Noel Rasor
Public Management Center

Program available to KU staff seeking career advancement

Fri, 08/26/2011
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LAWRENCE — Staff at the University of Kansas and from other public sector organizations who want to advance in their careers are invited to develop their skills in a program that begins in September.

Offered through KU’s Public Management Center, the Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) is targeted to promising, non-managerial staff to help them prepare for leadership roles in their departments and agencies. The program meets two days each month through January, with classes designed to help participants hone their skills for positions of increasing responsibility while also growing their effectiveness in their current roles.

Participants’ employers gain a more prepared and engaged talent pool to draw from to confront the leadership challenge posed by coming retirements.

In addition to exploration of class topics such as organizational dynamics, generations in the workplace and business communication skills, each participant completes a mentor shadowing assignment and creates a professional portfolio designed to highlight his or her competencies and identify skill gaps.

ELA graduates cite these activities as crucial to their learning about themselves and how to attain their goals.

“Seven staff from five different KU programs and offices have participated in past sessions of the Emerging Leaders Academy,” said Noel Rasor, assistant director of the Public Management Center and program manager for the academy. “I’d love to see more departments take advantage of ELA as a way to recognize and support staff growth and achievement.”

One of the past KU participants was Victoria Williams, circulation supervisor at the Anschutz Library.

“I loved getting different perspectives on the issues facing those of us in the public sector,” Williams said. “We heard about not only the problems faced and how they were handled but the triumphs as well. It gave me a better understanding of my own role and a better understanding of what it really means to be a public servant.”

The KU Public Management Center (PMC) is part of the School of Public Affairs and Administration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The center offers professional development opportunities for public sector organizations throughout Kansas. Historically it has served predominantly staff from state agencies and local governments.

“We’re now trying to make more folks at KU aware of what we can do to support staff development needs here,” Rasor said.

The standard tuition for ELA is $1,000; the KU staff rate is $750. The cost covers all training days and materials. The PMC can work with departments on payment arrangements if necessary.

More details about the Emerging Leaders Academy can be found on the Public Management Center’s website at

Housed in the top-ranked School of Public Affairs and Administration, the Public Management Center’s mission is to prepare leaders, develop professionalism in the public workforce, and link KU resources to the challenges of management in public organizations.

“Our relationship with the School ensures that all the trainings and resources we offer are grounded in current research,” said Charles Jones, director. “The Public Management Center staff supplements this with years of experience in leading engaging workplace education programs. It creates a win-win for our participants.”

In addition to its educational programs, the center maintains a presence on Facebook ( and on Twitter ( to offer ongoing professional development resources and support for public sector staff.

Information about all of the center’s educational programs can be found on its website at

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