University Leadership Program

Northern Arizona University is inviting faculty and staff to apply to a leadership development program that brings partners from all over campus to the table as a way of preparing the next generation of leaders in higher education.

Faculty and staff at every level are encouraged to apply or nominate a coworker for the University Leadership Program, which graduated its inaugural class of 26 in May 2012.

This next cohort begins in the fall and those selected will represent a wide variety of populations on campus.

Participants will discuss challenges facing the university and higher education across the nation and gain an understanding of how the Arizona university system functions. Other topics will include strategic planning and budgeting and how both serve to advance the overall mission of NAU.

The program is aimed at identifying, informing and investing in future university leaders while breaking down barriers. It’s proving to be a successful model, according to some in this first class of participants.

“This program has really opened my eyes about the complexity of issues that I previously thought of as straightforward,” said Maribeth Watwood, professor and chair of biology. “It has been very interesting to view the university through the lenses of different divisions. I would recommend that anyone interested in learning more about how decisions are made, and the myriad considerations involved, apply to the program.”

Jessica Fitchett, fiscal operations manager for the College of Health and Human Services, said the experience has been “incredible” because of the access she’s had to campus leaders and invited speakers.

“The whole program is fascinating and helped me to narrow my own focus in my job to further align it with the university goals and mission,” Fitchett said.

The leadership program kicks off with a retreat in September. Subsequent sessions will be held on campus on one Friday each month through May. Participants must commit time for preparation in addition to attending each session.

Applications must be submitted electronically by March 28. To submit an application or to acquire additional information, contact Sarah Bickel, executive vice president and chief of staff, at (928) 523-7608.