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About 

The Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA) is a one-year program for mid-career faculty and staff who aspire to broaden 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. 

Through participation in this collaborative learning program, RLA Fellows 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.

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

  • Develop a deeper understanding of 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.
  • Foster engagement with university strategy.
  • Strengthen their network of colleagues from across Rutgers who demonstrate a shared interest in leadership development.
  • Advance Rutgers and individual leadership capabilities by leading a field-based project from conception through completion.

A key component of RLA is the design of a capstone project proposal, which allows Fellows to integrate, apply, and develop leadership concepts and competencies introduced in the program. With the support of a senior project sponsor, Fellows conducted preliminary planning for a project designed to address a significant area of need in their unit, department, school, campus, or the University more broadly. The project proposal represents an expansion of a Fellow’s typical responsibilities as a leader-manager and provides an opportunity to engage with multiple stakeholders from across Rutgers. Based on a review of past RLA capstone projects, we identified common themes and issues of concern, which are organized around Based on a review of past RLA capstone projects, we identified common themes and issues of concern, which are organized around the following keywords.

Program Topics 

  • Introduction to Leadership in Higher Education and the Rutgers Leadership Academy
  • Leveraging Individual and Collective Strengths in Academic Leadership
  • Leadership and Communication Principles and Pragmatics
  • Higher Education Stakeholders
  • Strategic Planning, Priority Setting, and Project Leadership
  • Critical Incidents in Higher Education Leadership
  • Cultural Competency for Effective Leadership: Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Crisis Leadership
  • Enrollment Management
  • Politics, Policies, & University-Government Relations
  • Leading Change in Higher Education
  • Academic Freedom and Free Speech at a Public University
  • Engaging in Difficult Conversations
  • Succession Planning and Career Development in Higher Education
  • Capstone Session

The nomination details for the 2023-2024 cohort will be made available in March 2023. See the links below and on the right for additional details of the RLA program. 

Rutgers Leadership Program featured in Chronicle of Higher Education

RLA Participant Testimonials