Since its first cohort in 2010, the Academic Leadership Academy has endeavored to enhance the ability of academic administrators to provide leadership within their respective institutions. The Academy is strengthened by its partnership with Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Educationand the Higher Education Program, benefiting from the expertise and experience of associated faculty.



Each year’s Academy cohort is comprised of a diverse group of 60 to 70 academic administrators, including department heads, program directors, academic deans, and associate provosts. Given the increasing demands and complexities of higher education leadership, many academic leaders are faced with difficult internal and external challenges in promoting the success and vitality of their home institutions.


Our curriculum covers a range of subjects relevant to academic leaders. The Academy consists of both a summer residential session and virtual sessions conducted throughout the following academic year. Our sessions are oriented around interactive skill development, where participants learn specific academic leadership skills while interacting with fellow participants and instructors through case studies or other activities. We cover a variety of skills including team building, budget management, strategic planning, and faculty development. 


Alicia C. Dowd



Director, Academic Leadership Academy
Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education

The Academy is designed to establish a network of academic administrators to facilitate problem solving, communication, and professional development. In order to attend, potential participants must be nominated. We will begin taking nominations for the 2021-2022 Academy in December 2020. The residential portion will run from June 13 to 17, 2021 and the virtual sessions will follow during the 2021-22 academic year. Space fills up quickly and nominations (including self-nominations) are reviewed in the order in which they are received.

I hope you will consider joining us – or nominating a colleague to join us – next summer. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

deans & directors


sPEAKERS & faciltators


Get In Touch

Director: Alicia C. Dowd

Assistant: Jean McMahon

406 Rackley Building

University Park, PA 16802

Telephone: (814) 865-8367



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