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The PreDoctoral Leadership Development Academy (PLDA), is a one year program 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. Since the program’s inception in 2010, nearly 148 doctoral students representing over 60 academic departments have participated in the program.

Through participation in this collaborative learning program, the PLDA Fellows will have an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges confronting higher education, foster engagement with university strategy, enhance their leadership competencies, and strengthen their network of colleagues from across Rutgers who demonstrate a shared interest in leadership development.

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 – 11:00 am in New Brunswick.

Fellows’ completion of the program will be recognized on their academic transcripts.

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