR officers the opportunity to interact with thought-provoking speakers and one another. These two sessions will challenge your assumptions, help you build a network of colleagues, and give you practical takeaways to turn ideas and conversations into action on campus. This year’s CHRO Summit will explore a range of institutional leadership topics, including talent management, campus culture, performance management and succession planning. Monday morning’s session will include breakfast with conference keynote speaker Dan Gilbert. The summit sells out every year, so be sure to register early!

Sunday, October 7


  • Campus Climate and the Role of HR
    Representatives from the American Council on Education (ACE) will discuss how campus climate has become an increasing priority for college and university leadership. High-profile campus events and social movements are catalyzing new and renewed efforts, driving dialogue and demanding solutions on how to build and sustain inclusive campus climates. HR has a powerful role to play in these efforts — both in the needed dialogue and in assisting leaders with actions that create change. Presenters will share recent work from ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy on inclusion and freedom of expression. You’ll also get a glimpse into two blog series they assembled: one about campus climate and another about underserved students.

Jennifer Crandall, Senior Policy Research Analyst, and Morgan Taylor, Policy Research Analyst, both of the Center for Policy Research and Strategy, American Council on Education

  • Institutional Leadership Panel
    How are you effectively managing higher ed and higher ed HR issues while also maintaining stable footing in fulfilling your institution’s mission? As an HR pro, you’re tasked with staying focused and determined to get the job done as well as navigating team dynamics, key campus relationships and strategic direction. Panelists will explore higher ed HR issues such as performance management, institutional culture and institutional relationships, and share ways they are realizing the mission and attaining goals.

Michelle Clements, Vice President of HR, Seattle University; Ellen Mahoney, CHRO and Executive Director of HBS Initiatives; Kelli Shuman, Vice President of HR, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Kelley Stuck, Vice President and CHRO, The University of Virginia; and John Whelan, Associate Vice President for HR, Indiana University

  • Facilitated Discussions


  • The Trek to Higher Ed Becoming a Great Place to Work
    Join Michelle Clements as she unpacks the components of what makes an institution a great place to work. Clements joined higher ed two years ago having spent three decades of her career in the retail industry. Most recently, she was the CHRO at Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, which has made the list for past 21 years. Michelle will share four fundamental pillars that serve as a foundation to building a strong employment brand that attracts, engages and retains talent. Explore how higher ed can learn from other industries in achieving this status.

Michelle Clements, Vice President of HR, Seattle University 

  • We’ve Attracted Top Talent, Now What?
    Harvard Business School’s (HBS) philosophy of talent management is best described as an “end to end” process. It begins with a collaborative search strategy for the right talent followed by effective and extended onboarding programs. HBS HR provides intentional and deliberate talent development and career support programs, allowing the school to achieve a measurable and successful balance of organizational and individual performance.

Ellen Mahoney, CHRO and Executive Director of HBS Initiatives, and Peter Martel, Senior Talent Development Consultant, both of Harvard Business School

  • Facilitated Discussions 

Monday, October 8

  • Q&A with conference keynote speaker Dan Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University and Donna Popovich, Executive Director of Human Resources, University of Tampa

Flagship Sponsor:   

Also Sponsored by:                 PeopleAdmin


A Culture of Mutual Respect

Pre-approved for 4.75 HRCI and SHRM credit hours.

Sunday, October 7 | 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. | Rooms 103-104
(Continental breakfast and boxed lunch are included) 

$205 for CUPA-HR Members | $280 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

Creating a culture of mutual respect on campus is a constant challenge and one that HR can champion. Recent movements are good reminders that we must share and discuss stories of sexual harassment, assault and bullying to help us sustain campus cultures grounded in mutual respect. Changing culture typically involves an evolutionary process. It is hard, it’s time-consuming, and it often requires a bit of discomfort. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to embrace the discomfort, look at where we can make a difference in words, actions and behaviors, and move beyond solely a compliance-focused approach to eradicate bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.


  • Civility
    You’ve heard it before and may even believe it yourself — many people feel that the workplace is angrier than ever and civility has been lost. In this kick-off session, presenters will engage participants to define civility and incivility (It’s more than “I know it when I see it.”) to create a framework for the discussions, highlight actions you can take on campus and best practices you can share with your colleagues. You’ll leave this session with practical approaches that you can take back to your campus to address these issues and enable and maintain a culture of mutual respect.

John Martin, Director of Client Services, Princeton University, and Emily Springston, University Director of Institutional Equity & Title IX, Indiana University

  • The Student Life Perspective
    Students are often at the forefront of efforts to move campuses forward on equity and inclusion issues. Their protests have driven significant change at institutions across the country in recent years, and they show no sign of letting up the near future. Because student affairs administrators often have the most student contact and connections, collaboration between these administrators, student activists, student groups and chief diversity officers can help prevent campus crises and help institutions heal when crises do arise. Come explore the importance of collaborating on equity and inclusion issues from a student affairs administrator’s perspective.

Monica Nixon, Assistant Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, NASPA – Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

  • Speed Round Discussions

Quint Hill, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and CHRO, University System of Georgia Office


  • Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue:  Proposing a New Framework for Employee Engagement Groups that Creates the Marriage of Engagement, Retention and Innovation
    Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have long been an initiative to support diverse identities and experiences of employees within the workplace. Over the years, ERGs have been framed and purposed in multiple typologies including affinity-based, employee resource, business resource and social network groups. With an underlying theme of providing voluntary social, employee-led groups, the ERG initiative has not existed without its share of controversy or question. The current social-political environment has led to increasingly divided philosophies and isolated coalitions meaning now, more than ever, diversity practitioners and human resource leaders must challenge the widening gaps to bring colleagues together in support of increased engagement, effectiveness and productivity. In this session, presenters will share the NCAA’s recent development of a framework for Employee Engagement Groups to strengthen and enhance employee value, buy-in and pride as an extension of the organization’s internal climate development and assessment initiatives.

Tiffany Payne, and Sonja Robinson, Director of Inclusion, both of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

  • Round Table Discussions
    This afternoon segment will be dedicated to summarizing the morning’s key remarks and findings related to civility and respect on campus from staff, faculty and student perspectives. Discussions will be centered around how high-profiled events and movements are not only starting the conversation and driving the dialogue on campuses, but how they are also getting us closer to solutions for inclusive campus climates. Some #MeToo movement facts and issues could be addressed along with important takeaways to employ immediately on campus.

Pamela Prescod-Caesar, Vice President of Human Resources, Swarthmore College

  • One Mission, One Goal, One Team
    This session will share how to create a culture that values and respects all team members.

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, Keynote Speaker

Sponsored by:

DataOnDemand: The Workshop (Morning OR Afternoon Session Available)

Sunday, October 7 | 8:30-11:30 a.m. | Room 107
(Continental breakfast is included)
Sunday, October 7 | 12:30-3:30 p.m. | Room 107

$155 for CUPA-HR Members | $205 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

Who Should Attend?

  • New DataOnDemand (DOD) users who aren’t sure where to begin
  • Experienced DOD users who want to dive deeper into what DOD can do
  • Anyone who would love to get in-person guidance on using DOD from the CUPA-HR research team

Learn how to be your institution’s HR data hero by attending this half-day workshop on CUPA-HR’s comprehensive data tool, DataOnDemand.

DataOnDemand gives you access to so much more than salary data! In this hands-on workshop, you’ll explore how to use DOD to inform strategic decisions on budgeting, salary increases, hiring, retention, diversity, turnover and more. Join CUPA-HR’s research team as they demonstrate everything from creating comparison groups and running reports to interpreting and presenting data. Then try your hand at it using your own computer and DOD access with the research team there to provide one-on-one guidance.

To participate, you must bring a laptop, and your institution must have purchased and provided you with access to at least one DOD subscription. Seating for each half-day workshop is limited to 25, so register soon!

Jackie Bichsel, Director of Research; Jingyun Li, Survey Researcher; Jasper McChesney, Data Visualization Researcher; and Adam Pritchard, Senior Survey Researcher, all of CUPA-HR 

Sponsored by: 

Understanding Higher Education

Pre-approved for 4.75 HRCI and SHRM credit hours (+4.5 hours of e-learning upon completion of CUPA-HR course content).

Sunday, October 7 | 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. | Rooms 204-205

$205 for CUPA-HR Members | $280 for Nonmembers
(Continental breakfast and boxed lunch are included)
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

Created specifically for HR professionals who are new or returning to higher education or those who are moving into a higher-level role that requires a better understanding of higher ed culture or operations, this workshop with additional online content will provide you with the knowledge you need while answering your questions about issues specific to colleges and universities.

Prior to the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Understanding Higher Education e-learning course, which includes sections on:

  • History and Culture of Higher Ed
  • Structure and Governance
  • Practitioner Perspectives

During the in-person workshop, you’ll explore:

  • The environment and culture of higher ed;
  • Ways institutions are classified, organized, structured and governed;
  • Budgetary and financial aspects of colleges and universities;
  • Faculty characteristics;
  • Terms and conditions of employment for administrators and academics;
  • Highly visible issues in higher ed;
  • Important relationships to build and maintain; and
  • A discussion about the future of higher education, how it may affect you and what you can do to prepare

You’ll also take home rich resources for continued education and reference.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with and learn from higher ed HR leaders from across the country who have witnessed many changes over the years in the higher education HR landscape. This workshop sells out every year, so be sure to register early!

Allison Vaillancourt, Vice President, Business Affairs and Human Resources, The University of Arizona, and Yohna Chambers, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Texas Christian University

Sponsored by: