The RiceLeaders program was designed to enable organizational transformation, which requires leadership development at the organizational level. This leads to:
- internalization of the vision and strategy;
- higher collective leadership competence of a critical mass of individuals;
- implementation at the operational level, leading to better outcomes; and
- stitching the university together.
To improve the collective leadership competence of Rice to implement the Vision for the 2nd Century through the RiceLeaders program, participants were recruited into cohorts. These groups, which encompass almost all schools and divisions from across the university, each include approximately 25 deans, department chairs, faculty, vice presidents and administrators from across campus. Individuals were selected with an eye on:
- ensuring a balanced mix of participants (faculty and staff, male and female, etc.);
- representation from across campus;
- their position/role (leading voice on campus); and
- their understanding of Rice's strategy, and ability to help implement it.
Which exact participants were in each cohort was much less important than the collective composition of the group. The pathfinders in cohort 1 made sure departments on campus knew about the RiceLeaders program, and recommended participants for future cohorts. To date four RiceLeaders groups have completed the program; cohorts 5 and 6 are participating in the program during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.