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Defining Your Niche With The Northeast Conference’s Noreen Morris

Guest Noreen Morris, Northeast Conference
26:01 min watch


Northeast Conference Commissioner Noreen Morris sits down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2023 Women Leaders Convention to discuss the addition of new institutions to the league, executive communication with constituents and staff and defining your niche as a leader. Morris describes her process for aligning the conference office with the strategic priorities of the institutions in the NEC, including how she prepares for one-on-one conversations with high-level stakeholders such as presidents or chancellors and how those strategies trickle down to the way she communicates with her own staff. Morris also considers her niche among conference commissioners, calling her relationship building her “superpower.”

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - What does this convention mean to you?
  • - The NEC recently announced the addition of Le Moyne College. During the announcement, you mentioned there was academic, athletic and community alignment between Le Moyne and the NEC. What was the process for defining fit for this new addition?
  • - How do you navigate the different institutional personalities between the NEC presidents, who are some of your key constituents?
  • - How do you make an immediate impact in a meeting with a president? What are you strategies for conducting an efficient yet effective meeting with a league president? 
  • - When you're on the other side of the table and have a staffer coming in to meet with you... how do you like to be prepared or prepped for a big, strategic conversation?
  • - Was there ever a point in your career where you felt you had to be more of a micromanager as a leader?
  • - How do you manage when members of your team need expectations communicated in different ways?
  • - Is it the responsibility of the leader or the staffer to be the lead in communicating those kinds of needs?
  • - How do you build in purpose to your everyday tasks? 
  • - How have you carved out a niche for the NEC? How do you continually define and refine that definition and how do you tell that story?
  • - How have you carved out a niche for yourself and your specific leadership style?
  • - How important is it for you to continue your professional development? We sometimes think of professional development as something reserved for early-career or mid-level administrators.
  • - What's an example of a way you brought your team together in college and a way you've brought your team together at the NEC?