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Your leaders hired you to help them find the right words, but words alone won’t get them through the confounding, compounding perils of leading universities today.

What other tools can you bring to bear on behalf of your leaders, and how can you convince them to let you help?

Find out at Leadership Communication Days—College & University Edition, at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, March 17 and 18, 2022. You’ll get perspective, swap best practices and soak in the wisdom of your peers over two intensive days of structured, candid conversation with the top leadership communication professionals at major institutions of higher learning.

You’ll explore:

  • University leadership communications at a time when championing the values and mission of higher education is more difficult than ever—and important. Skeptics and critics of universities dominate the news, attacking universities for “cancel culture,” questioning their costs to families and students and belittling their research and scholarship. As university communicators, we share a deep appreciation for how much universities contribute to society and to democracy. How can we more effectively communicate the true value of universities in these increasingly fragmented and cynical times?
  • Leadership communication after COVID. University speechwriters are breathing a sigh of relief over the steady return to in-person speeches and events. But as the worst impacts of the pandemic recede, it’s worth pausing to think about lingering effects on leadership communications. What has COVID taught us about executive communications? What has worked well—and what should we kick to the curb?
  • How, especially in the wake of pandemic grind, do we maintain our own personal motivation and faith in higher education? To do our jobs well, we have to remain enthusiastic advocates for universities and for our leaders, but doing so can be tough in an environment of constant criticism and questioning of university leadership and direction. Find out what your colleagues do to keep their minds and spirits strong—and share your own go-to methods of staying fresh and keeping the faith.

You’ll also get an intimate look at the leadership communication operation at one of the nation’s great public universities—including the view from University of Florida’s President Kent Fuchs, who will join us for a conversation. And we’ll talk with Ann Searight Christiano, director of the University of Florida’s pioneering Center for Public Interest Communications, about the role that speeches and other leadership communications have in making, or undermining, constructive social change.

But mostly, you and your colleagues will do the talking. In an agenda created by participants, you will share your best ideas for making this work more manageable, effective and rewarding. And you’ll bare your biggest problems, and get help from the only other people in the world who understand.

Over these two days, you’ll discuss all your professional issues, no matter how unique-to-you they may seem. Because here among your friends, the personal is almost always universal.

What you can expect at Leadership Communication Days—and afterward

This is the fourth College & University Edition of Leadership Communication Days. The first three included communicators to leaders from University of Michigan, Michigan State, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Duke University, Stanford University, Georgetown University, The University of Delaware, Wayne State, Johns Hopkins, Seton Hall, The University of Texas, Williams College, Grinnell College, Cornell, and other schools large and small.

They frankly discussed every aspect of their work and their careers, from their relationship with the boss to the meaning of the work. And they made friends: Alums from those meetings are in touch with one another and compare notes and shares opportunities regularly. A number of them will return for this meeting of Leadership Communication Days.

Join them, and you’ll gain more than ideas out of these two days of meetings and coffee breaks and drinks and a sponsored dinner. You’ll gain permanent friends, helpful colleagues and a professional safety net—making a sometimes lonely and difficult business more meaningful and rewarding.


To make sure everyone has a chance to participate fully, we’re capping attendance at 20.


The cost for Leadership Communication Days is $1,995, with 25% off for members of the Professional Speechwriters Association. Register now to make sure you get your seat at what could be a once-in-a-career opportunity.

Hotel Suggestion

We recommend the AC Hotel Gainesville Downton Marriott, located across the street from the UF main campus. To register under the room block, please click here or call (352) 792-1151 and reference “UF March 2022 UFOP.” We cannot guarantee room availability after the cut-off date of February 16 or once the discounted room block is sold out.

Other nearby hotel options include Hotel Eleo at UF, the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center and the Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville Downtown.

Daily Schedule

Each day of Leadership Communication Days runs from 9am-5pm at the University Auditorium Friends of Music room, 333 Newell Drive, at the heart of the University of Florida campus. Drinks and dinner, sponsored by UF and the Professional Speechwriters Association, will take place Thursday evening at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the Earl and Christy Powell University House, 2151 West University Avenue.

Covid Considerations

The University of Florida strongly encourages masks and vaccination but does not require them. We ask that all participants in Leadership Communication Days be vaccinated; masks won’t be required during our meetings.


$1995 to attend Leadership Communication Days EDU, March 17-18 2022, in Gainesville FL.

$1496.25 for members of the Professional Speechwriters Association (discount will show in checkout when logged in).

Phone registrations please call 312-585-6383

Cancellations Policy 

No refunds on cancellations less than 30 days before the event. Within 30 days, your payment will be credited toward a future Vital Speeches or Professional Speechwriters Association event.