Gold College

Gold College

Gold College is a comprehensive leadership program designed for academic leaders, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and VP (Academic) in partnership with Human Resource Services.

The University of Alberta recognizes the importance of enhancing leadership capacity to achieve a shared vision. This program is shifting the culture at the University through values-based experiential learning. The overarching goal of the program is to develop the mindset, knowledge, and skills needed to be agile academic leaders. From identifying challenges and understanding your own strengths, to building accountability and managing conflict, you will explore theories and practices of effective leaders. At the end of the program you will be ready to lead your Faculty and our University into the future.


Gold College runs over the academic year (Sept to June) and is comprised of 11 learning modules (over 90 hours) plus Orientation and Graduation sessions. Each session has been designed to address key areas of academic leadership within the University of Alberta context. While recognizing the importance of practical and applicable skills for leading, this program is based on the philosophy that authentic and effective leadership begins by understanding oneself, one's values, and making choices based on values. The curriculum is sequenced to develop leadership from three connected perspectives, each outlined below with some highlighted outcomes for each module:


  • Creating a personal leadership narrative to inspire and engage others
  • Leveraging personal values to align behaviours, priorities and choices as leaders
  • Utilizing emotional intelligence to enhance leadership efforts
  • Honouring personality preferences and inclusive thinking to maximize performance


  • Building high-performing teams and enabling people and groups to achieve desired results
  • Navigating human resources responsibilities for attracting, selecting and developing employees
  • Aligning organizational priorities through strategic planning
  • Planning for facilitating change and ensuring adoption of new initiatives
  • Employing facilitative practices to engage people, create conditions for innovation, build agreement and foster commitment


  • Using financial systems and processes to enable effective unit operations
  • Engaging in effective conversations to resolve conflicts
  • Evaluate and enhance leadership strengths based on 360 degree feedback

The program is supported by online resources and readings, as well as informal and self-directed small group meetings. 

Who should attend?

The program is intended for any academic staff who are in a position to lead or influence teams, departments, transformative initiatives, or projects. This includes, but is not limited to: APOs, faculty members, Chairs, Directors, Associate Deans, Associate Vice-Presidents, FSOs. All candidates will be vetted by their Dean/AVP/Faculty Learning Steward. 

How are participants selected?

After completing the online application form, each application will be assessed by their Dean/Learning Steward to determine commitment to attending the program. Based on these conversations, each Faculty/Central Unit will submit a prioritized list of candidates, and the final cohort list will be chosen in order to ensure representation from across the institution. 

If you are interested in the program, please speak to your Dean and/or Learning Steward to find out more about the program and to determine if this program will be suitable for your development needs. You can find a list of Learning Stewards here.

What some previous participants are saying?

“This has just been such a great opportunity and I take the time to thank you for supporting it.”

“I didn’t know what to expect, but this program changed me as a leader and as a person.”

Program Dates and Application

Completion of the online application is required. Applications for 2018-2019 are now closed. If you are interested in the 2019-2020 intake, please email us at to be added on our interest list.