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Leadership Development Programs


Vanderbilt Leadership Enrichment (VLE)

Established in 2019, Vanderbilt Leadership Enrichment (VLE) is designed to develop key leadership skills and competencies for staff who are managers or operational leaders demonstrating high potential, and whose leadership position is between front-line supervisor and director.

This university-wide program consists of eight full-day sessions, offered monthly from September through April. The program aims to help participants enhance their leadership self-awareness and increase their institutional knowledge. VLE will help develop their ability to work effectively with a team, lead during times of change, manage both complex and simple projects, deal with conflict, and set departmental goals and direction.

“At Vanderbilt, we are always looking to develop our leaders, pushing them to new heights,” said Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration. “VLE was crafted in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Divisions of Administration, Information Technology, and Finance. The program will serve as a valuable resource for managers across campus to enhance their leadership styles and increase their emotional intelligence to make better, more informed decisions not only for their teams, but for Vanderbilt as a whole.”

VLE was developed with significant input from Kopstain, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations John Lutz and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Brett Sweet. The program was established to serve and connect staff leaders from academic areas, departments and divisions across the university.

Application Process

Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are due at 5 p.m. on September 25th. 


Vanderbilt Leadership Academy (VLA)

Established in 2011, the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy (VLA) is a nine-month learning journey for high performing leaders in both academic and administrative areas that build their knowledge, capability and passion for leading the institution. Each year, approximately 25 Participants are nominated by the chancellor and vice chancellors. Over 200 leaders have completed the program since it began. View news articles about VLA.


VLA sessions feature speakers from both internal and external Vanderbilt, roundtable lunches with senior leaders, and case studies. The program is designed to: 

  • Sharpen awareness of personal performance as a leader demonstrating the ability to receive feedback and self-adjust.
  • Promote behaviors that reflect learning and leading agility.
  • Demonstrate composure and presence, both internally and externally.
  • Consider stakeholders’ interests, core values, and data in decision-making.

Common threads tie the sessions together and include a focus on:

  • Self- Who I am as a leader,
  • Others- How I effectively interact with others, and
  • Institution- How I prepare to lead the organization of the future.

Nomination Process

The Vanderbilt Leadership Academy participants are directly chosen through a Summer nomination selection process held by the chancellor and vice chancellors.

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