Excellence in Academic Leadership


The Excellence in Academic Leadership (EAL) program, is a unique leadership development opportunity offered by the Office of Human Resources in partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs. During the workshops, participants will explore a range of topics that include: leadership competencies and style, dealing with conflict, creating a culture of excellence and change management. The last day of the program offers an in-depth look at ethical leadership and decision-making, the importance of diversity & inclusion in the workplace and the need for effective talent management within your organization.

This program is offered each year in the fall in the form of six full day workshops, and provides the opportunity for academic leaders to focus on their personal leadership development, network with other academic leaders and learn from respected experts in the area of leadership and higher education.

This program is offered free of charge.

Program Benefits

The program is designed to provide academic leaders with the information and skills they need to create an ethical, inclusive and high performing workplace culture.  Content and discussions are organized around four general focal areas of leadership development: 

  • Personal Mastery: The ability to know oneself and learn from experience.
  • Interpersonal Mastery: The ability to communicate, influence, and work well with others, particularly during difficult conversations.
  • Team Mastery: The ability to develop and lead groups of individuals towards common goals while promoting a high performing work environment.
  • Systems Mastery: The ability to think systemically and lead the organization through a strategic change process in a way that develops commitment and learning.

This program utilizes a number of assessments to provide participants with insight to their personal leadership style.  Using this information, participants will create a leadership development plan to help them extend their learning beyond the program workshops and apply it in the workplace. 

While the program is led by external partners, senior University administrators will lead discussions on a variety of issues important to the University community.

2017 Program Schedule

The fall 2017 workshop dates will be announced in the spring of 2017.


Excellence in Academic Leadership is designed for academic administrators with a minimum of 1 year and no more than five years of experience in their current position.  We are expecting participants to fall into one of the following titles:  Department Head, Department Chair, Director of Academic Affairs, and Assistant or Associate Dean. 

Application & Selection

We are currently enrolling for the Fall 2016 session. To be considered for the program, please send your responses to the questions below to Christy Helms at cwh19@psu.edu.

  1. We are expecting participants to fall within one of the following titles: Department Head, Department Chair, School Director, Director of Academic Affairs, and Assistant or Associate Dean. What is your title, college, unit, department and/or campus?
  2. We are targeting administrators who have been in their role for less than five years. How long have you been in your current role?
  3. Attendance is crucial to the ultimate success and impact of this program. Please refer to the schedule above for program dates. To the best of your knowledge, will you be able to attend all of the program sessions?
  4. During this program, participants will partake in a 360-degree feedback process in which anonymous feedback will be gathered electronically (through third party vendor, Qualtrics) from the participants themselves and their direct reports, supervisor, and peers.  The data collected is intended to be used for development purposes only and will not be shared with anyone other than the participant and program leader (for coaching purposes).  Do you have any concerns with this process?


To learn more about this program, please contact TalentMgmt@psu.edu.