ALFP Curriculum for Dean Mentor and Fellow

Academic Leadership Fellows Program logo

The following represents a suggested plan of study for the participating Dean Mentor and Fellow during the AACP Academic Leadership Fellows program.


Examine and draw own conclusions based on experienced guidance regarding topics in leadership and management in health professions and higher education.


  1. Analyze leadership theories and adopts those that match the values of the Fellow.
  2. Reflect on individual strengths and determines plans of action for using them to lead.
  3. Create new relationships with Dean and others in pharmacy program.
  4. Create new relationships within the campus and university while simultaneously creating leadership skills and network for future involvement.
  5. Evaluate the possibilities for leading change in higher education and health professions education.
  6. Generate opportunities for interactions at state and local levels to increase knowledge of governance and to advocate for programs and the profession.

Cultivating the experience

  1. Develop a schedule of formal and informal meetings at the onset with the Dean and other leadership in the school of pharmacy.
  2. Set expectations of what school leadership meetings it is reasonable for Fellow to attend, and determine dates and times in advance.
  3. Create a schedule of meetings with the individuals listed that the Dean and Fellow determine appropriate. Fellow should determine the reason for the meeting, and the expected outcome. Fellow should prepare agendas, schedules and follow up. Discuss how these meetings enhance leadership development. These individuals might include: President, Provost, Development officers, Governance and Advocacy office (for scheduling meetings with state and local politicians), State and local politicians. and Local community organizations (Area Agency on Aging, NAMI, Organization of Cities and Counties, and others).
  4. List national meetings in higher education or health professions education which would be beneficial to attend.
  5. Determine if there will be a Fellows swap in the year or as a second year activity. (Fellow from one school arranges to spend time at another school. Fellow from another school spends time at your school).
  6. Choose 1-2 leadership books for discussion over the course of the year.
  7. Utilize the articles in the Harvard Business Review for discussion with Dean, or in other leadership opportunities within the school or college.

Topics for discussion

(These topics may not be covered, or covered in-depth during the year-long AACP program)

  • Develop personal leadership goals and plan
  • Leading versus managing
  • Vision and mission: creating understanding, buy-in, and shared vision
  • Managing up
  • Empowerment and delegation
  • Administrative duties: budgets and performance reviews
  • Working with conflict management
  • Selling yourself (reading- To Sell is Human - Dan Pink)
Leading Change
  • Development of a five-year leadership plan
  • Strategic planning
  • Legal issues in higher education, dealing with Faculty and Students
  • Policy and governance: College, School and University
  • Other types of University governance structures
  • Politics versus policy: how they influence each other
Higher Education
  • Institutional advancement and development
  • Advocacy at the local, state, and national level
  • Budgeting and finance considerations
  • Issues in higher education (reading-An Avalanche is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead - Barber, Donnelly, Rizvi)
Health Professions Education
  • Advancing practice (contributing to positive changes in health care)
  • Leading change in research
  • Advocating for the profession


  1. Co-develop leadership philosophy and plan.
  2. Dean engages with ALFP Leadership Facilitators regarding topics, cases, group project, and follow up from week-long sessions in order to provide follow up with Fellow.
  3. A topic that is often requested but is more of a management issue is finance and budgeting. You may, as a team, determine that you would like to explore this area during the year.

Program Reading List

  • Harvard Business Review, Hardcopy, electronic, and tablet formats (Session I, II, III and IV
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink (Session I)
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Bradberry (Session II)
  • The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves, The Arbinger Institute (Session I, II and III)
  • Strengths-Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, Tom Rath (Session I)
  • Reframing Academic Leadership Edition 1, Bolman and Gallos (Session I)
  • George Washington's Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character, James Rees, Stephen J. Spignesi (Session II)
  • Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing, by Eric Langshur, Nate Klemp (Session III)

Other Suggested Readings:

  • Academic Leadership and Governance of Higher Education, Hendrickson, Lane, Harris, and Dorman
  • Reframing Organizations v. 5, Lee G. Bolman, Terrence E. Deal
  • Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, Amy C. Edmondson
  • Stress Map, ESSI Systems
  • You Can't Lie To Me, Janine Driver
  • The Elements of Great Managing, Rodd Wagner, James K. Harter

NOTE: Fellows should be given opportunities to develop and practice leadership skills during and after their year of study