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 (RLA) is designed to provide a broad, integrated array of leadership education and development programs for current and aspiring faculty and staff leaders in academic, administrative and academic medical programs from across the university. The RLA model includes both core and elective modules that address leadership concepts and competencies that are applied in the context of the participants’ disciplines and organizations.

RLA takes a multi-dimensional approach to the development and application of organizational leadership. It builds on a foundation that emphasizes cross-cutting organizational concepts and leadership/communication competencies that are essential for outstanding leadership across roles and organizations. The RLA framework also addresses the unique situation- and position-specific organizational and leadership challenges through focused reading and case-study materials that take account of the unique contexts and settings in which each leader operates.

RLA programs are composed of a suite of modules incorporating a variety of teaching-learning methodologies, including seminars, readings, experience-based activities, simulations, cases, self-assessment, and individual or collaborative projects.

The Academy is offered by the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership with sponsorship from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor, Rutgers-New Brunswick. See the links below for additional details of the RLA program.

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 at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS)

The Academic Leadership Program at RBHS (ALP-RBHS) is designed to provide an integrated orientation to leadership, managerial, and organizational concepts and competencies, taking account of current biomedical and health sciences challenges and opportunities at the national and state level, and within Rutgers and RBHS. Developed by the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership in collaboration with RBHS leaders, faculty, and staff, the program includes 10 modules that provide a blend of concepts, best practices, methods, and tools to enhance participants’ leadership knowledge, competencies and the capacity for advancing RBHS and individual units.

The inaugural cohort includes 19 academic health leaders representing all eight RBHS schools. See the link below for the 2018-2019 ALP-RBHS Fellow Bios (coming soon).

The program is co-sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). For further information, contact alp-rbhs@ol.rutgers.edu.

2018-2019 Fellows List

2018-2019 Fellow Biographies

Program Objectives

Participating academic health leaders will:

  • Gain an increased understanding of current biomedical and health sciences leadership challenges and opportunities at the national and state level, and within Rutgers and RBHS
  • Gain an increased understanding of critical leadership, managerial, and organizational concepts and competencies needed for effective leadership in an academic health center at a research-intensive university
  • Increase competency in assessing and leveraging one’s own personal and professional strengths
  • Gain an increased understanding of the value of interprofessional collaboration and will learn skills for developing interprofessional networks across RBHS
  • Demonstrate enhanced problem solving and decision-making abilities through the application of program materials, including concepts, tools, assessments, and models provided in the program
  • Demonstrate leadership through the development of a project designed to address a significant area of need in their department, school, or campus

Program Outline

  • Module 1: An Introduction to the academic health center landscape and ALP-RBHS
  • Module 2: Principles and pragmatics of leadership in academic health
  • Module 3: Leveraging personal and professional strengths for effective leadership in the academic health center
  • Module 4: Strategic planning: Pursuing a vision of excellence
  • Module 5: Financial models and financial management at RBHS and Rutgers
  • Module 6: The leader’s role in mentoring, evaluation, and promotion procedures and processes
  • Module 7: Formal and informal influence strategies in leadership and the importance of culture
  • Module 8: The role of communication in anticipating risks and leading during crises
  • Module 9: Understanding, planning, and leading change
  • Module 10: Presentation of project proposals

2018-2019 Program Faculty—Module Development and Delivery

  • Jeffrey Carson, Provost, RBHS-New Brunswick
  • Vicente Gracias, President and Chair of the Board, Rutgers Health Group; Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, RBHS
  • Joseph Barone, Dean, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
  • Gwendolyn Mahon, Dean, School of Health Professions
  • Maral Mouradian, Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development, William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative and Neuroimmunologic Diseases, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Kathleen Bramwell, Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, RBHS, University Finance and Administration
  • Cathryn Heath, Medical Director, Family Medicine and Community Health, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Alfred Tallia, Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Karen Shapiro, Chief Administrative Officer, School of Health Professions
  • Mary O’Dowd, Executive Director, Health Systems and Population Health Integration, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
  • Kathleen Scotto, Vice Chancellor for Research, RBHS; Vice Dean, School of Graduate Studies
  • Meredith Mullane, Executive Director, RBHS Faculty Affairs
  • Tynisha Coleman, Project Manager, RBHS Faculty Affairs
  • Sherrie Tromp, Associate Director, Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership
  • Brent Ruben, Executive Director, Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership and Distinguished Professor of Communication, RU-NB
  • Richard De Lisi, Senior Fellow, Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership, University Professor
  • Ralph Gigliotti, Director of Leadership Development and Research, Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership
  • Christine Goldthwaite, Senior Program Administrator for ALP-RBHS, Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership

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: Karen Stubaus or Brent Ruben, who serve as Rutgers liaisons to these programs.

One of the BTAA leadership initiatives is the Academic Leadership Program. Established in 1989, this intensive experience develops the leadership and managerial skills of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional ability and academic promise. Many of the programs’ nearly 1000 Fellows have gone on to serve with distinction as college presidents, provosts, and deans. The Leadership Program consists of three seminars hosted by different BTAA universities. In addition, Academic Leadership Program Fellows often participate in on-campus activities throughout the academic year at their home institution. The program is specifically oriented to address the challenges of academic administration at major research universities and to help faculty members prepare to meet them. Academic Leadership Program Fellows are selected by their respective institutions.

Snapshots of Academic and Senior Administrator Leadership Programs at Big Ten Academic Alliance Universities

Advancing Leadership Development in Higher Education: The CIC and Rutgers

A Conversation about Campus Leadership and Leadership Development, Brent D. Ruben, Prepared for the Big Ten Academic Alliance Rutgers Academic Leadership Program/Departmental Executive Officers Conference, July 17, 2014

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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