Most universities resemble small cities, with hundreds of employees performing roles from academic instruction to information technology, maintenance and groundskeeping to food service and transportation, and a host of other jobs in between. 

Members of the first cohort are pictured, from left: Erin Smith, Alumni Relations; Rachael Faust, Facilities Services; Lacie Doyle, Academic Advising; Alexia Rawlings, Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement; Cynthia Funkhouser, Fulton School of Liberal Arts; Colin Watson, Information Technology; Mario Ramirez, Conference Services; Jennifer Ellis, Academic Affairs and Dawn Keter, Counseling Center.

With more than 7,500 students and employees, Salisbury University is no exception.

With a goal of creating a pipeline of diverse leaders within the institution, last semester, SU President Carolyn Ringer Lepre inaugurated the SULead program, a professional development initiative to foster engagement of talented, emerging staff with leadership potential by providing them with a well-rounded view of what goes into running the campus, as well as mentorship from area leaders.

Each Friday throughout the spring semester, cohort members learned about each of SU’s divisions from members of the president’s cabinet and interacted with other leaders on and off campus; area business officials and members of the university’s shared governance organizations.

Members also networked and built relationships across campus and beyond, learning about the challenges and opportunities facing higher education and participating in self-assessment activities to leverage their unique strengths for personal and professional success.

In their capstone project, participants engaged in group presentations on improving employee recognition and expanding SU’s culture of belonging on campus.

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