About UAcademy

UAcademy is an internal leadership training program for University of Alberta senior leaders. This new executive education program offers talent development with applied learning as the participants continue to work toward the University of Tomorrow

UAcademy offers a unique and unifying education. Spearheaded by the Office of the Provost, in collaboration with Human Resources and developed by the Alberta School of Business, UAcademy was created to help senior leaders find collaboration across the university and turn the University’s challenges into a strategic transformation. The program is designed to be complementary to the university’s training and development programs, setting the stage for scalable and consistent focus on leading one’s self, teams and the U of A as a whole to higher levels of effectiveness and sustainability.

4 individuals smiling in a meeting

The goals of UAcademy are to move from:

transactional leadership toward transformational leadership

the management of others toward motivating and empowering them

The content, instruction and evaluation of UAcademy will align with the university’s Indigenous Strategic Plan with incorporation of the new University Strategic Plan. To learn more about UAcademy, check out the interview on Verna’s Vlog with Michael Maier, the Associate Dean of Masters programs and Executive Education at the Alberta School of Business.

The program

The UAcademy program will provide foundational, practical learning opportunities to apply leadership skills as explored in the program. Cohort based learning will surround leaders with a supportive community to work with during and beyond their time in the program. 

UAcademy will develop capable, confident, compassionate and collaborative leaders to support the future of the University of Alberta. Each cohort is divided into teams that are each assigned a different problem faced by the University, asked to develop a recommendation on how to tackle these issues and then present their results in their final capstone L.A.B. presentation.

UAcademy is designed to be complementary to the University’s HR training and development programs. The program is application-oriented and customized around current needs for the University of Alberta and its community.

A hand over some notebooks lying on a table

Program elements

  1. Assessments for self-reflection and personal development.
  2. Active learning that will challenge participants to leverage their new learnings and their leadership skills to discover new solutions to existing challenges.
  3. Online learning community to support creating positive change while achieving organizational outcomes and positive impacts for students, staff, and community partners.
  4. Coaching to support learning while enhancing personal growth
  5. Learning concepts of simple to complex, and individual to team to organizational application
  6. Andragogical structure, aka learner-focused content and delivery starting with the WHY and providing a supportive environment to learn with/from peers


  • The program consists of five modules, for a total of 15 days of in-person delivery.
  • Participants can expect to devote a minimum of 165 hours of committed work to the program and its inclusions.


  • The program may also include on-demand (asynchronous) aspects involving pre-recorded video segments, pre-course assessments and/or readings, resources, etc.
  • Participants are required to complete pre-course work to provide foundational knowledge transfer and optimize the in-class experience. 
  • This pre-course work will be in addition to, yet separate from, the in-person sessions.

Work requirements

  • Mandatory 100% participation. 
  • If a participant has to miss a module but would still like to take part in UAcademy, their admittance will be postponed to the next cohort.

Role of supervisor

  • All participants must be nominated by their direct supervisor. The nomination process includes acknowledgement by the nominee and nominator of the program commitment, inclusions and work requirements.
  • Nominators must commit to collaborative work balance during program participation. This may include shifting portions of the participant's workload to others for the duration of the program. 

Course materials

  • Asynchronous resources will be made available at the start of the program via the university learning management system (eClass) and remain accessible until the end of the program. These resources may be repeatedly accessed by participants once they are registered in the program via eClass and receive their login information.


UAcademy is an internal leadership program for University of Alberta senior leaders. 

Participants are currently:

  • leading a team (formal or informally).
  • representing Directors, Associate Deans, AVPs, and others with significant formal and/or informal leadership duties.
  • working at the U of A for a minimum of 2 years and have been at their current leadership level for a minimum of 1 year.
  • seeking professional development opportunities.

The program will be delivered with a targeted maximum of 40 participants per cohort (up to 50 may be accommodated). The class maximum participation/cohort limit serves to enhance engagement and networking opportunities while recognizing ongoing workload demands and constraints.


  • Participants will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses unless required by their nominating area, and this would be limited to travel related requirements as there is no fee for the program itself.

Executive Coaching

  • UAcademy participants will be provided with one-on-one coaching and group (pod) coaching sessions to elevate their experience.
  • Coaches serve as learning partners supporting the exploration of leadership capabilities and challenges. 
  • Coaching is a comprehensive communication process, in which a coach pushes the learner to reach personal and organizational performance goals. Coaches do not take on the role of advisor, guide, consultant, mentor or therapist.

How to apply

  1. All candidates must be nominated by their direct supervisor via the Nomination Form.
  2. Nomination deadline for the next cohort: March 15, 2024
  3. For assistance with this form, please contact
An individual writing at a table, looking focused

Cohort Dates

If you are interested in participating in UAcademy, the next cohort is starting Spring 2024.

  • Module 1: April 29—May 2, 2024
  • Module 2: June 11—12, 2024
  • Module 3: October 7—9, 2024
  • Module 4: November 6—7, 2024
  • Module 5: December 3—6, 2024

UAcademy takes a break over the summer months, and no modules are delivered in July, August, or September, however, during that time, deliverables will be identified within L.A.B. projects.

Active Learning Projects

To align with the University of Alberta’s mandate and focus, UAcademy’s active learning projects are known as L.A.B.s (Learn + Apply + Build). These active learning projects identify real issues and opportunities impacting the organization, while supporting the learning needs of leaders. 

Each UAcademy cohort is divided into teams that are assigned a different active learning project. The team’s capstone project, and culmination of the UAcademy program, is to develop a recommendation on how to tackle the identified challenge and then present their results in their final presentation. 

L.A.B.s encourage the development of high potential solutions as the participants draw upon learnings from the program, and each other, to enhance their solutions. They provide opportunities to utilize the new ways of thinking, innovation and skills acquired within this program to avoid the pitfalls of approaching current challenges with past behaviors. The effort and dedication invested within the L.A.B. project provide real dividends: participants strengthen their leadership capabilities and also offer innovative and powerful new approaches to address complex organizational challenges while working in a group setting.

Topics for L.A.B. projects are submitted by executive members of the University of Alberta community outlining new opportunities or actual organizational challenges. 

Do you have a University challenge that needs a solution?


The University of Alberta is located on Treaty 6 territory and as such has a long-standing and evolving relationship with the people, cultures and history of Indigenous communities. UAcademy seeks to integrate this vital Indigenous history, knowledge and strength into the future.

The B.E.A.R.S. acronym will be utilized within UAcademy in recognition of the Indigenous teachings of the bear as it symbolizes strength, kindness, sharing and honesty. The bear also symbolizes ways to teach, guide and protect as we move forward into the future.

Each module follows the B.E.A.R.S. acronym, compounding each lesson. The program in its entirety will build on the ‘strength based approach’ to identify barriers and collaboratively support individual competencies to enhance the leaders for the University of Tomorrow.

Becoming (an authentic leader)

Self-awareness fuels leadership and inspires improvement in others.

Engaging (with others)

Meaningful relationships empower U of A leaders to elevate the University of Tomorrow.

Achieving (success)

Leadership success relies on strategic planning, effective communication, trust-building, evidence-based decision-making and capacity building to support organizational achievements.

Reaching (out across our communities)

Inclusive collaboration, adaptability and alignment with the university vision elevate the organization in engaging diverse partners and communities for navigating new challenges.

Sustaining (successful leadership & organizational transformation)

Successful leaders sustain organizational transformation by driving continuous improvement, aligning with the goals of the University of Tomorrow, and championing change with confidence and courage, supported by ongoing empowerment.

The content, instruction and evaluation of UAcademy will align with the university’s Indigenous Strategic Plan with Indigenous leadership, cooperation and instruction offered in Module 1, and continued as a focus throughout the program delivery via word, action and intent.