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About 

The Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA) is a one-year program (formerly 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. 

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 the Rutgers Leadership Academy 
  • What is Leadership: Core Theories, Concepts, and Principles 
  • Leadership Self-Assessment: Strengths and Leadership Competencies 
  • Principles and Pragmatics of Leadership 
  • Leadership-Communication Connections
  • Critical Incidents in Leadership and Leadership Style 
  • Project Management Considerations 
  • Strategic Planning, Organizational Assessment, and Continuous Improvement in Higher Education 
  • Higher Education Stakeholders: Demonstrating Formal and Informal Leadership in Higher Education 
  • Crisis Leadership in Higher Education 
  • Enrollment Management: Key Considerations 
  • Understanding and Leading Change in Higher Education 
  • Politics, Policies & University-Government Relations 
  • Finance and Budgeting: University, School, and Department Considerations 
  • Higher Education Law: Academic Freedom and Free Speech
  • Succession Planning and Leadership Insights from an Executive Search Firm

The nomination details for the 2022-2023 cohort will be made available in March 2023. See the links below for additional details of the RLA program. 

Rutgers Leadership Program featured in Chronicle of Higher Education

RLA Participant Testimonials

RLA FAQs

Nomination Process

Current Schedule

Current Cohort

2019-2020 Cohort

2017-2019 Cohort

2015-2017 Cohort