VCU Leadership Development

About the Program

The Virginia Commonwealth University Leadership Development Program is a 10-month program designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and experience of current and emerging leaders at VCU who represent the academic and administrative units of the University and the VCU Health System.

During this program, participants learn about VCU’s structure and leadership, address both local and national issues in higher education, examine their own leadership strengths and challenges, meet with a mentor from senior administration/faculty, and immerse themselves in team projects for the benefit of the University.

The program stresses that the improvement of leadership skills, behaviors, competencies, and practices requires knowledge acquisition, professional skill development, and feedback.  Therefore, the focus is on providing participants with conceptual information, practical applications, and a variety of methods for enhancing their performance.

The VCU Leadership Development Program focuses on:

  • Knowledge about the University, its mission, and vision
  • Knowledge about higher education issues from national and state perspectives
  • Skills in leading others engaged in the delivery of quality services and programs
  • Commitment to sustaining an organizational climate at the University that is focused on quality, responsiveness, and inclusion

Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute Overview Brochure

Program Objectives

The VCU Leadership Development Program stresses that the improvement of leadership skills, behaviors, competencies, and practices requires knowledge acquisition, professional skill development, and feedback. Therefore, the program focuses on providing participants with conceptual information, practical applications, and a variety of methods for enhancing their performance.

The VCU Leadership Development Program curriculum is designed to:

  • Deepen participants’ knowledge of VCU, its structure, mission, and vision
  • Build a sense of community among participants to strengthen their network of colleagues at VCU
  • Increase participants’ knowledge about higher education issues from state and national perspectives
  • Develop participants’ skills in leading others engaged in the delivery of quality services and programs
  • Enhance leaders’ self-knowledge to clarify their plans for ongoing leadership development
  • Strengthen participants’ commitment to sustaining an organizational climate at the University that is focused on quality, responsiveness, and inclusion

Program Highlights

The VCU Leadership Development Program curriculum has four key components.

  1. Development of professional leadership skills
    At the program’s start, participants will complete an intensive leadership assessment, including personality style inventories and 360° Feedback. Throughout the program, participants will examine the ways in which their individual styles and behaviors impact their colleagues and workplace environment. A significant portion of the interactive sessions and readings will deal with professional leadership skill development.
  2. Interaction with national, state, and university leaders on the subjects of higher education, the medical center, and the university environment
    Participants will learn about the challenges facing institutions of higher education, specifically VCU. University administrators will participate in the program as panelists and discussants with participants. Topics will include a full range of academic, medical center, and administrative issues.
  3. Mentors and protégés
    Participants will have the opportunity to meet individually with a senior-level University leader. Mentors are encouraged to have at least four meetings with participants. During these meetings, mentors and participants may discuss leadership challenges, share perspectives on VCU, and/or focus on the individual development of the participant.
  4. Team projects
    Each year participants work in teams to address issues of current importance to the University. Together with a team sponsor from upper administration, these interdisciplinary teams carry out a project during the course of the program. The interdisciplinary nature of the teams provides excellent opportunities for learning new perspectives and networking across campuses. Project teams also provide a venue for applying new skills and developing creative strategies for solving problems, as well as a laboratory for working in a diverse team.