Emory Report
May 5, 2008
Volume 60, Number 30


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May 5, 2008
Program to grow academic leadership

Kim Urquhart

Emory’s academic leaders will have the opportunity to develop and renew their skill sets through a new program designed to strengthen academic leadership across the University and establish a leadership pipeline for succession planning.

The Academic Leadership Program is accepting nominations this summer from faculty members and academic administrators for the inaugural class, which begins this fall.

“This new program was specifically created around what Emory views as its leadership competencies for academic faculty, and will be used to help Emory develop a deeper leadership core,” said Vice President of Human Resources Peter Barnes.

The comprehensive training program is designed to develop the leadership capacities of newly appointed department, division and program heads and to renew the skills and enthusiasm of experienced heads.

“In academia, leaders are often chosen for excellent scholarship, and they sometimes have gaps in their training with respect to people skills, financial management, or strategic planning,” said Santa Ono, vice provost for academic initiatives. “The Academic Leadership Program will help ensure that such gaps are addressed for the benefit of both the leader and his or her faculty and students.”

The 10-month program is comprised of a specific sequence of workshops, coaching and applied learning designed to accelerate leadership development. The program is focused not only on the business of the University, said Barnes, but on the subtlety of the academy. Topics will include ethics, Emory history, leadership development, strategic planning, university finance and departmental budgeting, faculty development, promotion and tenure, teaching and assessment, performance reviews and conflict management.

A major goal of the Academic Leadership Program is to develop Emory’s “home-grown” talent, said Ono. “Many of our peers such as Harvard, Yale, Michigan and Princeton have for many years generated an internal pipeline of academic leaders who assume positions of increasing responsibility,” he said. “This has helped with retention of talented individuals, results in institutional memory with respect to strategic directions, and creates an atmosphere that one can grow within the institution. It is also cost effective.”

As with Emory’s other popular professional development offerings such as Excellence Through Leadership, the new program is already generating interest around campus, said Director of Learning Services Wanda Hayes, who expects a competitive nomination process.

“We hope the Academic Leadership Program will become a signature of Emory and will be consistently offered here every year,” added Barnes.