Excellence in Management

This program, a joint offering by the Office of Human Resources and Penn State Executive Programs, is designed to provide the strategic leadership perspectives and skills required for managers and directors who manage units and budgets. Participants attending the program will learn how to create strategic direction, align people and resources to implement the unit’s goals and strategies, and lead change. Special focus will be placed on creating an environment of ethics and value-based decision-making, accountability, and calculated risk-taking and innovation.

This program is typically scheduled twice a year, once in the summer (June/July) and once in the winter (January/February).

Please note that there is  no fee for Penn State employees to attend this program.

For more information please contact Christy Helms or Mary Ann Harvey.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for University leaders who manage units and budgets, typically with titles including Manager, Director, Senior Director, Executive Director, and Department Head.

To determine whether this program is right for you complete a brief questionnaire by clicking hereOnce your submission is reviewed, a member of our staff will be in touch to discuss next steps.

    Program Benefits

    Delivered through six one-day sessions, the program prepares Penn State leaders to critically assess and respond to the changing environment, see how the forces of culture impact performance, understand how financial measures are linked to strategy, and hone leadership skills that establish a common sense of purpose for commitment and cooperation.

     The program provides participants with these strategic leadership and management skills:

     Creating vision, direction, and strategy

    Program Schedule

    This program runs twice a year and consists of 6 full day sessions over a period of 6 weeks.  Sessions take place in room 201 of the Keller Building on the University Park campus from 8:30-5:00.  Lunch is included each day. 

    Our next program will be delivered in winter 2016 on the following dates:  January 12, January 19, January 26, February 2, February 9, and February 16.  As a criteria for enrolling in the program, we ask that you are able to commit to no less than 5 of the 6 full day sessions.

    Program Content

    Strategic Leadership

    Creating and Implementing Strategy

    Innovation and Critical Thinking in Strategy Execution

    Financial Accountability, Budgeting and Business Decision Making

    Ethical Decision Making at Penn State

    Leadership Assessment and Performance Management

    Strategic Priorities and Challenges

    Putting Theory into Practice

    Program delivery links lecture to applied learning assignments as well as self-directed learning via the following activities:

    Leadership Feedback - Through a 360-degree assessment tool that uses data provided by your colleagues, you receive a focused look into the organizational climate specific to your immediate sphere of influence. Feedback from the instrument combined with coaching by the faculty provide important personal and organizational insight that, when armed with new perspectives and data, form the basis of real change.

    Change Leadership Simulation - You will apply concepts discussed about the process of change through a computer-based simulation that has you determine the appropriate tactics and timing of them in order to lead a successful change initiative. This is an extremely powerful tool that provides intense learning in a short period of time.

    Faculty Leaders

    A premier faculty group, including a Top 10 leadership coach, will provide frameworks and techniques to transform vision into an action plan for results. Please access their vitae on our Website.


    Dr. Albert A. Vicere, Executive Education Professor of Strategic Leadership, The Smeal College of Business

    Ms. Maria Taylor, Program Co-Faculty Director, Managing Director of Executive Programs, The Smeal College of Business

    Mr. Andy Reisinger, Associate Director, Office of Corporate Controller

    Ms. Deb Meder, Assistant Controller, Office of Corporate Controller

    Mr. Ken Pasch, Instructor in Accounting and Finance and Professor of Global Business Studies, The Smeal College of Business

    Dr. Victoria Sanchez, Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Office of Educational Equity

    Dr. Tim Balliett, Ethics Specialist, Office of Ethics and Compliance

    Ms. Stephanie Flanagan, Performance Management and Onboarding, Workplace Learning and Performance

    Mr. Andy Gustafson, Assistant Professor of Managerial Communications, The Smeal College of Business

    Ms. Christy Helms, Leadership & Management and Learning Design, Workplace Learning and Performance