Empowering a Community of Excellence


The Aspiring Leaders Program is a step on the Developing Leaders path on the KU Leadership Roadmap. Underpinning the program is the belief that deep awareness of self is required to be an effective leader. Therefore, participants engage in clarifying their strengths, developing their ability to manage self, and engaging the practice of leadership through a reflective and intentional pursuit. 

The program does not address how to supervise and/or lead others. Its focus, rather, is on a multi-faceted learning and understanding of self as it pertains to leadership. Those interested specifically in supervision or more advanced leadership courses are encouraged to consider enrolling in STEP - Supervisory Training for Excellence in Performance 3.0 (virtual or on campus) or applying for the Staff Fellows program.


Participants are required to attend every session. (See below for class dates.) Each one highlights a leadership topic aligned with the university competencies, including personal and professional effectiveness, communication, change management, building relationships, strategic thinking, and problem solving. 

Participants are also required to devote time outside of the class sessions for reading assignments, engaging with their accountability group, and attending personalized coaching sessions. 


Learn about the program and hear from program alumni at an Aspiring Leaders Informational Session conducted via Zoom. Registration is requested and should be completed in MyTalent using the links below.

Monday, September 20, 2021 | 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.


Application Period: September 30 – October 22, 2021


KU staff members can apply until 5 p.m. on October 22, 2021. The cohort will be announced in December.

A select pool of applicants will be asked to meet with a review committee for a short interview. Following the full review process, a cohort of no more than 15 employees will be selected.

APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS: The Aspiring Leaders program is open to all KU staff members who:

  • have at least one year of employment at KU
  • do not currently have a formal title of leadership
  • are recommended by their supervisor and have permission to use work time for program activities and assignments
  • commit to attend all sessions and complete all assigned activities
  • demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to their work and aspire to build their capacity as a leader


There is a materials fee of $150.00.


Note: for 2022, classes will be conducted in-person and will be held in JRP 204. There will be both a morning session and an afternoon session each day, for a total of six class hours per day.

  • January 25, 2022
  • February 15, 2022
  • March 8, 2022
  • March 29, 2022
  • April 19, 2022
  • May 10, 2022
  • June 7, 2022
  • June 28, 2022

This program is for professional development and leadership growth. There is no stipend for this experience, nor is there an expectation that program participants receive preference in job searches at KU.

Because Aspiring Leaders believe in inclusion, we are providing this accessible description of the Aspiring Leaders graphic on this page.

Aspiring Leaders graphic description

Description: The graphic looks like a flower with “ASPIRING LEADERS Service Orientation” in a center circle with the following tenets on “petals” around the outside of the circle:

  • Navigating KU Systems & Structure
    • Occupational Knowledge
    • Technology Orientation
  • Personal Effectiveness
    • Accountability
    • Customer/Quality Focus
  • Leadership
    • Accountability
    • Leadership
    • Team Focus
  • Communication
    • Customer/Quality Focus
    • Communication
  • Strategic Thinking & Problem-Solving
    • Team Focus
    • Innovation
  • Professional Effectiveness
    • Leadership - Inclusion
    • Customer/Quality Focus
    • Accountability
  • Trust & Relationship Building
    • Accountability
    • Communication
    • Inclusiveness
  • Innovation & Change
    • Adaptability
    • Innovation
    • Leadership

Click to enlarge

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