Empowering a Community of Excellence

Staff Fellows Program

Unclassified professional staff and university support staff have a great opportunity to develop their leadership skills and grow in their careers. Fellows are a select group of KU employees who receive leadership training, mentoring, and an expanded view of the university while they work together on a year-long project that benefits the university. The Staff Fellows Program awards staff with mentoring opportunities alongside senior administrators, leadership training, skill development and an expanded perspective of campus and University initiatives. The program is jointly sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Department of Human Resource Management. 

Personal & Professional Development

  • Gain leadership skills
  • Practice public speaking
  • Learn project management
  • Engage in self-discovery and explore your strengths
  • Receive career planning guidance
  • Cultivate teamwork skills
  • Discover leadership opportunities

Networking & Relationship Building

  • Engage with alumni fellows
  • Grow your network at KU
  • Meet other staff with leadership aspirations
  • Enhance perspectives on campus issues
  • Engage in group collaboration to tackle campus-wide issues
  • Learn best practices from campus colleagues

Senior Leadership Engagement

  • Gain exposure to and engage with senior leadership
  • Gain valuable mentoring
  • Be recognized by leadership as a quality investment of resources
  • Contribute something meaningful personally and professionally

KU Awareness & Understanding

  • Connect to campus resources
  • Understand KU campus culture and infrastructure
  • Learn KU administration procedures
  • Gain connectedness to the organization
  • Opportunity to find out about the University
  • Gain tools to take back to your unit

Dynamic Learning Environment

  • Enjoy time to create
  • Experience hands on learning
  • Learn it is ok to have fun!
  • Work on an engaging project
  • Be inspired and gain courage to try new things
  • Be challenged - it's how we grow!

Program Structure

  • The program is designed for a cohort of 10 fellows.
  • Participants meet twice monthly for three hour sessions during the academic year and attend the KU Staff Leadership Summit.
  • Each fellow will be matched with a mentor for the duration of the fellowship.
  • A year-long project will bring the cohort together to work on a common campus improvement.
  • Fellows will be expected to do some readings and project work in between program meetings.
  • The program curriculum will include:
    • Engaging discussions university senior leadership, provide participants with an expanded understanding of KU, leadership opportunities and skill development.
    • Lessons on project management and methodologies to be applied to the program project and work environment.
    • Time allocated to project planning and implementation activities with support from administrators and alumni fellows.
  • Applicants supervisors are asked to make a recommendation for participation and to allow time to participate. This program is primarily for professional development, with a focus on leadership. There is no expectation that Staff Fellows will be given preference in job searches at KU. The University of Kansas is committed to professional development and as a result, there is no cost for participation in this program. Additionally, there is no stipend to participate. 


Required Qualifications
  • Regular 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 for each session along with time outside of the sessions for project work.
  • 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.
  • Innovative ideas that impact KU’s future.
  • Interest and availability to work on a group project throughout the duration of the fellowship.

Application Procedure

Interested staff should complete an application, which includes information about you and your career at KU, along with several short essay questions. The essay questions will focus on your career goals, interest in the program, suitability to the program, and overall project interest. Upon completion, your supervisor will receive an email from the system requesting support for your application.

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

Additional Information

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

Learning for a Lifetime - A specia report on profesional development activities, opportunities, and recommendations for staff at the University of Kansas
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