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ASU launches inaugural Leadership Fellows Program

February 11, 2010

Transformational leadership is at the heart of the Leadership Fellows Program launched at Arizona State University in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. The Office for Developing Transformational Leaders, started in August 2009, coordinates this new initiative to identify and develop faculty for higher level leadership positions. The inaugural program includes:

• Gregory Castle, English professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

• Rajiv Sinha, marketing professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

• Elizabeth Wentz, associate professor in Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

• Heather Wright, associate professor, in Speech and Hearing Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“ASU has many faculty with a wide range of leadership experience in their professions and departments," said Joan Brett, associate vice provost. "This program helps the university to identify these individuals and prepare them for higher-level leadership positions within ASU.”

“By giving our Leadership Fellows an experience at the highest level, they’ll gain a more panoramic view of the challenges and issues the university faces, and will be able to step into leadership roles when the need arises," she said. "Ultimately, the goal is to build a group of faculty who possess enhanced leadership skills and knowledge to be considered for positions in the university, college and/or department and school administration (e.g., department chair, associate dean, etc.). It is critical that we have faculty we can turn to within the university to advance and sustain the mission and goals we all are working toward achieving.”

"This program is one of several initiatives we are taking to build a robust set of opportunities to enhance and diversify the leadership at ASU,” said Elizabeth D. Capaldi, university provost.

The program is open to tenured faculty who demonstrate leadership and interpersonal skills as well as future potential. Leadership Fellows receive a half-time release from teaching responsibilities to work on administrative projects, assignments, or ad hoc committees. As a fellow they are mentored by a senior university administrator, and gain exposure to a variety of challenging issues and to other university leaders.

Participation in the program is competitive. This fall 15 faculty applied for the four fellow positions. Selection was based on self nominations and supporting recommendations from their respective deans. In March, an e-mail will be sent to all faculty for nominations for the 2010-2011 Leadership Fellows Program. 

For information on The Leadership Fellows Program, contact Joan Brett at