Case Studies: Emory University

Prior State

The client, a major academic and research institution, sought to improve the leadership and business acumen skills of its executives in alignment with its strategic goal of “strengthening the business of higher education.”


Emory’s Learning Services partnered with Emory Executive Education to develop a program that focused on the individual competencies of its leaders in order to raise the organization’s overall capabilities. The champions of these programs were senior ranking administrators within the university who saw the need of developing a strong leadership pipeline.

Learning Services and Emory Executive Education worked together to design two programs to prepare the future leaders of the university. Through classroom learning, a business challenge project, executive and presentation skills coaching, and other experiential learning activities, “Excellence Through Learning” enhanced participants' leadership abilities and knowledge of the business of higher education. Participants chose business challenge projects, worked on them in teams, and made presentations to the university’s senior executives.


Many of the business challenge projects have been implemented with great success. Program participants remain at the University and often are promoted to higher positions within the university upon completion of the program.

After five years of successful programs, the university returned to Emory Executive Education to expand the programming to engage the faculty leaders in the “Academic Leaders Program.” This program, modeled after “Excellence Through Learning,” approaches the unique challenges faced by the faculty administrators.