Leadership Fellows Program

Colorado State University
First Year Pilot
February 2021

Faculty and staff are invited to apply for the CSU Leadership Fellows Program for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. This program is a professional development opportunity designed to help participants strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their understanding of higher education, and gain experience that will benefit them in their current and future positions. Each Fellow will work closely with a senior mentor (e.g. Vice President) to complete a time-intensive project in a specific area of focus.  The Fellows will also meet regularly as a cohort to share the successes and challenges of their experiences, learn from one another, and offer feedback to the program coordinators.

Program details

Summer and fall Fellowship start dates will be available depending on the area of focus, the applicant’s availability, and COVID protocols at the time, but all Fellowships will be expected to begin no later than August 2021 and run through June 30, 2022, with final work product(s) due by June 30, 2022.

All CSU Leadership Fellowships are expected to be up to one-year, temporary opportunities for current CSU faculty or staff, following which all Fellows will resume their regular positions in their home units. Fellows may of course apply for leadership positions at the university following their Fellowships and it is the goal of the program to prepare them for such roles or positions, but applicants should not expect any direct appointment to emerge from their Fellowships.

Unless otherwise determined by mutual agreement between the Fellow and the senior mentor, all Fellowships will account for 50% of the Fellows’ workload, with the specifics as follows:

  • Faculty members selected as Fellows will need to secure permission from their Chair to teach a 50% course load throughout the 2021-22 academic year. A letter affirming this permission will be expected as part of the Fellowship application (see below).
  • Staff members selected as Fellows will need to secure permission from their supervisor to be relieved of 50% of their regular work duties for the duration of the Fellowship. A letter affirming this permission will be expected as part of the Fellowship application (see below).

All Fellows will be paid their regular salaries by the university for the duration of their Fellowship period.  (See detailed description of the unit reimbursement structure below.)

Fellows will be expected to meet with and report progress to their mentors (or their mentor’s designee) regularly throughout their Fellowships, at least monthly if not more often. They will also be expected to adhere to the university’s Principles of Community and standards for professional behavior, demonstrating discretion, good judgement, and confidentiality in all interactions they engage in as Fellows.  At any time during the agreed-upon Fellowship period, if the senior mentor is dissatisfied with the Fellow’s progress toward their work product goal, the Fellowship may be terminated with reasonable notice and the Fellow would then return to their home unit for the remainder of the academic year.

Fellows will also be expected to attend and actively participate in regular cohort meetings of all Leadership Fellows, beginning with a Fellows retreat during Summer 2021 (date and format TBA), as well as in any and all professional development opportunities created by the Office of the President specifically for the CSU Leadership Fellows (e.g. speakers, workshops, webinars.)  This latter piece of the program is intended specifically to support the fellows throughout the program and enrich their experience as Leadership Fellows.

Areas of Focus

  • Culture Change and Strategic Planning Implementation, Office of the President
  • Internal Communications, University Communications
  • Community Development, Office of Engagement and Extension
  • Strategic Planning, Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Basic Needs/Food Insecurity, Student Affairs
  • Campus Engagement, Information Technology

Detailed fellowship descriptions

Eligibility and Condition of Employment

Full-time faculty and staff members will be eligible to apply.

A selection committee will review applications and make recommendations to the mentors in each area. The selection process may require additional interviews. The committee will evaluate applicant’s areas according to the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the desired area of focus;
  • Prior achievements related to area of focus;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently;
  • Demonstrated willingness to take on and ability to execute a complex project;
  • Prior leadership experience;
  • Documented ability to collaborate effectively;
  • Demonstrated professional judgment and discretion;
  • Strong institutional knowledge of CSU, including but not limited to policies and procedures.

Application requirements

  • Current curriculum vitae or resume
  • Cover letter not to exceed two pages outlining applicant’s interest in the program, professional goals, desired area(s) of focus, and relevant experience
  • Letter of support from applicant’s supervisor or department chair, to include a plan for managing the applicant’s regular assigned duties (e.g. teaching load, staff job responsibilities) during the Fellowship period
  • Letter of support from applicant’s dean or VP, indicating support for the supervisor-submitted plan to manage the applicant’s regular assigned duties during the Fellowship period.

Unit Reimbursement Details

All Fellows will continue to receive their regular salary through their respective home unit, and retain access to their current benefits, for the duration of their Fellowship period. During that same period, the respective unit will be provided a “stipend” as listed below, assuming a 50% FTE for the fellowship, as a one-time payment to provide resources for supplemental pay and or course buyout from the Office of the President.  The stipend rates for this pilot program have been modeled based on those used by the CSU Semester at Sea program and are as follows:

  • $32,000 per academic year for any faculty Fellow selected.
  • $18,000 per academic year for any staff Fellow selected.

Summer salary of $3500 per month may also be available for nine-month faculty members selected as Fellows who agree (with their Mentors) to begin work in Summer 2021, with the understanding that their workload during any period of time when they are being solely paid as Fellows would be 100% dedicated to their Fellowship project(s).

Deadline for Applications

Applications should be submitted by March 29, 2021.