The Executive Development Institute is a 12-month program designed around five core leadership competencies:

  • Personal Values
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Management Decision Making
  • Dealing with and Developing People
  • Valuing and Managing Diversity

The institute uses Action Learning Teams, which are groups composed of four to five current scholars in the Executive Development Institute that give participants an opportunity to grapple with important challenges that are specific to Higher Education. This learning is viewed as more useful than traditional classroom learning because the experiences are grounded to actual organizational issues.

A case study generates a collaborative action learning environment where individuals can learn from each other and reflect on the ways in which they are applying newly acquired knowledge and skills to the problems and issues associated with their team project. A group coach is assigned to each team to help balance their tasks, processes, and action with reflection and learning.

Open to

Virginia Tech faculty and staff who are experienced leaders read for their next stage in leadership, leaders expanding their careers or effectiveness in their current roles, technically gifted faculty or staff who want to sharpen their people-leadership skills, and high-potential individuals who wish to prepare for increased leadership roles.


  • Develop a clear vision of management strengths and developmental needs
  • Provide learning opportunities at levels of the university in a structured, comprehensive and deliberate manner
  • Develop bench strength internally to prepare future leaders
  • Hone specific skills in key areas
  • Build a network of colleagues and support
  • Improve the quality of leadership within specific units and across Virginia Tech


The Executive Development Institute is designed to develop Virginia Tech’s leaders and provides multiple approaches to career enhancement and development. The program provides a structured method for assessing and developing leadership competency. Conferences, continuing education, and even advanced degrees, may be costing a good deal of time or money on leadership development. Since the Executive Development Institute is a personalized awareness-building and goal-setting program, it complements other educational activities.

By participating, employees receive:

  • Confidential feedback from direct reports, peers, or colleagues
  • Direct developmental feedback from supervisors
  • Targeted assessment tools to match various leadership roles
  • Pre and post assessment: two assessment opportunities spanning seven months
  • Comprehensive written reports of assessment results, providing measurable progress of growth in leadership competency
  • One-on-one consultation with mentors/coaches: On average, three hours of personalized, one-on-one consultation with an institute mentor/coach with follow-up throughout the program
  • An Individual Development Plan tailored to individual needs and linked to resources aligned with career development goals

How to apply

The Executive Development Institute is under review and a revamped program will be piloted with a select group of Executive Development Institute alumni later this year.

Current Scholars

The Executive Development Institute program is currently under review and a new pilot will be offered in 2017-18.


View a listing of past scholars of the Executive Development Institute.