VCU Leadership Development Program

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About

The Virginia Commonwealth University Leadership Development Program is a 10-month program designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and experience of current and emerging leaders at VCU who represent the academic and administrative units of the University and the VCU Health System.

During this program, participants learn about VCU’s structure and leadership, address both local and national issues in higher education, examine their own leadership strengths and challenges, meet with a mentor from senior administration/faculty, and immerse themselves in team projects for the benefit of the University.

The program stresses that the improvement of leadership skills, behaviors, competencies, and practices requires knowledge acquisition, professional skill development, and feedback. Therefore, the focus is on providing participants with conceptual information, practical applications, and a variety of methods for enhancing their performance.

The VCU Leadership Development Program focuses on:

  • Knowledge about the University, its mission, and vision
  • Knowledge about higher education issues from national and state perspectives
  • Skills in leading others engaged in the delivery of quality services and programs
  • Commitment to sustaining an organizational climate at the University that is focused on quality, responsiveness, and inclusive

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Program Objectives

The VCU Leadership Development Program stresses that the improvement of leadership skills, behaviors, competencies, and practices requires knowledge acquisition, professional skill development, and feedback. Therefore, the program focuses on providing participants with conceptual information, practical applications, and a variety of methods for enhancing their performance.

The VCU Leadership Development Program curriculum is designed to:

  • Deepen participants’ knowledge of VCU, its structure, mission, and vision
  • Build a sense of community among participants to strengthen their network of colleagues at VCU
  • Increase participants’ knowledge about higher education issues from state and national perspectives
  • Develop participants’ skills in leading others engaged in the delivery of quality services and programs
  • Enhance leaders’ self-knowledge to clarify their plans for ongoing leadership development
  • Strengthen participants’ commitment to sustaining an organizational climate at the University that is focused on quality, responsiveness, and inclusion

Program Highlights

The VCU Leadership Development Program curriculum has four key components:

  1. Development of professional leadership skills
    At the program’s start, participants will complete an intensive leadership assessment, including personality style inventories and 360° Feedback. Throughout the program, participants will examine the ways in which their individual styles and behaviors impact their colleagues and workplace environment. A significant portion of the interactive sessions and readings will deal with professional leadership skill development.
  2. Interaction with national, state, and university leaders on the subjects of higher education, the medical center, and the university environment
    Participants will learn about the challenges facing institutions of higher education, specifically VCU. University administrators will participate in the program as panelists and discussants with participants. Topics will include a full range of academic, medical center, and administrative issues.
  3. Mentors and protégés
    Participants will have the opportunity to meet individually with a senior-level University leader. Mentors are encouraged to have at least four meetings with participants. During these meetings, mentors and participants may discuss leadership challenges, share perspectives on VCU, and/or focus on the individual development of the participant.
  4. Team projects
    Each year participants work in teams to address issues of current importance to the University. Together with a team sponsor from upper administration, these interdisciplinary teams carry out a project during the course of the program. The interdisciplinary nature of the teams provides excellent opportunities for learning new perspectives and networking across campuses. Project teams also provide a venue for applying new skills and developing creative strategies for solving problems, as well as a laboratory for working in a diverse team. 

VCU Leadership Development Program Mentors

Participants in the VCU Leadership Development Program are paired with a senior-level university leader to enhance the participant's leadership development experience; foster university connections across professional levels, disciplines and campuses; support the growth and development of program participants by the sharing of experiences and strategies for success in academia; and provide practical guidance for dealing with professional dilemmas and career progression.

VCU Leadership Development Program Mentors are key decision makers within the university with social and political capital of benefit to the development of the protégés. Mentors who participate in the program are selected based on: their senior experience in a variety of university settings, diversity, professional background, their recognition as successful leaders, and their personal commitment to sharing their professional experiences in the development of others. If you would like to be considered for service as a mentor, please email our office at gehli@vcu.edu.

2019 Mentors

 

Edmund Acevedo

Associate dean for graduate studies
and strategic initiatives

College of Humanities and Sciences

Susan Kornstein

Executive director, Institute for Women's Health

School of Medicine

Barbara Boyan

Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean

College of Engineering

John Kregel

Professor, special education and
disability policy director

School of Education

Christopher Brooks

Coordinator of anthropology

School of World Studies

Larry Little

Vice president of support services and planning

VCU Health System

Sarah Jane Brubaker

Director, Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government
and Public Affairs

Joyce Lloyd

Vice chair of education and professor

Department of Human and Molecular Genetics

Peter Buckley

Dean

School of Medicine

Robyn McDougle

Director, Center for Public Policy

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government
and Public Affairs

Jim Burke

Director, Performance Management Group

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government
and Public Affairs

Aashir Nasim

Vice president for inclusive excellence

Division of Inclusive Excellence

B. Ellen Byrne

Senior associate dean

School of Dentistry

Michael Newsome

Senior associate vice president

Office of Research and Innovation

David Cifu

Associate dean of innovation and system integration

School of Medicine

Kelechi Ogbonna

Associate dean of admission and student services

School of Dentistry

Tina Cunningham

Associate vice president for sponsored program

Office of Research and Innovation

Daphne Rankin

Associate vice provost for strategic enrollment

Division for Strategic Enrollment Management

Maria Curran

Chief experience officer

VCU Health System

Joann Richardson

Associate professor and department chair,
kinesiology and health sciences

College of Humanities and Sciences

Tim Davey

Vice provost for faculty affairs

Office of the Provost

Susan Robb

Senior associate vice president
for research administration and compliance

Office of Research and Innovation

Mike Fallacaro

Director of special projects

College of Health Professions

Mark Rubin

Executive director, Virginia Center for Consensus Building

Office of Continuing and Professional Education

Shelli Fowler

Associate dean

University College

David Sarrett

Dean

School of Dentistry

James Fowlkes

Director, operations

Academic Transofrmation Learning Lab

Bhavna Shroff

Professor and graduate program director, orthodontics

School of Dentistry

Montse Fuentes

Dean

College of Humanities and Sciences

Jamie Stillman

Director of strategic communications

Office of the Provost

Karol Gray

Senior vice president and chief financial officer

Office of the President

Maggie Tolan

Senior associate vice provost for student success

Office of the Provost

Mary Hermann

Associate professor, counseling and special education

School of Education

Susan Torti

Vice president for preoperative services

VCU Health System

Michael Huffman

Director

Office of Continuing and Professional Education

Carolyn Watts

Richard M. Bracken Chair and 
chairman, health administration

College of Health Professions

Heidi Jack

Executive director of academic finance and administration

Office of the Provost

Meredith Weiss

Vice president for administration

Division of Administration 

Tom Klug

Associate vice president of university marketing

Division of University Relations 

Paul Wesolowski

Chief operating officer

VCU Health System

Mentor of the Year

Annually, a "Mentor of the Year" award is given at the conclusion of the program. The awardee is selected by the program's participants and honors the mentor who has made the biggest impact on their protégé.

2018 - Meredith Weiss, vice president for administration, Office of the President

2017- Jihad Aziz, director, University Counseling
           Aashir Nasim, associate vice provost for faculty affairs, Office of the Provost

2016 - Mark Rubin, executive director of the Virginia Center for Consensus Building

2015 - Quincy Byrdsong, vice president for clinical research administration and compliance

2014 - Michael D. Davis, interim vice provost for academic and faculty affairs

2013 - Catherine Howard, vice provost, Division of Community Engagement

2012 - Martha Lou Green, special assistant to the provost for student veteran support

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for participation in the VCU Leadership Development Program?

Any current or emerging leader who represent the academic or administrative departments of the university or the VCU Health System is eligible for nomination from their dean or vice president. This includes administrative faculty, classified staff, teaching and research faculty, hourly employees, law enforcement, clinical faculty, and professional faculty. 

What is the value of the program to tenured/tenure track faculty members?

The program focus is on providing participants with conceptual information, practical applications, and a variety of methods for enhancing their performance. The VCU Leadership Development Program is designed to address six priorities aligned with the university’s vision for leadership:

  1. Personal development - Participants improve leadership skills, behaviors, competencies and practices through personal development and feedback.
  2. Professional development - Aligned with personal development, participants examine the ways in which their individual styles and behaviors impact their colleagues and workplace environment.
  3. University INsight - Participants gain a greater commitment to sustaining an organizational climate at the university that is focused on quality, responsiveness and inclusion. University leaders participate in the program as presenters and discussants.
  4. Higher Education OUTlook - Participants gain a greater understanding of higher education in the state and across the country.
  5. Team project - Participants develop a project where they work in assigned teams to address issues of current importance to the university community that align with the university’s strategic plan.
  6. Formal mentorship - Participants are paired with a mentor from senior-level administration. 

What is the application process?

To apply, you need to submit a completed online application form, current position description, personal statement, curriculum vitae, bio sketch, one nomination from a dean or vice president, and two recommendations from supervisors and/or colleagues. All required documents should be submitted by Oct. 15 each year. Applications can be found on our website at gehli.vcu.edu/programs/vcu-leadership-development/application/. 

How many sessions are offered, and when are they scheduled?

The VCU Leadership Development Program is a 10-month program starting in January and ending in October. Participants meet for two consecutive sessions (Thursday and Friday) once a month. Typically, each session starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends by 5 p.m. 

What is the cost of the program, and what is included?

The program cost is $3,425. This fee covers all materials, intensive leadership assessments, overnight retreat lodging and meals on program days. 

Does the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute offer scholarships to cover the tuition for the program? 

The institute does not provide individual financial support. 

Are applicants required to be nominated by a dean or vice president?

Yes, participants are accepted based on a nomination from the head of their sponsoring academic or administrative department. 

Do participants receive credits that they can later transfer to a postsecondary institution?

No, we do not offer academic credit for participating in the VCU Leadership Development Program. 

Do participants receive continuing education credit?

Yes, participants can earn CEUs for full program participation, but they must express their interest in obtaining these at the start of the program and must actively participate throughout the duration of the program.