UMD-Smith Leadership Academy


Select Smith staff now have the opportunity to take part in the UMD-Smith Leadership Academy, a cutting edge leadership development program delivered by the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Students will take courses from Smith School faculty in several subject areas: strategic thinking, project management, customer service excellence, financial acumen, negotiations, leadership, and impactful communications. In addition to the classroom experience, participants will also complete an Action Learning Project (ALP), in which small group teams of 4-5 people tackle a real-world business challenge sourced from Smith leadership over the course of the program. ALPs are intended to help participants synthesize concepts and apply learning from the program.

Each individual selected for the program will be a part of a group of peers who aspire to develop and enhance their leadership skills and who are committed to the vision, mission and values of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Who Should Participate in the Academy?

Rising and mid-level leaders. The program is appropriate for both managers as well as individual contributors working on projects that have an impact across departments.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Employee must be a full-time university employee (100% FTE) with a most recent performance review of “meets expectations” or above.
  2. Employee must have a minimum of 12 months of continuous employment with UMD prior to the application deadline.
  3. Employee must have a recommendation from their supervisor or senior leader and their supervisor’s  commitment and approval to participate in the program.
  4. Employee must have a demonstrated passion for leadership and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the university.

Expectations of UMD-Smith Leadership Academy participants

  1. Attend orientation, all courses, and the final presentation session over the 8-month program period.
  2. Complete assessments, pre-readings, and pre-work. Participants should expect to spend about 2-3 hours on pre-readings and pre-work for each class day.
  3. Complete a team-based Action Learning project (ALP). Most of the work for the ALP will take place outside of class time. Participants should expect to spend about 3-5 hours per week for action learning project work outside of class time over the course of the program.
  4. Present final action learning project to your supervisor (ideally as part of the final half-day session).
  5. Incorporate learning from the program into your current position.
  6. Continue to fully meet the expectations of your current position.

Selection Criteria

  1. Relevance of program to applicant’s current position
  2. Relevance to applicant’s future growth potential within their own department
  3. Strong letter of support from supervisor and/or senior leader
  4. Strength of employee’s written statement of interest
  5. Employee has provided current resume
  6. Participant representation of the university’s diverse population across UMD divisions and the Robert H. Smith School of Business

Application Process

Robert H. Smith School of Business Employees Only:

  1. Verify with your supervisor that you are eligible to participate in the UMD-Smith Leadership Academy (See Eligibility Criteria)
  2. Complete and submit application materials by the application deadline to Smith School Human Resources at For questions, contact
  3. Application must be completed and signed by applicant, supervisor and/or senior leader
  4. The Leadership Academy Selection Committee will review applications and make participant selections based on selection criteria.