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Leadership is defining, influencing and modeling the mission, vision, values, and goals of an organization. Leadership ability can be refined and improved through a coordinated combination of study and experience. The University Leadership Education and Development (ULEAD) program develops highly skilled and motivated leaders to meet the challenges of higher education’s changing environment.

Leadership development in the university setting is a collaborative process. Participants learn from our world-renowned faculty, from outside experts, and from each other. They gain the practical insight, knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for leadership effectiveness, through classroom sessions, active assessments of leadership characteristics, and participation in an intensive, practical project that addresses a major campus issue. Then they apply what they’ve learned in the real laboratory of the workplace – in the office the next morning.

  • Expand participants’ leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities, which are critical needs in a changing higher education environment.
  • Increase awareness of professional strengths and developmental needs.
  • Network with other leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Central University and the UNC System to provide ongoing feedback and support systems.
The Office of Human Resources has designed a comprehensive program that addresses core characteristics and skills needed to lead effectively in an academic environment (see program schedule below). The program includes:
  • Professional development classroom sessions on practical leadership topics.
  • Team projects that focus on real higher education issues and culminate with public presentations to senior administrators and written reports. Projects are expected to produce practical and actionable outcomes for UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU and the UNC system.
  • A personal leadership development plan derived from a 360-degree feedback assessment.
  • Peer coaching to enhance the practice of coaching and listening skills, promote networking, and provide support and feedback for fellow participants.
  • Three prerequisites, which must be completed prior to orientation. Participants will be encouraged to complete their prerequisites as a cohort. Special sections of the prerequisites will be scheduled for this purpose.

A total of 24 applicants will be accepted from UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Central University, and UNC System. Each applicant will be an SHRA or EHRA permanent employee who is currently working in a managerial role (directly responsible for at least one lower supervisor) or who manages a program that is University-wide or of significant size and complexity. ULEAD targets high-performing, high-potential leaders in higher education; the program is not remedial and is not meant for new managers. Additional selection criteria are:

1. At least three years total managerial experience and at least one year managerial experience at UNC-Chapel Hill, NCCU, UNC System, or comparable experience as a leader of a University-wide enterprise.

2. Support by one’s current direct manager, expressed in a letter of recommendation accompanying the application form.

3. Approval from the applicant’s departmental leadership.

4. Application form completed by nominee, including two open-ended texts:

    • At least two personal learning objectives for the program
    • Professional development experience (e.g. training programs, teaching or mentoring experience, conferences, professional memberships, etc.)

5. Availability and commitment to attend all sessions (see program schedule).

6. Completion of all prerequisites prior to orientation (special sections of the prerequisites will be scheduled so that participants can attend as a cohort):

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment (It Takes All Types or equivalent)
  • Valuable Presentation Skills
  • Leadership Mirror 360 assessment (administered only after acceptance into the program)

All applications will be reviewed by a committee, and applicants will be notified of the committee decisions three months before the program begins.

Prerequisite courses are offered through the Office of Human Resources. ConnectCarolina’s self-service Training Registration site lists course offerings, dates, times, and registration information (also available by calling 919-962-2550).

Because of the high volume of applicants competing to participate in the program, the condensed nature of the program schedule, and the high program costs, the University requires that participants commit to attend all scheduled events (see program schedule below).

Unless indicated otherwise, the class schedule will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants will have at least one break during the morning and afternoon sessions, as well as a one-hour lunch period each class. This should allow time for lunch, checking electronic and voice mail, and returning messages as needed. Participants are expected to plan accordingly so that they do not have to leave class in order to attend to work issues.

Working in assigned teams, participants will complete a project focusing on a real University issue. The project is designed to provide participants the opportunity to explore areas of management and leadership in depth, to gain practical experience using the knowledge and skills presented in classes, and to provide meaningful input on an important University topic. This assignment provides further networking and cross-campus growth opportunities. Project teams will meet at the end of classes and between classes. Each ULEAD participant must participate fully and completely in both the project work and the presentation.

There is no fee to individuals to attend the program. By investing in the careers of its high-potential leaders, the University seeks to help managers increase their job effectiveness, contribute to the online success of our educational institutions and advance the quality of work life for all.

Team projects are presented each year towards the end of the ULEAD session, and the whole campus is invited to attend. The project reports from the 2022 ULEAD class are below.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the University Leadership Education and Development program, contact Rochelle Stojnic at 919-843-2778 or

If you would like to be notified when applications for the Spring 2023 cohort are open, please submit your contact information through ULEAD’s Notify Me feature.