ALFP Program and Session Overview

AACP Resource

Purpose and Overview

Since graduating Cohort 1 in 2005, the Academic Leadership Fellows Program has supported and contributed to the development of leaders in academic pharmacy and higher education. The program is intended to expand relationships with peers and colleagues in other institutions as well as within the college and university. Fellows commence their leadership path with a new understanding of personal potential; talent and leadership strengths; and skills and management tools, to more successfully engage in their responsibilities and step up to challenges.

The four-session, year-long program includes:

  • in-depth leadership development;
  • team building;
  • exploration of legislative and public policy issues critical to pharmaceutical and higher education;
  • self and peer assessments;
  • individual project dealing with leadership;

  • team project concerning current issues in academic pharmacy;

  • personal and interpersonal competencies for leadership;
  • exposure to national and international leaders;
  • practical management responsibilities and administrative competencies of an academic pharmacy administrator; and
  • leadership in the external arena of advocacy of the profession.

Deans who nominate a member of their faculty to participate in the Academic Leadership Fellows Program take an important step in developing a promising leader who will be prepared to make significant contributions to:

  • academic pharmacy;
  • their home institution; and
  • the Fellows’ career.

Nominating deans invest both financial and personnel resources in the program. The dean makes a personal commitment to ensure the program is successful for the nominee by serving as and/or designating a mentor for the Fellow. The mentor assists her/him in discovering and developing individual leadership/management potential and a perspective of academic leadership at the college/campus level.

All AACP members are eligible to apply to the ALFP program. Applicants must submit a letter of intent, current CV, and a letter of recommendation from the Dean Mentor which address:

  • the applicant’s future career goals;
  • what s/he hopes to learn through the AACP Academic Leadership Fellows Program; and
  • how the applicant would like to make a difference through leadership in academic pharmacy and higher education.


The registration fee for the ALFP program is $9,950, which includes registration for the INterim and Annual Meetings. Travel, lodging and most meal costs are the responsibility of the Fellow and/or college or school. Prior to the start of the program, AACP will email the Fellow their registration invoice in May with full payment requested by the end of July. 

Participants in this dynamic program benefit from:

  • presentations by national and international leaders in higher education;
  • mentoring by dean’s and university leaders;
  • networking with peers;
  • engaging teamwork;
  • presentations and interaction with experts in leadership;
  • executive presence;
  • Clifton Strengths program;
  • interacting with the George Washington Presidential Library staff and leaders; and
  • opportunity to advance skills, career and value to a school or college of pharmacy.

Sessions I and II are held in the Washington, D.C. area, while Sessions III and IV are held in association with the February INterim Meeting and the July Annual Meeting. The registration fee includes the curriculum, speakers, leadership texts, some meals, a one-year subscription to the Harvard Business Review, the Challenge Discovery exercise and the Clifton Strengths program.

Sessions Overview

Session I: Leadership and Self: Discovery and Teamwork

Session I sets the tone for the year-long Fellows program. The objective of this session is for the Fellow to look within to realize and understand his/her personal strengths and weaknesses. Speakers focus on self-discovery of leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Session I involves:

  • classroom and outdoor activities focused upon discovering individual strengths;
  • capitalizing on individual strengths;
  • becoming aware of the strengths and weaknesses of others;
  • maximizing strengths to develop effective teams;
  • discussion of leadership theories;
  • individual project dealing with leadership;
  • team project concerning current issues in academic pharmacy;
  • learning about and developing relationships with cohort members; and
  • developing a network of support and shared experiences with cohort members.

Session II: Leadership Potpourri: Constructing Skills, Historical Perspectives and Higher Education

The second session of the year-long Fellow’s program involves further discovery of self and leadership skills building. Session II also involves viewing leadership from a historical perspective.

Components of Session II include:

  • continued discussion of the individual Fellows’ strengths and weaknesses;
  • introduces the concept of Emotional Intelligence in leadership;
  • understanding leadership from a historical perspective;
  • a visit to Mt. Vernon, estate and home of the George Washington Presidential Library; and
  • presentations from national and international leaders in higher education.

Session III: Creating Self and Current Topics in Leadership and Higher Education

Session III involves one and one-half days of additional presentations and leadership discussion followed by the Fellows group presentations. After spending the first two sessions focusing on individual strengths and developing the Fellows leadership styles, this session introduces application of their leadership styles to interact with colleagues and situations.

The objectives and activities of Session III include:

  • compare and contrast leadership styles;
  • dealing with leadership styles different from one’s own;
  • applying leadership styles through case studies;
  • understanding roles and responsibilities of university administration and culture;
  • dealing with senior management and upper administration; and
  • achieving a healthy balance between the commitments of work and home life.

Session IV: Refining Self and Current Topics in Leadership

The final session of the year-long program provides the opportunity for the Fellows to exercise
their learned experiences. Session IV is held in conjunction with the first day of the AACP
Annual Meeting and highlights an inspirational presentation from a nationally known expert on
body language, verbal and non-verbal communications, and a speaker discussing the future of pharmacy and higher education.

The day ends with a graduation ceremony and dinner in honor of the Leadership Fellows.

Suggested Institutional Discussions and Activities

The success of Fellows participating in ALFP is the sharing of knowledge and experience by the Dean Mentor. Following are topics representing areas to be discussed over the upcoming year.

Topics for discussion:

  • Principles and basics of leadership;
  • Policy and governance: University considerations;
  • Legal issues in higher education;
  • Career advancement activities;
  • Human resource management;
  • Strategic planning;
  • Advocacy at the local, state, and national level;
  • Budgeting and finance considerations;
  • Development of a five-year leadership plan;
  • Self-awareness and knowing yourself;
  • Leading versus managing;
  • Empowerment and delegation;
  • Vision and mission: creating understanding, buy-in, and shared view;
  • Changing your lens: I/me to us/we;
  • Politics versus policy: how they influence each other;
  • Leading an organization within an organization: comparing compasses; and
  • When to lead and when to listen.