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.


Email to be added to the waitlist.

Pre-approved for 7.5 HRCI and SHRM business credit hours.

Sunday, October 20 | 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 21 | 7:00-8:15 a.m.

$263 for CUPA-HR Members | $310 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

During this year’s CHRO Summit (Sunday all day and Monday morning), we will focus on our critically important roles as higher education leaders. To be impactful chief HR officers, we must always seek to understand the key drivers for higher education and our institutions. Come prepared to interact with thought-provoking speakers, build upon your network of CHRO colleagues, and address both our current challenges and those future challenges that are looming on the horizon.

This year we are joined by keynote speaker and innovative thinker Whitney Johnson. This is an incredible opportunity to engage with her in a small-group setting. The summit sells out every year, so be sure to register early!

Topics for this year’s summit include:

  • Top Higher Education Challenges – The summit will open with discussion of current challenges impacting higher education and how campuses are responding to these challenges. We will also discuss how HR can lead or help lead the discussions and actions being taken by campus leaders. Be prepared to share your thoughts and ideas.
    Andy Brantley, President and CEO, CUPA-HR; John Whelan, Vice President for Human Resources, Indiana University
  • Student Enrollment Cliff – Many campuses are already struggling with student enrollment and student retention. As we approach the student enrollment “cliff” in 2025, how do we, as HR leaders, lead and facilitate discussions and create actions to prepare for the impact that these changes will have on the higher education workforce?
    Mike Reilly, Executive Director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO); John Whelan, Vice President for Human Resources, Indiana University
  • Being Strategic Institutional Leaders Strategic HR comes from connecting our work back to the larger institution’s priorities. In order to be strategic HR leaders, we must thoroughly understand the “business” of higher education and our institutions.  We’ll discuss what this means to us and how we embrace this responsibility.
    Donna Popovich, Executive Director Human Resources, University of Tampa; John Whelan, Vice President for Human Resources, Indiana University
  • Executive First, HR Second – Creating a people vision and strategy that is consistent with the changing workforce needs of the enterprise and the market is the key responsibility of the CHRO. But so is creating an effective partnership with your executive peers. In this session we will discuss the competencies for being a strategic partner while maintaining a role in executive team development and success. As an HR executive you have access to information from and about other executives, including your president/chancellor, that sometimes challenges these relationships. We’ll discuss how developing yourself as an executive first, HR second, will make you more effective in your current role, and position you for other executive roles.
    Amy King, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Centura Health; Betsy Rodriguez, Senior Vice President/CHRO, Human Resources, Children’s Hospital Colorado 
  • Succession Planning – Creating and sustaining a pipeline for talent at all levels of our organizations is a significant challenge. We’ll begin with a quick tour of campus to highlight areas where incumbents tend to be older, and areas that seem to be experiencing the highest turnover. We will then share some best practices and discuss key challenges that we as CHROs should work on together.
    Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources, University At Buffalo, State University of New York; John Whelan, Vice President for Human Resources, Indiana University
  • Q&A With Whitney Johnson In addition to being a keynote speaker at this year’s conference, Whitney Johnson is a best-selling author, executive and performance coach, and management consultant.
    Whitney Johnson, CEO, WLJ Advisors; John Whelan, Vice President for Human Resources, Indiana University

Flagship Sponsor: 

Also Sponsored by:              


HR’s Role in Creating a Welcoming Campus That Celebrates Difference – SOLD OUT

Email to be added to the waitlist.

Pre-approved for 5.5 HRCI and SHRM credit hours.

Sunday, October 20 | 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

$211 for CUPA-HR Members | $288 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

What does a culture that welcomes, learns from and celebrates differences among people look like, and how can HR drive the dialogue, lead the way toward a respectful environment, and offer swift and sustainable solutions for everyone? These are the questions we’ll explore during this popular full-day workshop. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from partners across campus and join in-depth discussion with a panel of higher ed HR leaders.


During our morning segment, we’ll discuss how institutions can restore their commitment to diversity and rebuild community from the American Council on Education (ACE). In addition, we’ll be joined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association IHR and the University of New Hampshire Powerplay in learning about how to address and resolve difficult and emotional conflicts and build relationships. Our workshop setting will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to ask questions and discuss the insights shared by our speakers.

Creating a welcoming campus begins with creating a culture of mutual respect, a challenge that HR is uniquely positioned to champion. However, not all campuses are starting from the same place, and HR sometimes wrestles with how to assume authority and take action. During the afternoon segment, we’ll hear from a panel of HR leaders from across the country who are addressing the issue of respect on their campuses, and the impact it has had on campus climate discussions and solutions.

Panelists and participants will also identify and discuss:

  • In what stage the institutions are making campus climate, inclusion and respect a priority. All three foci are deeply integrated but may be approached with different levels of urgency.
  • What is okay and not okay to say and talk about on campus. How do we broach sensitive topics with respect, civility and openness without putting others on the defensive or shutting them out of the conversation all together?
  • How social and campus movements have impacted discussion and action.
  • How to work with other campus leaders on various climate and inclusion solutions.

Dr. Sorrell is a keynote speaker at this year’s conference and the longest-serving president in the 146-year history of Paul Quinn College.

You can expect to leave this workshop with practical approaches that you can take back to your campus to address these challenges and establish and maintain a culture of mutual respect.

Barbara Abercrombie, Chief Human Capital Officer, University of North Texas System; Lorelle Espinosa, Vice President for Research, American Council on Education (ACE); Kathy-Ann Hart, University of New Hampshire PowerPlay; Quint Hill, Assistant Vice Chancellor of HR Administration & System Office HR Director, University System of Georgia; Suong Ives, Managing Director of Human Resources, NCAA; Pierre Joanis, Vice President for Human Resources, Bucknell University; John Martin, Director, Client Services, Princeton University; Susan Norton, Vice President for Human Resources, Augusta University; Larry Robertson, Director of HR for Benefits, Compensation and HR Systems, Collin College, and Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, President, Paul Quinn College

Sponsored by: 


DataOnDemand: The Workshop (Morning OR Afternoon Session Available)

Sunday, October 20 | 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 20 | 12:30-3:30 p.m.

$160 for CUPA-HR Members | $211 for Nonmembers
Please Note: Full conference registration is required to attend this preconference workshop.

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 (DOD) 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, with the research team there to provide one-on-one guidance.

Who Should Attend?

  • New 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

To participate, you must bring a laptop (tablets that are purely touch-screen do not work well), 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, PhD, Director of Research; Melissa Feusting, PhD, Survey Researcher; Sarah Nadel, Survey Researcher; Adam Pritchard, PhD, Senior Survey Researcher, all of CUPA-HR

Sponsored by: 


Understanding Higher Education – SOLD OUT

Pre-approved for 5 HRCI and SHRM credit hours.

Sunday, October 20 | 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

$211 for CUPA-HR Members | $288 for Nonmembers
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 away 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!

David Blake, Vice President of Human Resources, California Western School of Law; Lauren Turner, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor-Human Resources and Organizational Strategy & Effectiveness, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Sponsored by: