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Staff Fellows Program 2020-2021

Applications will be accepted September 22nd – October 6th

Feedback is essential for organizations seeking to create a culture of learning and high performance. Feedback loops can be both positive and negative. While positive feedback loops are effective for creating change, they can result in negative consequences if not moderated by negative feedback loops. Communication around objectives, clarity of desired results and quality tools for measuring performance are critical in creating successful, high performing organizations.

Using the Action Research Model, Staff Fellows participants will research and explore performance feedback loops and make recommendations for best practices in expectation setting, feedback tools, and communication processes to assist KU supervisors, direct reports, faculty and staff in setting objectives and achieving their key results.

Program Structure

This professional development program provides leadership development for employees at all levels of the organization, including those without direct reports, and/or operational, group or department managers. Through this program, participants will gain familiarity with campus, engage university senior leaders, explore leadership through mentoring, assigned readings, and project work.

Participants meet via Zoom for three-hour sessions during the academic year in addition to attending the KU Staff Leadership Summit. 

During the program year, participants are expected to attend all three-hour sessions and to commit time in between sessions to complete readings, meet with their mentor, and perform project-related assignments.

Lessons on the action research model, project management and methodologies are drawn upon to complete the yearlong project and can be utilized in participants’ respective work environments.

The University of Kansas is committed to professional development and as a result, there is no cost to participate.


Required Qualifications

  • Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) with two continuous years of full-time employment at KU.
  • The ability to commit to a three-hour time block twice per month along with time in between sessions to complete readings, attend mentoring and perform project work.
  • Interest and availability to work on a group project throughout the duration of the fellowship.
  • Enthusiasm for the larger mission of KU and desire to engage in that mission.
  • A history of exceptional work at the University of Kansas, as documented by a supervisor’s letter of endorsement addressing the candidate’s potential for leadership.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with a cohort of other fellows in a seminar style of learning.

Application Procedure

Interested staff should complete an application, which includes information about the candidates’ career at KU, along with completion of several short essay questions. The essay questions focus on career goals, interest in the program, suitability to the program, and overall interest in the yearlong project topic. Upon completion, candidates’ supervisors receive an email requesting support for the application.

A review committee then meets with select candidates for a short interview. Following the full review process, the committee selects a cohort of employees to participate in the program.

2020-21 Program Dates

October 23, 2020
November 6
November 20
December 4
December 18
January 8, 2021
January 22
February 5
February 19
March 5
March 19
April 2
April 23
May 7
May 21

Please contact Human Resource Management at hrdept@ku.edu or 785-864-4946 for more information about the program.

Previous Staff Fellows Projects

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