Faculty Executive Leadership Academy

The Faculty Executive Leadership Academy (FELA) is designed to identify, foster, and develop senior academic faculty members (tenured full professors) for leadership. This program will build on individuals’ previous leadership development experiences by providing first access to senior leadership and their decisions; offering close, and accessible, mentoring; and participating in the formulation of solutions and policies related to real problems and on-going issues.

Program Description

Four FELA Fellows will be selected for rotations over a two-year period (July 2024- June 2026)

The FELA will be composed of four components, designed to foster a holistic leadership development experience for the Fellows:


Each Fellow will spend a six-month shadowing and project rotation in each of the Institute’s executive offices: President, Provost, EVPR, and EVP-A&F.  During the six-month rotation, the fellow will be invited to participate in selected meetings, shadow the executive in selected day-to-day activities, and work on one leadership project spanning two rotations. 


The Fellows will work on two year-long, high impact projects, spanning the two offices they shadow that year. Each project will focus on an objective of significance to the mission or strategic goals of the four divisional areas of the Institute.  Projects will be selected prior to the start of each year in consultation between the Fellow and the executives and will follow a defined project plan with final deliverables due at the end of each one-year period. Projects will be in support of specific Institute Strategic Plan initiatives.  The first cohort of Fellows worked on projects related to the four-year graduate rate, division of lifetime learning, indirect costs distribution, and grant work with industrial sources.

Some examples of possible projects could include

  • National lab collaboration and relationship development
  • HBCU and Minority-Serving Institutes research collaboration and partnership
  • Georgia Tech’s role in the state as a public research university
  • Leveraging Association of American Universities (AAU) status and relationships
  • Accelerating research activities in the liberal arts and humanities
  • Supporting the development and success of student athletes
  • Improving institute support for faculty research start-up
  • Incorporating research growth and aspirations into the Campus Master Plan
  • Is there a role for the Institute in K-12 and two-year degrees?
  • The future of work – workforce of the future.
  • What are untapped audiences, degrees and markets for GT’s enrollment growth?
  • How to increase international reputation?
  • What are potential revenue generating ideas and corresponding implementation plans?

Cohort meetings and activities

The cohort meets two-three times per month, beyond shadowing activities, for guest speakers, case studies, and role plays. The FELA Fellows must commit to participating in several off-campus activities and summer work, making this a priority in their schedules.

Former Provost and current Regents’ Professor Dr. Rafael L. Bras serves as the program director and organizes the activities of the Fellows, with the support of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty. He serves as a mentor, discussion leader, and guide to the participants. 

Leadership development resources

FELA fellows will have access to leadership development resources and support to include internal executive coaching and leadership development support funding for travel or other additional activities selected by the participant.

Sample rotation schedule

Faculty Leadership Fellow

July-December 2024

January-June 2025

July-December 2025

January-June 2026

FLF #1





FLF #2





FLF #3





FLF #4






Application & Appointment

How to apply

Applications will be accepted from tenured full professors at Georgia Tech. Applications should include one document (pdf) saved as Last Name_ First Name. The file should include the documents below in order: 

  • A cover letter (no more than three pages) that includes
    • What the applicant would hope to gain from participation in the program
    • How they could contribute to the Georgia Tech mission and the Strategic Plan through the program
    • Prior leadership development activities, including level of engagement in those activities
    • Plan for how they will adjust their current load and time commitments to participate in this program
    • Short-term and long-term leadership aspirations
  • A current CV in approved Georgia Tech format
  • List of five internal references representing a mix of leaders, faculty, and staff.

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 16 at 4pm and should be emailed directly to Rebecca Pope-Ruark at rpoperuark3@gatech.edu in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty.

Selection process

The Faculty Leadership Fellows will be selected through a three-step process:

  1. Following the application deadline, each dean will be asked to provide feedback on each applicant’s leadership potential.
  2. A representative from each of the four executives’ leadership teams, as well as the program director, will be asked to review the applications and deans’ summaries, and through a discussion of the group, a short list of finalists will be selected.
  3. Internal references for each finalist will be contacted, and finalists will meet individually with each of the executives. Following the meetings, the four executives will meet and agree upon the four selected FELA Fellows.

FELA Fellows will be notified no later than December 15 and attend orientation and a meet and greet with Institute executives in Spring 2024.

Appointment terms and requirements

  • The program starts July 2024 and continues through June 2026 with FELA Fellows expected to engage throughout the entire calendar year.
  • FELA Fellows will receive three types of financial support: 
    1. Funds for salary replacement: $20,000 for each 12-month period in the program (for a total of $40,000 over the two years). These funds can be used for course buy-out, research support, or summer salary.
    2. Temporary salary supplement of $15,000 for each academic year in the program (for a total of $30,000 over the two years).
    3. Access to professional development travel funds up to $5,000 to be used during the two years of the program. 
  • Fellows will be expected to spend about 8-10 hours/week in activities related to the program.  Meeting attendance will be set by the current supervising executive.
  • Fellows will be required to attend an orientation workshop prior to the start of the program, periodic group meetings (monthly) throughout the program and will meet as a group following each rotation to debrief the experience, leadership lessons learned, and plans for the next rotation.
  • Fellows will have access to internal executive coaching throughout the program.


Cohort 1 FELA Selected

Nov 18, 2021 — Atlanta, GA

Four faculty members have been selected to participate in the first cohort of the two-year Faculty Executive Leadership Academy (FELA). Those selected include Susan Burns, professor and associate chair for Administration and Finance, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Hang Lu, Love Family Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Pinar Keskinocak, William W. George Chair and professor, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and Alessandro (Alex) Orso, professor and associate dean, College of Computing. Read more.


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