President's Leadership Academy

Group Photo

2017-18 Cohort 

2019-20 Cohort 

2019-20 Cohort 

In 2017 we launched the President's Leadership Academy an interactive and reflective development experience for leaders in all roles and at all levels at Fresno State. Our second cohort ran from May 2019-May 2020. 

The Cabinet recently named the 2020-21 cohort, a diverse group of campus leaders who will participate in this interactive and reflective development experience from December 2020 through December 2021. 


More information on this program is posted below including the year at a glance and the program goals.  

Application Form

  • Applications for the 2020-21 cohort are now closed.  
  • Applications for the next cohort will accepted in Spring 2022. 

Timeline | Year-at-a-Glance

Leadership Academy timeline: 

December 4, 2020 - December 10, 2021. 

Please visit our Year at a glance for the complete calendar of events and activities.

It is important that participants fully commit to the program. Missing more than 2 full cohort sessions will result in participants being dropped.  

Eligibility: Faculty, Staff, and Administrators

  • Willingness to stretch and grow
  • Positioned to assume increasing leadership responsibility in existing or future role
  • Respectful of our diverse community
  • Willing and able to attend all sessions and participate fully
  • Deliberately diverse blend of academic and administrative leaders from across the university
  • Support from Dean/VP/Manager/Department Chair
  • Minimum one (1) year as full-time Faculty, Staff or Administrator at Fresno State
    (as of October 1, 2020)


To engage Fresno State leaders and emerging leaders in an interactive and reflective development experience that supports strategic priority #2.


  • To strengthen the culture of leadership at Fresno State.
  • To create a community of leaders who will help advance Fresno State’s mission to boldly educate and empower students for success.
  • To develop bench strength/a pipeline of leaders.
  • To enhance the capacity and capabilities of leaders by introducing leadership concepts, competencies and tools.

Guiding Principles

  • Leadership exists throughout the university at all levels in all areas.
  • Our focus is on everyday leadership (leading from where you are)
    • how we influence and empower others
    • Leadership Development is a continuum (embed into culture)
    • Mission and values focused
      • Diversity, equity and inclusion
      • Boldness - participants given creative space to be bold
    • Supporting a culture of service and appreciation
    • Strong Relational component  - create and support trust, confidentiality, and safety among cohort 

Effective Leaders at Fresno State

  • Lead with authenticity, passion, energy, and engagement.
  • Build and nurture great teams (in-person or remote).
  • Create, support and drive an open and inclusive environment.
  • Serve with fearless courage, unwavering ethics and integrity, and relentless  focus on supporting the Greater Good
  • Support the campus culture and model and practice our values and Principles of Community. 

Program Structure

Learning has been designed to occur on multiple levels:

Full cohort – up to 25 participants

  • Monthly ½ day – full day cohort gatherings over 12 months 
    (Friday mornings 8:30 – 12:30 pm)
  • December 2020- May 2021 programming will be delivered virtually via zoom (unless it is possible to meet on campus in compliance with all safety and social distance protocols.) 
  • Deliberately diverse representation from across divisions/schools/colleges
  • Emphasis on learning experiences that build on and are different from standard manager skill-building workshops
  • Programming will blend a practical understanding of:
    • university as a system (organizational structure and priorities)
    • leadership skills and behaviors
    • personal development and reflection

Small groups

  • Case study discussions
  • Discussions of complex and challenging landscape in higher education, particularly


  • Multi-rater feedback, pre and post
  • Blend of in-person and online learning
  • Development of individualized goals based on assessment results
  • A la carte skill-building workshops available in person and online to support identified areas of development
  • Emphasis on reflection and accountability with participants applying principles with reflection/reporting back on learnings 
  • Participants asked to demonstrate leadership skills learned 
  • Ongoing communication with the participant’s manager
  • Post-program follow up and ongoing learning and networking for program alumni
  • Flexible and adaptable to meet diverse and unique needs of the cohort

Participants will receive a certificate at end of the program.

Assessment and Evaluation

  • Pre-and post multi-rater feedback
  • Surveys of program components conducted monthly
  • Program evaluation completed annually on program effectiveness and results achieved
  • Retention/Promotions
  • Workplace Quality Survey

Additional Information | Contact

In January 2016, a Taskforce of academic and administrative leaders was convened to assess current leadership programming at Fresno State and recommend the conceptual, strategic and operational design for a new program. Their work has resulted in the President's Leadership Academy. The inaugural cohort ran from January 2017 - December 2018.  The second cohort ran from May 2019- May 2020. 

For more information please contact:

Rudy Sanchez
Professor of Management