Empowering a Community of Excellence


The Aspiring Leaders Program is a step on the Developing Leaders path on the KU Leadership Roadmap. It introduces the essentials of effective leadership to equip employees to lead from where they are within their organization. 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 curriculum includes a focus on the skills needed for successful leadership. Each session highlights a leadership topic aligned with the university competencies, including personal and professional effectiveness, communication, change management, building relationships, strategic thinking, and problem solving. Sessions also include individual and group discussions and activities, with practical strategies to apply in your own organization.


Participants are required to attend each session in the program. Each member is also required to devote time outside of class for program literature, assessments, and journaling. Participants are also responsible for attending personalized coaching sessions in between select class sessions and for engaging in an accountability group with their fellow participants. In 2021 class sessions will be conducted online using Zoom. (See below for class dates.) 


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

Thursday, October 1, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.


Application Period: September 28 – October 23, 2020

KU staff members can apply until 5 p.m. on October 23, 2020. The cohort will be announced in early 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
  • 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 2021, classes will be conducted online via Zoom. There will be both a morning session and an afternoon session each day. Each online session will not exceed two hours in length.

  • January 14, 2021
  • February 11, 2021
  • March 18, 2021
  • April 8, 2021
  • May 6, 2021
  • June 3. 2021
  • July 1, 2021
  • July 29, 2021

This program is primarily 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.

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