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Academic Leadership Development Programme

During the Alert Level 4 period, information on working and managing remotely, along with other resources, is being provided for academic and professional leaders on the Learning and Development website.

Academic leaders, and in particular Heads of Department, have a significant and pivotal role at the University of Otago.

Within the collegial and devolved organisational environment, they provide leadership, work with colleagues to set strategic goals and make decisions about resources. Their role, and that of other academic leaders, such as Directors of Centre and Associate Deans is highly-valued at the University.

The Academic Leadership Development Programme (ALDP) is one of a number of resources available to leaders and it focuses on fostering excellence in academic leadership at the University of Otago. Particular emphasis is placed on supporting new Heads of Department as they take up the role.

Context of the programme

The programme started in 2009, is based in the Human Resources Division and supported by an Advisory Group comprising the Deputy-Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Directors of Human Resources Division and Higher Education Development Centre and representatives from the across the University.

Programme streams

The programme provides opportunities for people to develop reflective leadership practice, grow in confidence, learn from peers in the community of Otago leaders, extend understanding of the University and strengthen networks. Activities include individually tailored induction plans, mentors, peer learning groups, leadership coaching and timetabled activities (e.g. 1-3 day courses, workshops and tutorials).


For new and incoming Heads of Department and Directors.

Programme of Courses and Workshops

For current Heads of Department, Directors of Centre and for selected events their nominees who hold a leadership role within the department or centre.

Christchurch and Wellington leadership programmes

For participants nominated by the Dean and including academic leaders and general staff managers

Specific position groups

Activities are developed for particular groups of academic leaders as required. For example, a workshops are offered on the Role of Associate Dean/ Deputy Head of Department. The Directors of Centre requested a position-specific regular forum to discuss current issues and share best practice.