Leadership Programs

Leadership Education Curriculum


Public research universities are exceedingly complex organizations, each composed of an array of academic, administrative, student, and service units; with multiple missions which are not always fully compatible and diverse constituencies with their own distinct perspectives and priorities – resulting in numerous obstacles to organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

Each organizational unit and leadership role within a college or university is distinct in terms of the discipline, technical skill, and programs and services involved, and the organizational contexts in which these leaders operate but the same fundamental challenges are present.

A vertical approach to leadership and organizational education emphasizes the positional competencies unique to a particular role or position. A horizontal approach emphasizes non-context-specific, cross-cutting organizational leadership competencies that transcend specific settings and sectors— the personal, organizational, communication and analytic competencies that have increasingly been recognized as essential for outstanding leadership.

The position and context specific leadership competencies which constitute the vertical approach to organizational and leadership education are generally best developed within disciplinary, work, and experiential settings.

Center programs and services focus on the cross-cutting competencies in order to promote organizational advancement through the development, study and adoption of best practices; to develop increased internal capacity for leadership among our existing academic and administrative leaders; and to develop leaders of the future.

Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA)

The Rutgers Leadership Academy is a two-year program for mid-career faculty and staff who aspire to broadened leadership roles within their units, the university, and/or higher education, more generally.

The RLA focuses on the development of cross-cutting leadership concepts, competencies, and tools to enhance the professional capabilities for those in academic, professional, and administrative leadership roles. The program also addresses the unique situation- and position-specific organizational and leadership challenges that these leaders may encounter.

As a result of participating in the program, RLA Fellows will have an opportunity to:

  • Gain familiarity with the contemporary challenges facing academic and administrative leaders across higher education.
  • Increase understanding of fundamental perspectives and concepts of leadership as they apply in higher education. along with important dimensions of higher education administration, including organizational structure and mission, governance, finance and budgeting, legal and regulatory issues, diversity, and ethics.
  • Enhance personal and professional leadership competencies.
  • Advance Rutgers and individual leadership capabilities by leading a field-based project from conception through completion.

Nominations for the two-year program will be made available in Spring 2019. See the links below for additional details of the RLA program.

2018-2019 PLDA Fellows

Rutgers Leadership Program featured in Chronicle of Higher Education

President Emeritus McCormick speaks with Rutgers Leadership Academy Fellows

What Fellows said About Their RLA Experience

RLA 2017-2019

Contact us for more information: rulead@ol.rutgers.edu

RLA 2015-2017

PreDoctoral Leadership Development Academy (PLDA)

In its eighth year, the PreDoctoral Leadership Academy (PLDA), formerly called the PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute, is now a streamlined one-year program. This unique program is designed to provide doctoral students from a broad array of academic disciplines with the supplemental knowledge and skills needed for academic and administrative leadership roles.

The program recognizes that the pool of academic leaders who are motivated and trained to assume critical leadership roles is limited. There is an increasingly critical need for individuals who are well-trained within their own disciplines, and who also understand the organization and administration of colleges and universities and the challenges they face, and have communication, organizational, and leadership knowledge and competencies.

The PLDA program was created to provide a complement to discipline-based study by offering experiential and classroom opportunities that emphasize leadership style and strategy, collaborative decision-making, planning and organizational assessment, communication with internal and external constituencies, and other knowledge and skill-sets important to informal and formal leadership and professional advancement.

The components of PLDA include both didactic and experiential elements that, together, provide fundamental knowledge of higher education from historical and contemporary perspectives. It also provides an overview of the array of problems and opportunities confronting the academy and other large institutions today, and examines approaches and competencies required of leaders to meaningfully address these challenges.

PLDA is offered by the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership with support from the School of Graduate Studies, School of Arts and Sciences-NB, and the School of Communication and Information-NB. Contributions in support of OL leadership programs have been provided by Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, the Mellon Foundation, Anne Thomas, Francis and Mary Kay Lawrence, and other Rutgers faculty and staff. Core faculty for the PLDA come from the School of Graduate Studies, School of Arts and Sciences-NB, and the School of Communication and Information-NB, as well as other faculty from other universities.

PLDA is open to any Rutgers University doctoral student from Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, and RBHS. The program invites nominations for student from all disciplines within the university and encourages nominations from women and minorities in order to enhance diversity among future academic administrators nationally.

Students who wish to be considered for participation in the program will need to be nominated by a program director, department chair, dean, or vice-president.

Fellows must be able to attend all of the in-person classes on Fridays from 9:00 am – 11:15 am in New Brunswick.

Fellows who successfully complete the one-year program will be awarded a $1,000 honorarium. Fellows’ completion of the program will also be recognized on their academic transcripts.

News Coverage




Academic Leadership Program @ RBHS

The RBHS Academic Leadership Program (ALP at RBHS), a pilot of a new initiative developed and co-sponsored by OL and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) launched this Fall.

The program aims to provide senior academic leaders across RBHS with an integrated orientation to leadership, managerial, and organizational concepts and competencies. The program will also take account of current biomedical and health sciences challenges and opportunities at the national and state level, and within Rutgers and RBHS.

The pilot includes approximately 25 faculty administrators, including chairs and directors, from all schools across RBHS who are nominated and accepted into the program. The development of the program benefitted from input from 36 faculty in seven focus groups held in New Brunswick and Newark, and the curriculum for the new program is currently being designed through an ongoing collaboration between OL and nominated RBHS leaders.

Overview of strategic planning session

Distinction in Leadership in Academic Healthcare

The Distinction in Leadership in Academic Healthcare program is offered by the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership. Contact Dr. Carol Terregino at terregca@rwjms.rutgers.edu or Dr. Ralph Gigliotti at ralph.gigliotti@rutgers.edu for further information or questions.

Program Objectives

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities associated with leadership in academic medical centers
  • Gain a greater understanding of fundamental perspectives and concepts of leadership and communication, along with a better understanding of the structure and landscape of academic medicine and academic medical center
  • Increase understanding of important dimensions of administration, including organizational structure and mission, finance and budgeting, legal and regulatory issues, diversity, and ethics, along with specific tools needed for leadership in academic medical centers.
  • Interact with senior leaders from the academic medical center and higher education more broadly
  • Enhance personal and professional leadership competencies in formal and informal settings
  • Learn from the experiences of others through a four-week field experience
  • Lead a field-based project from conception through completion

Overall Program Goals

  • As a result of participating in the program, students will gain a deeper understanding of their individual leadership and communication styles.
  • As a result of participating in the program, students will use their own leadership and communication behaviors to lead effectively within the Academic Health Center.

Program Methods

  • 16 suggested didactic sessions and two independent or small group sessions organized to meet these objectives.
  • In addition to these session students will participate in a practicum component and prepare a scholarly project
    • Practicum component – Two administrative internships of at least four weeks duration
      • Field-based projects under the mentorship of senior campus leaders.
    • Scholarly project – Author a publication-ready manuscript and present the project at an annual symposium
      • The Distinction in Leadership Committee will review project proposals and approve final scholarly projects

Big10 Academic Alliance (BTAA) Leadership Programs

Rutgers-New Brunswick is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). Through the Office of the Chancellor, Rutgers-New Brunswick, the university is actively engaged with the BTAA in areas related to leadership development, among others, and our affiliation will provide a variety of opportunities for Rutgers faculty and academic administrators. For further information on BTAA activities related to leadership development go to http://www.btaa.net/faculty/academic-leadership-development, or contact: Brent Ruben or Francine Conway, who serve as Rutgers liaisons to these programs.

Topics in Academic Leadership

The Topics in Academic Leadership seminars focus on cross-cutting leadership issues relevant for all current administrators and other faculty, staff, and graduate students interested in academic leadership, and provide a forum for discussing leadership issues and challenges, addressing theoretical and practical problems of academic leadership, and sharing effective practices across disciplines. These seminars, featuring university and national higher education leaders, are offered to individuals participating in OL leadership programs and others on a space available basis.

The program is sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership, School of Graduate Studies, School of Communication and Information-NB, and Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

For further information and information on space availability, contact Ralph Gigliotti.

Click here for recent leadership topics.

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