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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

Faculty Career and Advancement

Provost’s Leadership Academy (PLA)


Cohort 12 (2023-2024) at the Provost’s Leadership Academy Retreat

What is the Provost’s Leadership Academy?

The PLA is an opportunity for Deans and Chancellors to recognize early- and mid-career faculty who show promise as leaders and are positive role models in their colleges or campuses. The PLA provides faculty with a training program that helps faculty to develop self-awareness, confidence, leadership skills; expand their network within Washington State University; connect with University leaders and build knowledge of the University and the challenges facing higher education more broadly.

What can participants expect?

Participants will experience a high-quality program led by skilled leadership training professionals and experienced university administrators. Program activities will be delivered in highly interactive, engagement-based online and face-to-face sessions. Participants will increase self-awareness, develop an understanding of value-based leadership, improve conflict resolution skills, and build their professional network.

What is the commitment?

The program begins with a mandatory 1.5 day retreat at Ross Point in Post Falls, ID, in October followed by 5 face-to-face sessions over the course of the Fall and Spring semesters (3 related to leadership activities and 2 related to University function). The face-to-face sessions are interspersed with three online modules which introduce important leadership topics and allow participants to engage in related experiential activities to practice skill development with peer mentors. Activities are designed to support participants with executing a leadership project that they design specifically for this program (see below). While attendance and active engagement in the face-to-face sessions are important for success, we will of course adjust expectations in line with safety protocols due to COVID-19.

What is the leadership project?

During the PLA each participant is required to work on a project that involves the practice of leadership. The project must involve influencing others to achieve a specific goal.

Deans, Chancellors, or Department Chairs assign the leadership project.

The project should be one that is meaningful to the participant’s unit. Therefore, it is important that participants develop the project in consultation with unit leaders at the time of nomination. Past projects have included negotiating strategic plans, developing and getting approval for new academic programs, spearheading new policies and procedures for evaluating graduate students, developing review processes for career-track faculty, and reorganizing a department.

Who pays for the program?

The Provost’s Office covers expenses for the retreat, online instruction, and face-to-face sessions.

Who should participate in PLA?

Candidates must be faculty (either tenured/tenure track or career track). It is recommended that the participants have at least three years at WSU and no more than a few years beyond promotion to associate professor rank. The purpose of the program is to recognize and build the next generation of University leaders. A nomination to the PLA is not a guarantee of promotion, but a recognition of potential by the nominators.


Please contact Kristina Peterson-Wilson (Vice Provost for Academic Administration & Chief of Staff) at or (509) 335-5581.