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The President's Emerging Leaders participants for 2008-09.

Program provides leadership opportunity

September 24, 2008

It has been a summer of special events for the President's Emerging Leaders (PEL) program. On June 19, the achievements of the 2007-08 cohort were recognized in a celebratory poster display at the U of M Campus Club; and on July 21, the 2008-09 cohort was officially welcomed at a luncheon with President Bruininks at Eastcliff.

Now in its eighth year as a University-wide program, PEL provides leadership development opportunities for high-potential P&A, civil service, and bargaining unit staff. The program features educational and experiential components, and promotes skill development to enhance leadership effectiveness.

PEL goals The primary goals of the President's Emerging Leaders program are to identify, prepare, and support new leadership within the University of Minnesota; create a larger pool of candidates to fill open positions and/or leadership assignments; and to create an organizational expectation whereby all administrators assume responsibility for identifying and nurturing potential leaders.

PEL was developed in consideration of the University's size and the geographic distribution of its workforce. Because of this complexity, potential leaders can experience difficulty in gaining the visibility needed to move into different and more challenging roles within the institution.

PEL works to create an organization where all administrators assume responsibility for identifying and nurturing potential leaders. One of the key aspects of PEL is its mentoring program. Each participant is matched with a University leader who provides coaching throughout the yearlong program. As a relatively recent arrival to the U of M, Karen Himle, vice president of University Relations, was delighted to serve as a PEL mentor. "As in all mentoring relationships, both the mentor and student gain valuable perspective. The University is strengthened when those in leadership positions, and those aspiring to leadership, can draw from both their experiences and those of others," says Himle.

Electronic Communications Manager in the Office of the Vice President for Research, Bruce Erickson, valued his participation in the 2007-08 program. "I appreciate the program and the opportunity it provides to grow professionally. I'm excited to use what I've learned and build on the new relationships formed during PEL as I continue in my career," says Erickson.

Each year, the PEL administrative team identifies projects designed to address essential strategic questions facing the University. Through the development of an individual plan to encourage specific areas of learning, participants can receive feedback about their strengths and development areas in order to guide goal-setting within the program.

PEL coordinator Dave Dorman believes in the value of the program toward the goal of developing leadership. "Action learning components like these are the focal point for cohort-based leadership development programs across the country." See below for a summary of the 2007-08 PEL projects, and the topics for the 2008-09 teams.

2007-08 Projects The 2007-08 team members, project summaries, final projects, and poster presentations are posted on the PEL Web site.

The project topics, sponsors, and teams included:

The new cohort for 2008-09: For 2008-09, the 26 PEL participants will be assigned to project teams that will address these topics: