Program Description

The John Marshall Leadership Fellows Program is conducted annually during the spring term under the sponsorship of and administered by the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Applications are accepted each fall for spring cohorts. Full-time tenured or probationary faculty and full-time classified or non-classified staff with leadership aspirations and a commitment to Marshall University are eligible to participate.

Applicants must have the endorsement of their chair/direct supervisor and dean/vice-president. The final selection of the cohort will be made by senior administrators of the fellows program.

Program Goals

The goals for the John Marshall Leadership Fellows Program are to:

  • create opportunities for critical thinking;
  • cultivate leadership knowledge and skills;
  • expand understanding of university operations and processes;
  • create networks of collaborative colleagues;
  • build capacity in knowledge and skills for institutional leadership;
  • promote a collegial and collaborative institutional culture;
  • advance capacity for high-level university service and administration;
  • optimize functioning in all university units; and
  • explore effective responses to emerging issues at the institution and in higher education.


An important element of the program is mentoring by experienced institutional leaders. Once the cohort is selected, each fellow will be matched with a mentor with appropriate institutional and leadership experience. Mentors are expected to meet with the fellow at least every two weeks to discuss questions and insights emerging from the training, as well as more informal discussions of leadership experiences and personal and professional development principles and practices.


Each cohort will be composed of a select group of faculty and staff who are interested in developing their leadership potential; learning more about how the university functions and institutional policies; and, collaborating as a team to complete a special project (see below). Weekly sessions through the spring term will focus on principles of leadership as well as leadership practices as outlined here (link to be added). Weekly sessions will be three hours long, and fellows can expect to spend approximately two additional hours per week reading, in meetings, or completing other preparatory activities. Supervisors of cohort members agreed to make accommodations in schedules to permit fellows to meet these time requirements. Academic fellows will receive one course reassignment; staff fellows will receive a similar time release.

Special Projects

Each cohort of fellows will be charged with developing a special project relating to the program theme. Fellows will identify a specific and current institutional issue relating to the theme; explore that issue through the review of existing data, acquisition of new data, and review of model programs; and develop a proposal for addressing and alleviating that issue at Marshall University. Near the end of the spring semester, the fellows will present proposed solutions to the president and senior leadership team. The theme for the 2021 cohort will be announced prior to the application deadline. Check back here for updates.