National Academic Leaders Retreat

NAL-R Schedule SP 2023 – San Diego

National Academic Leaders Retreat (NAL-R): Final Schedule

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

1 Market Place, San Diego, California, United States, 92101+1 619 232 1234

April 2-4, 2023 (ALL NAL-R Meeting Rooms, Hyatt Regency Torrey Hills A)                          

Please join us for the National Academic Leaders Retreat (NAL-R) for those in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions. This event will be held April 2-4, 2023 in San Diego, CA in collaboration with the CPRS CONNECTIONS Conference & Expo.

Please view the CPRS CONNECTIONS Conference & Expo page for housing information.


Registration is $175.00

CEU’s can be added for an additional $20 for CPRS members/$40 for non-members.

Register Here

This year’s event will be two days of learning, networking, professional growth, with a little self-care and a lot of fun! This two-day conference will offer two tracks, one for the up-and-coming professionals in education (Administrative Core), and one for the seasoned professionals (Specialty) who are ready for that next step.

There will be 2 Session Focus Types (Administrative Core and Specialty/Topical) presented at the retreat.

Administrative Core Sessions open to Academic Leaders: Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Department Directors, Program Directors, Program Coordinators, Emeriti Faculty, and others interested in Academic Leadership. 

Specialty Topic Sessions open to all Educators, Practitioners, Researchers, Vendors, and Students. 

NOTE: If you have questions, please contact meà  Terry Robertson

Tentative Schedule

Tentative Schedule:                              

Sunday, April 2, 2023

6:00-8:00 pm Welcome/Social (all attendees welcome), location TBA.   


Monday, April 3, 2023

7:30 - 8:30 am:            Continental Breakfast/Coffee & Water 

8:30 - 9:00 am:            Welcome and Introductions

9:00 - 9:45 am:            Opening Session: Then and Now Part 1: A Status Update on NL-R from last year(Bill Hendricks, Emeritus Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Ellen Rodgers, Associate Dean, George Mason University, Kelly Bricker, Director, HAITC, Arizona State University, Terry Robertson, Chair, Long Beach State University)

9:45 - 10:00 am:       Short Break

10 – 11:15am             Morning Breakout Sessions

10:00 - 10:45 am:        Academic Accreditation Panel Discussion: Status, Challenges, and Future Directions. (Syd Sklar, Chair, St. Francis University, Terry Long, Chair, NW Missouri State University; others TBA)

10:45 – 11:15 am:       Then and Now Part 2 ((Bill Hendricks, Emeritus Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Ellen Rodgers, Associate Dean, George Mason University, Kelly Bricker, Director, HAITC, Arizona State University, Terry Robertson, Chair, Long Beach State University)

11:30 am - 1:00pm:   Lunch on your Own 

1:00– 1:45 pm:            Building teams for succession: The development and implementation of a two-year program director and department chair training. (Cass Morgan, Associate Dean and Kristin Hadley, Dean; Weber State University)

1:45 – 2:30 pm:           First Year Orientation Programs: Creating Community, Grit, and Meaning (Kelly Bricker, Director, HAITC, Arizona State University)

2:30-2:45 pm:                    Short Break                                                                                                                              

2:45 – 3:30 pm:           Transience: Attracting, retaining, and engaging talent (Veda Ward, Professor; CSU Northridge)         

3:30 - 5:30 pm:            Local Leisure Opportunities, (TBA) (Local Leisure and/or other specific discipline OPTIONS Monday below)                                

5:30 -7:30 pm:             Informal Social, location (TBA)  

(REMINDER OF OTHER specific discipline OPTIONS Monday below) 

8:00am-6:15pm     Recreation Therapy Institute

10:00am-5:00pm   NAYS Academy 

NAYS Academy for Youth Sports Administrators - California Park & Recreation Society Inc (


1:00-5:00 pm Educators section Intensive: Equity in Our Communities – Plans of Action 

1:00-5:00pm          Aging Section Intensive

D&O Symposium - California Park & Recreation Society Inc (

1:00-5:00pm          Aquatics Section Intensive 


Tuesday, April 4, 2023   

7:30 - 8:30 am:            Continental Breakfast and Wrap-up/recognition session.   

8:45 - 9:30 am:            Sustainability of our Professional Organizations (Bill Hendricks, Emeritus Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,  Ellen Rodgers, Associate Dean, George Mason University, Kelly Bricker, Director, HAITC, Arizona State University, Terry Robertson, Chair, Long Beach State University)

9:30am Transition time: Next options below 

9:00  am  - 10:30 am -- CPRS Opening Session Keynote Speaker - Charles Clark 

NOTE: The CPRS Research to Practice Symposium provides a forum to exchange and discuss new knowledge developed through research. The Research to Practice Symposium will be on Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5, 2023, in the expo hall (posters displayed April 4 and April 5, presentations April 5). 


*Schedule Subject to Change

Call for Presenters and Sessions

To submit a session proposal, click here and create a user log-in for access to the proposal system.

The NAL-R Program Committee wants to hear from YOU! We invite you to share your knowledge, experience, and unique perspective. This is your chance to connect, inspire, and to influence the advancement of the park and recreation profession. 

NAL-R and CPRS are committed to providing a retreat program that is thoughtful, insightful and reflects the variety of disciplines (Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions) in higher education, University, College, Department and degree programs and experience levels of educators and administrators in the park and recreation profession.

We are looking for Administrative Core and Special Topical programs (Individual and/or Panel) sessions in the following categories:

  • Leadership, Career & Staff Development
  • Advocacy / Telling the Story
  • Collaboration & Partnership Development
  • Communications, Marketing & Branding
  • Emergency Planning & Preparedness/What is your backup plan?
  • Employee / Volunteer Management/HR
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
  • Health & Wellness
  • Policy, Politics and Problem Solving
  • Practical Solutions 
  • Why be a Dean/Associate Dean/Chair/Director/Program Coordinator?
  • Student and Faculty Success
  • Programming & Evaluations
  • Revenue Development & Management
  • Or surprise us and submit something you believe would be of benefit to others

Session selections will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance & significance of topic to Academic Leaders in PRT and related professions and/or broader discourse in the field regarding successes and challenges
  • Overall quality and clarity of the proposal
  • Timeliness and originality of topic
  • Practical application of material