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Nominees and applications are being accepted until December 5 for the third class of the UT Knoxville Women’s Leadership Program. Designed to encourage a stronger pipeline of women faculty and staff members into campus leadership positions, the Women’s Leadership Program is a one-year commitment that combines intensive leadership training with monthly sessions that include readings, speakers, and discussions.

“The Women’s Leadership Program was great for developing a wider perspective of university issues beyond my own college. This made me feel more connected to the university as a whole,” said Diane A. Mollenkopf, McCormick Associate Professor of Logistics and director of the doctoral program in logistics, who was a member of the inaugural class.

“I also really enjoyed meeting other women from across the campus,” Mollenkopf said. “Not only have I made some friends, but I’ve already been able to use the wider network I’ve developed through the Women’s Leadership Program,” she said. “It’s nice to know there are others across the campus on whom we can call when we need help navigating university issues.”

The Women’s Leadership Program is intended to:

  • Improve understanding of what leadership is
  • Build self-awareness and strengthen unique leadership capabilities
  • Become familiar with the overall structure and function of higher education administration
  • Provide skills and tactics to help women in higher education to flourish
  • Increase success rates of all women across campus by increasing the number of females in leadership positions who can mentor others

The program will begin with one week of intensive leadership training in May 2012. It will continue with summer readings and reflection assignments and monthly meetings during the nine-month academic year with key campus leaders. Monthly sessions will involve readings, speakers, and discussions on topics ranging from personal development (e.g., career planning, time management, and work/life balance) to leadership (e.g., negotiation, conflict management, leading change), to specific higher education concerns (e.g., diversity, resource management, legal and political considerations, fund-raising, and shared governance). The Women’s Leadership Program will conclude with a three-day wrap-up in May 2013.

Applicants and nominees should be:

  • Employees of UT for at least five years
  • Either staff or faculty members (the latter should typically be tenured and at least associate professor rank)
  • Already in leadership positions or have an interest in and potential for such roles
  • Recommended by their dean, department head, supervisor, or other appropriate administrator
  • Characterized by exemplary service to UT, have leadership potential, and have given thought to how she might contribute to UT in the future

The following information for each applicant is due electronically to Linda Silvers ( by December 5, 2011:

  • Current resume or vita
  • Letter(s) of recommendation from dean, department head, supervisor, or other relevant administrator
  • Two short essays on the following topics: “What would you like to achieve through your participation in the Women’s Leadership Program?” and “What are your leadership and career goals?”

Interviews may also be conducted as a part of the selection process.

A selection committee will make recommendations to the provost regarding the composition of the inaugural class by mid-December, with the goal of informing applicants of their status by the end of the fall 2011 semester.

For more information, contact Sarah Fisher Gardial at or 974-6152.