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Professional development program launches at ASU

June 10, 2010

Work being done in the Office of Business and Finance on succession planning helped birth a new professional development program at Arizona State University. Mastering Leadership made its debut in May as part of the Leadership in the New American University (LINAU) suite of leadership development programs.

“We want ASU to be seen as an employer of choice and to ensure that high-performing people continue to be part of the ASU team,” said Morgan Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. “We believe it can be done in part by investing in the professional development of employees and providing definite career advancement opportunities for strong performers. Mastering Leadership is one way ASU will continue to improve, both as a great place to build an exciting career and as a model of the New American University.”

The inaugural eight-month program, sponsored and funded by Business and Finance, is designed for ASU directors and managers who supervise a team or a significant university function. The Business and Finance senior leadership team chose 16 participants for the first Mastering Leadership series, based on the employees’ expressed interest and recommendations from their managers.

“This program will provide an opportunity for mid-level leaders at ASU to build upon their strengths and learn more about what it takes to be an effective leader,” said Amelia Huggins, senior program coordinator for LINAU programs offered by the Office of Human Resources. “By connecting the components of this program to the New American University’s design aspirations and by identifying and working toward answering ASU’s challenges, we are focused on the return on investment for those who complete this program and the positive impact it will have on the university.”

As part of the eight-month program, participants tackle and solve a real university business case while they engage in in-person classroom sessions, exchange forums and online webinars. Topics include organizational knowledge, communication strategies, change and people management, and strategic thought leadership. Part of the program offers insight into personality styles and professional development through a True Colors temperament type workshop and a pre- and post-360° assessment. ASU business and finance leaders, program coordinators and subject matter experts also will offer program participants ongoing coaching and feedback to ensure their success.

Upon completion of the Mastering Leadership inaugural series and through the feedback received from participants and their senior leaders, future offerings will be considered and may be made available to more people.

To learn more about available LINAU programs and offerings, visit For additional information, contact Amelia Huggins at or at (480) 965-8232.


Media contact:
Chris Lambrakis
(480) 727-1173, 602/316-5616,