University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

About the Program

PEL Background

For 11 years, the President’s Emerging Leaders (PEL) program, recently renamed the President’s Excellence in Leadership program, has supported leadership development for mid-career staff. PEL has had 275 participants since its inception, along with 150 PEL mentors, 40 group project sponsors, and 260 participant supervisors. In addition to providing career development for PEL participants, the program has provided value to the University as a whole by initiating important conversations and suggesting strategies to address University challenges and opportunities.

PEL 2013 will support the University’s focus on operational excellence, with a seminar curriculum and action learning components that emphasize change management facilitation, leadership, and Lean strategies to improve efficiency. PEL is an excellent opportunity for high-potential employees to be mentored by a University senior leader, network with high-potential peers, and improve their career development prospects.

Upon completion of PEL, participants will demonstrate improvement in the following six leadership competencies:

  • Managing change
  • Advancing efficiency
  • Balancing quality, risk, and speed
  • Fostering collaboration
  • Engaging others
  • Acting with integrity

Colleges and units designate one participant on behalf of their unit. The program is specifically targeting Directors and Assistant Directors, or anyone who is in an empowered position to move operational excellence forward within the unit. Designees are encouraged to have a unit-based project sponsor and a specific efficiency/operational excellence project. Specifically, unit leaders are encouraged to select their designees based on the following criteria:

  • Capacity to stretch beyond current skills or role
  • Cross-functional capacity
  • Demonstrated collaboration ability
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Participation in previous change initiative preferred
  • Aptitude for coaching others and facilitation
  • Likely to benefit from additional development

Call for designations opens on Feb. 21, 2012 with designations due by March 21. The eight-month program kicks off in April and ends in December. Participants are expected to commit 20 percent of their work time to program activities.

Program Timeline

Call for designations opens February 21
Designation form and letter due March 21
Participant orientation April 2 or 3
Art of Hosting training/kickoff April 12
Change Management seminar May 2, 3
Change Management seminar May 16, 17
Leadership seminar June 20
Leadership seminar July 18
Leadership seminar August 15
Leadership seminar September 20
Efficiency seminar October 4
Efficiency seminar October 18
Efficiency seminar November 1
Efficiency seminar November 15
Closing event December 3