Managers' Essentials

FAS Managers’ Essentials enhances the capabilities of FAS managers through five modules presented over the academic year. The sessions are designed to be complementary and to build on what is taught in UMT (Universal Manager Training) offered by the Center of Workplace Development in Central HR (a prerequisite to this program).

Each of the Managers’ Essentials modules focuses on a critical management skill or competency and imparts – in a highly interactive manner – the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to enhance that skill or competency. The program also shares HR managing best practices and enables participants to expand their networks with colleagues who participate from across the FAS.

Since its pilot launch in the spring of 2011, more than 200 FAS managers have completed Managers’ Essentials. Past participants have represented a wide spectrum of areas throughout the FAS, including academic departments and centers, institutes, administration and finance departments, and athletics.

FAS Managers' Essentials will not be offered in FY22.  Please check back for more information.

For more information about this program, please contact Kat Bliss, Program Coordinator at


Managers' Essentials is now held on a biennial basis and will be on hold for FY22. 

Competencies Addressed and Topics Covered

  • Accountability.Take responsibility for actions, decisions and deliverables; establish a culture of accountability among direct reports and across the organization.
  • Adaptability. Implement and adjust appropriately to change; seek out and anticipate opportunities where change will improve operational and management effectiveness.
  • Teamwork and collaboration. Create and leverage networks and relationships within departments and across the FAS and University; seek to understand various perspectives and build broad consensus.
  • Embracing change. Identify problems and opportunities for change and implement solutions where appropriate; maintain effectiveness when experiencing major changes; adjust effectively to work with new structures, processes, requirements or cultures.
  • Communication. Clearly and constructively convey information in a manner that engages individuals and groups and helps them understand and retain the message; engage in difficult conversations in a constructive way. Approach communication with heightened listening skills.
  • Developing individuals and teams. Build and support the development of individuals’ and teams’ skills and abilities, in order to meet current and near-future department needs effectively.
  • Motivating and engaging. Clearly communicate the direction of the organization and seek and recognize positive performance and results.
  • Organizational awareness. Gain knowledge of FAS environment, systems, and practices; understand the perspectives of others; recognize and balance the interests of one’s department with those of other departments and across the FAS.
  • Problem solving. Develop practical solutions based on facts, observations, and reasoning that reflect consideration for resources, constraints, organizational values and goals; recognize patterns, connections, and issues, and connect the dots accordingly.

Approach to Learning and Skill Development

FAS Managers' Essentials is designed to maximize participants' ability to learn and internalize newly-gained knowledge and skills in their management role.

  • Interactive, hands-on learning. Learning occurs best in an active, engaging context. Each session is highly interactive, with lively discussion and plentiful opportunities to practice newly-learned skills through role-playing and other actions. Learning activities are completed by individuals, in pairs, groups, and as teams.
  • Opportunity to hear from other managers. Participants will learn directly from peers and more experienced managers through open and informal dialogues and invited FAS guest speakers.
  • Assignments. Take home work will include readings about upcoming topics and prompts to guide participants in processing the program’s lessons.
  • Introduction to HR colleagues. Participants have the opportunity to build relationships with HR consultants who co-facilitate and participate in modules.
  • Practical application within personal situations. Rather than being expected to absorb information “in a vacuum,” participants are encouraged to discuss their own workplace challenges and view them through the lens of each presented topic.
  • Useful learning resources. Participants will receive books and articles for continuing learning and reference.
  • Creation of networks within FAS, for ongoing mutual support. Through their regular interactions and joint learning, participants naturally find among themselves a genuine cohort community from which they can draw support for future management challenges.