Susan’s Consulting, Retreats and Team Building

Consulting, Coaching, Department Retreats.
Tapping people’s potential and solving people problems takes sensitivity, creativity and advanced skills. Susan tunes in to clients’ needs and the group’s dynamics and then works closely with clients to define and deliver desired outcomes.

Consulting :

    • Improving campus climate and faculty-staff relationships
    • Improving communication between administrators/managers and employees, faculty and staff, one department and another
    • Implementing a staff Shared Services initiative.
  • Coaching faculty members, administrators, managers, supervisors, staff members or small groups
  • Retreat planning and facilitation for departments and groups.
    • Understanding academic culture and faculty staff-relationships.
    • Creating a positive, can-do team culture.
    • Communication and team building.
Susan is an open and enthusiastic facilitator with a keen understanding of techniques necessary to awaken and reinforce communication skills in others. With her assistance, we made real progress. Michael Sheesley, Director, Employee and Labor Relations, UC Davis
…What is remarkable and unexpected is her striking and deft ability to work with individuals and teams experiencing group conflict. She speaks practically to them and stirs hearts and minds in problem solving. Else Tamayo, Manager of Professional Development and Affirmative Action, University of San Francisco
I heartily recommend Susan Christy as a management consultant. She helped me a great deal in building a more productive management team, intervening and resolving conflicts among members, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and providing supervisory coaching for other staff. Martha Hooven, Director of Administration, Department of Psychiatry/Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, UCSF




Susan’s Programs


Customer Service in an Academic Setting

Presentations, half or full day trainings, webinars, consulting for Shared Services initiatives

People in universities and colleges sometimes resist business language – like customer, marketing, etc. But you have customers! Here is an interactive, practical approach to working skillfully with coworkers, faculty, administrators, students, other departments, etc. Participants learn to focus on customers’ needs, build lasting relationships, and practice strategies that solve problems and get things done on campus.

As a participant, you will:

  • Adopt a customer service orientation.
  • Understand how academic institutions have a different structure and culture from corporations.
  • Identify your customers and their perspectives, needs, pressures and requirements.
  • Appreciate how the dynamics between staff and faculty impact customer service.
  • Build relationships, manage expectations and create results with customers across campus.
  • Handle complaints, say NO, deliver bad news, and defuse angry customers and complainers.
  • Defuse conflict and difficult situations

Customer Service in an Academic Setting has been customized for:

  • Research universities, Teaching universities, Technical universities, Public and Private universities, Community Colleges, Higher Education conferences
  • Medical School, Business School, Nursing School, Dental School, Teaching Hospitals, Law School, School of Agriculture
  • Staff in individual academic departments (e.g., Physics, Environmental Science, Psychiatry, Pulmonary Care, Biology, Thoracic Surgery, Viticulture and Enology)
  • Human Resources, Contracts and Grants, Development, Employee Relations, Physics, Controller’s Office, Dean’s Office, Medical Records, Hospital Information Systems, Bursars Office, Research Administration, Library, Housing, Material Management, Facilities.
  • Shared Services staff and managers.
The staff was thrilled to have such a productive and motivating day. Susan created an environment in which employees took some important risks. I myself learned about how I could interact with them more effectively. Since the retreat, we have made great strides. Mary E. Kitchen, Manager, Dept. of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis
Susan’s efforts with us these past three years have significantly improved our internal communication and promoted a strong understanding by our employees for effective client service communication techniques. Geraldine M. Jessup, Assistant Director, California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System

The staff was thrilled to have such a productive and motivating day. Susan created an environment in which employees took some important risks. I myself learned about how I could interact with them more effectively. Since the retreat, we have made great strides.Mary E. Kitchen, Manager, Dept. of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis

Managing in an Academic Environment: Skills for Managers and Supervisors


Presentations, half or full day trainings, webinars

Understanding academic structure and culture is key to managing successfully in a college or university. Working with faculty members takes understanding, special approaches and creativity. Empowerment, accountability and team building are keys to success in today’s academic institutions. I provide insights, research results and skills for guiding and supporting people to achieve the best in education, research and organizational effectiveness.

As a participant, you will:

  • Understand how managing in an academic environment is different from managing in corporations and non-profit organizations.
  • Benefit from research on what the world’s best managers do differently.
  • Partner for performance – with employees, faculty members and administrators.
  • Motivate and coach employees.
  • Manage performance and build productive teams.

Managing in an Academic Environment has been customized for:

  • Research universities, Teaching universities, Public and Private universities, Medical School
  • Managers in individual academic departments (e.g., Biology, Engineering, Libraries,)

Working Effectively with Faculty

Presentations, half-day trainings, online course, webinars, consulting with administrators/staff and faculty
It takes strong, productive staff-faculty relationships to create the best in education, research and organizational effectiveness. Working with faculty members takes understanding, special approaches and creativity. It helps to understand the structure and culture of academic institutions, faculty work-styles and priorities, and how to get things done on campus. This interactive speech or training offers many practical, positive strategies and tips for working with faculty in a variety of university and college settings.


As a participant, you will:

  • Understand how working with faculty is different from boss-subordinate relationships in other organizations.
  • Assess the opportunities and challenges of working with faculty.
  • Learn about faculty communication and work styles, priorities, roles, needs and pressures.
  • Gain strategies to orient and communicate with faculty, manage their expectations, help them follow administrative procedures and partner for their success – and yours.
  • Build your resources and relationships.
  • Explore ways to deal with stress and conflict – theirs and yours.
  • Define strategies to understand and approach difficult faculty members.
  • Appreciate the value of your contributions and key role on campus.

Working Effectively with Faculty has been customized for:

  • Research universities, Teaching universities, Technical universities, Public and Private universities, colleges, Higher Education conferences
  • Medical School, Law Schools, School of Education, School of Agriculture
  • Staff in individual academic departments (e.g., Human Resources, Surgery, Education, Engineering, Environmental Health and Safety, Libraries, Ambulatory Care, Bioengineering, Plant Pathology)
  • Student Services, Business Officers, Laboratory Managers, Human Resources, Research Administration, Library.
  • Shared Services staff and managers.
  • Lean management leaders.
  • Post-docs in Science and Medicine
  • Faculty Chairs and faculty – Leadership training, staff-faculty relationships.
Because of her history of work with the University, Susan understands the dynamics of interrelationships with the campus community. She is intuitive about people and quickly establishes rapport, and she enjoys a good reputation with managers and employees alike. You will find working with her easy, beneficial and rewarding.Mary Roberts, Business Information and Technology Services, UCSF

  • You nailed the behavior patterns very well. I like the way you get the point across that faculty are different and a different approach is needed.
  • Dr. Christy was amazing: dynamic, engaging, lots of good useable information.
  • Personal experience shared was great. Thank you, Dr. Christy, for keeping it “real”
  • Your research and preparation made for a good presentation.
  • “Communicate with Faculty” section was great.
  • This should be required for every new employee.
  • Feedback from Stanford University half-day programs

Susan’s Online Training Programs