Program Background


The Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP) is an annual, cohort-based, leadership development program for new and experienced Department Heads, Program Directors, Associate Deans,and other academic leaders designed to increase their effectiveness and personal satisfaction in their leadership roles. ALDP includes problem-based learning opportunities in workshops and studios, coaching support, and online learning opportunities.


In 2006, a needs assessment conducted by consulting group Leading By Design considered the components required to create a leadership program for Department Heads, Program Directors and Associate Deans at UBC. In doing so, Leading By Design found the following:

  • Most Department Heads and Program Directors are neither well prepared to assume their new roles nor feel acknowledged for their contribution.
  • Much of the knowledge about how the University operates is implicit and tacit.
  • There are often unclear expectations for the role and its associated authority, responsibility, and accountability.
  • Currently, it can take more than two years to become successful in one’s role.
  • There is no formal process to develop a shared understanding of needs and issues, priority setting or knowledge sharing.

In light of these key findings, a proposal to create a leadership program for Department Heads and Directors involving problem-based learning, coaching support, peer mentoring, and workshops was submitted. The Office of the Provost, in partnership with Human Resources and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (formerly the Centre for Teaching & Academic Growth —TAG) agreed to sponsor this pilot project.

Founding Team members

Luisa Canuto

Sharon Kahn

Gary Poole

Dorothy Shaw

Julie Stockton

Fran Watters