Leadership Academy

UNICON Leadership Academy

Kelly Bean

The UNICON Leadership Academy is an eight-month leadership development program designed specifically for university-based executive education professionals seeking to transition into leadership roles within member schools.

At the core of the Academy is a four-day immersion structured around the annual Team Development Conference that this year will take place at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, USA November 20-22 (details to follow in early fall).

Previous Academy immersion programs have been structured around team development conferences in UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA; Tecnológico De Monterrey (ITESM) EGADE Business School, Monterrey, Mexico; and the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

For Samantha James, a participant in the inaugural Leadership Academy, immersion around the conference was a particularly impactful experience.

“The sessions during the Team Conference were really insightful,” she said. “Monica Sacristan’s strategic planning workshop could not have come at a better time, because I was working on a strategic plan back at the University of Maryland’s Smith School.  I learned so much, and was able to apply it immediately at a one-day retreat I led as soon as I returned from the conference.”

Other elements of the UNICON Leadership Academy include webinars, coaching calls and a leadership action plan.

“Our challenge to the Academy’s participants is, what would you do if you were the Associate Dean?” said UVA’s Kelly Bean – the Academy’s creator.  “We are striving to enhance the next generation of leadership in our field.   We want to equip them not only with deep industry knowledge, but also with the skill set necessary to lead change and execute on a vision.”

Chuck Black, also part of the first cohort, was impressed with the Academy’s facilitators.

“The people in the room are industry giants,” he said.  “They had decades of experience in the field, many of them at some of the most prestigious executive education shops in the world.  Coming from the Weatherhead School of Management – a relatively small school – it was fascinating to hear the breadth of perspectives on burning topics such as the value equation and the competitive landscape.”

Melbourne Business School’s Nick Williams saw the value of the experience extending far beyond the four days at the conference.

“The highlight for me was the opportunity to grow my network and build friendships with new colleagues,” he said. “I like to think I didn’t just make professional connections, I actually built friendships that will last beyond the Academy and that are globally diverse. I just hope I get the opportunity to meet with these new friends again at some stage.”

Visit the UNICON YouTube channel where you will find recorded Informational Webinars on the Leadership Academy:


Applications are now closed for the 4th class of the UNICON Leadership Academy. 

Learn more about the 2019-2020 Leadership Academy.

Roster 2016-2017 Graduates

Roster 2017-2018 Graduates

Roster 2018-2019 Graduates