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The ULEAD program develops highly skilled and motivated leaders to meet the challenges of higher education’s changing environment. Participants learn from world-renowned faculty, outside experts and 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.


The Office of Human Resources has designed a comprehensive program that addresses the core characteristics and skills needed to lead effectively in an academic environment and includes:

  • Professional development classroom sessions on practical leadership topics.
  • Team projects focused on real higher education issues and culminating with written reports and public presentations to senior administrators.
  • Projects expected to produce practical and actionable outcomes for UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Central University 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.


  • Expand the leadership knowledge, skills and abilities critical 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.


No fee 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.
  • advance the quality of work life for all.


Program Calendar

Required Attendance

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.

The core components of ULEAD include seven class days (on six subjects), a 360 assessment, a team paper and a team presentation. ULEAD classes include:

  • Crucial Conversations
  • Leading Change
  • Leading Teams
  • Negotiation
  • Operational Excellence
  • Strategic Innovation
  • Spring 2024 ULEAD schedule coming soon



    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.
    • Gain practical experience using the knowledge and skills presented in classes
    • Provide meaningful input on an important University topic.
    • Network and create cross-campus growth opportunities.

    Project teams will meet at the end of classes and between classes. Each ULEAD participant must participate fully in both the project work and the presentation.

    2023 Team Projects

    Team projects are presented towards the end of the ULEAD program, and the whole campus is invited to attend. Project reports from the 2023 ULEAD class are below.



    ULEAD targets high-performing, high-potential leaders in higher education; the program is not remedial and is not meant for new managers.

    Eligibility criteria

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


    Application Process

    Application dates for the 2024 Spring ULEAD session TBA. All applications will be reviewed by a committee, and program acceptances will be sent out two weeks after the closing date.

    A total of 24 applicants will be accepted from UNC-Chapel Hill, NC Central University, and UNC System.

    Application Criteria

    • Support by one’s current direct manager, expressed in a letter of recommendation accompanying the application form.
    • Approval from the applicant’s departmental leadership.
    • Availability and commitment to attend all sessions.
    • Completed application form by nominee, which includes:
      • Your role and work in the University.
      • Your current leadership aspirations.
      • Your past and/or current development activities geared towards leadership.
      • Your personal objectives for the program.
      • Your thoughts on good leadership.



    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 open for the next cohort, please submit your contact information through ULEAD’s Notify Me feature.