Academic Leadership Competency Model

RIT's Academic Leadership Competency Model was created and approved by Deans and senior leadership. Department chairs and unit heads perform a variety of functions that are vital to RIT. They are leaders who work closely with faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure the quality of our academic programs and work to help students succeed in those programs. It's a challenging position, and while we have confidence in the people asked to fill this role, few will come into the job with all of the skills needed to carry out the myriad tasks that they will face everyday. We hope the competency model and the tools provided on this site serve as valuable resources to you. Download a copy of the competency model.

RIT 360° Leadership Skills Inventory

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard

RIT has partnered with the SUNY SAIL Institute ( to offer a 360° (multi-observer) survey for your individual professional development. The 360° assessment provides confidential feedback on competencies common to college leadership, providing you with useful feedback to help you understand and develop current and aspirational leadership competencies. Feedback can help you develop professionally and personally -- all faculty are welcome whether you are in a leadership position, or aspire to be a leader!

The 360° Leadership Skills Inventory opportunity includes an orientation workshop where you will prepare how to use the tool, a debrief workshop where you will unpack the results of your assessment, and an opportunity for private career coaching. If you are interested in this opportunity, contact the Faculty Development team at

Participant Feedback:
  • The 360° process was very useful. The results will help me develop skills that need attention and it showed me what my observers value.
  • The process was very useful…it provided 25 individuals who work with me with an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback from which I can learn and grow.
  • The 360° brought several issues in my performance and how it is perceived by others to my attention.
  • The instructional seminars at the start and end of the survey were very helpful. I found it valuable and useful.
  • A 360 is a much better tool than an upward appraisal as it allows you to get a broader range of input; always good to get feedback every few years to keep on track.

RIT Libraries

The RIT Libraries provides a variety of resources; among those most useful for Department Head Leadership Development is:

The Department Chair - RIT Libraries has recently added this publication to its collection of online journals. The Department Chair is an award-winning periodical featuring in-depth articles that deliver sound insight and proven strategies essential for successfully leading an academic department. It is a unique resource for chairs, deans, academic vice presidents, and other administrators, delivering practical information in every issue. Click here for direct access.

RIT Center for Professional Development (CPD)

CPD offers a variety of workshops related to leadership and management. The courses below are required for all RIT managers, including Department Heads: