The Leadership Education for Advancement and Promotion (LEAP) program began at CU Boulder in 2001 as an Institutional Transformation Grant funded by the National Science Foundation ($3.5 million) and the University of Colorado Boulder ($900,000). The following seven years were an effort to strike a balance between research, workshops, and events with the goal to recruit and retain faculty on the Boulder campus. With support from now Chancellor Phil DiStefano, LEAP has become an institutionalized program fully funded by the University of Colorado Boulder and housed in the Office of Faculty Affairs. Vice Provost Jeff Cox has played an integral role in creating an appropriate home for the program, increasing the role of the Office of Faculty Affairs in supporting the career development of the Boulder faculty.
The goal of the LEAP program is support tenure-line faculty at all stages of their careers: assistant, associate, and full professors. For pre-tenured faculty, we run a two-day, skill-based workshop which includes sessions on time management, career development, and cultivating leadership skills. The sessions are presented by tenured faculty, administrators, and professional staff and the workshop seeks to connect the participants to the larger campus community. Working together over the course of the two-day workshop, participants have an opportunity to meet colleagues from across the campus and realize that they are not ‘alone’ in navigating the tenure path. Associate professors are eligible to apply for LEAP-sponsored career-development ‘growth’ grants, intended to help them develop their research portfolio as they progress towards promotion to full professor. The call for proposals goes out in January with a submission deadline in early March.
LEAP is committed to the cultivation of professional networks across the Boulder campus. To this end, the program sponsors events for women faculty and international faculty. We are also looking to build mentoring networks to complement the mentoring programs in place within academic departments.
LEAP is dedicated to sustaining programs that are now well-established and building new ones to serve the career advancement of faculty colleagues.