Presidential Leadership Program


Universities are among the oldest and most venerated forms of institutional expression in civilized life.  They provide value and meaning and provide a means for society to govern and improve itself.  Our University has now entered its fifth decade.  Compared to many institutions of higher education, we are still (relatively speaking) in our youth.  No doubt, our work product – our graduates, our research, our engagement initiatives and the emotional connections of so many to FIU – are priceless indicators of the sum of our efforts.  They are the results of intensive and purposeful behavior on the part of dedicated professionals connected to the institution who earnestly strive to improve the learning experience at FIU every day.

Yet every day, our higher education environment becomes more complex and demanding.  The stakes are high, and leadership is needed at all levels of the institution to advance our mission.  This leadership is right here at FIU.  It must be nurtured to be forward-facing while understanding and respecting the history, personalities, and forces shaping the institution, its current operating context, and the likely challenges ahead.

About the Program

The Presidential Leadership Program (PLP) is a 1-year professional development program designed for current FIU faculty and staff. The curriculum is highly interactive, focusing on challenges faced in and trends within higher education.

The program is facilitated in five, 3-hour sessions (9:00 a.m. – 12 noon) throughout the academic year. It also includes an opening networker, a holiday reception, a closing reception, as well as professional development activities throughout the year.


Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg

Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg

University President

Program Founder

Valeria P. Espina, MAcc

Valeria P. Espina, MAcc

Executive Director and Head of Strategic Initiatives and Projects

Program Director

Program Curriculum

The program is divided into a formal curriculum and an informal curriculum. The formal curriculum are the mandatory sessions that are facilitated by President Rosenberg. Those sessions include:

  • Opening Networker (January)
  • Session 1: Miami – See it like a native (February)
  • Session 2: FIU – Evolution and lessons learned (April)
  • Session 3: The State University System – A many splendored thing (June)
  • Session 4: Higher Education in the next two decades (August)
  • Session 5: Leadership Lessons (October)
  • Closing Reception (November)
  • Holiday Gathering (December)

The informal curriculum is defined by the Cohort Experiential Learning Activities (CELAs), which are divided into four categories:

  • Network
  • Governance
  • Insight
  • Culture, Arts & Entertainment

Each program participant is required to participate in at least one activity from each quadrant (for a total of four activities throughout the program). The goal of these activities are to offer cohort members different experiences that they normally would not receive or be involved with in their daily job.

Program Expectations

“Through this program, we are providing opportunities for exposure and experiential learning from an executive perspective to create the foundation for a successful career in higher education that will benefit FIU in years to come.” ~ Mark B. Rosenberg

In order to complete the program, cohort members must:

  • Participate fully in the formal and informal curricula
  • Submit all session and end-of-program surveys

During the program, cohort members are pushed to learn as much as possible about the university and the future of higher education – through dialogue, readings, videos, meetings, events, etc. – with the hope that this knowledge will help aid their professional growth at FIU.

Upon completion of the program, graduates join the PLP Alumni Network. This group is encouraged to:

  • Serve as mentors to the active cohort
  • Continue attending university events and board meetings
  • Serve as a university ambassador by educating other employees on what they learn(ed)
  • Participate in President Rosenberg’s “think tank” sessions as scheduled throughout the year

Application Process

The application for the 2022 cohort will open in mid-July 2021. Those eligible to apply will receive an email with more information on how to apply. Eligibility is determined by the following criteria:

  • Full-time faculty or staff for at least two calendar years by time of application deadline
  • Bachelors degree or higher
  • 50 years old or younger
  • In good-standing with the university
  • Favorable performance evaluation

Applications will be reviewed by program graduates, with cohort recommendations presented to President Rosenberg for final selection. Cohort groups will not exceed 30 members.

Still have questions about the program or application process? Send us an email!

Program Cohorts

Contact Us

Still have questions about the program?
Seeking partnership or sponsorship opportunities?

Contact us!

Valeria Espina

Program Director

Phone: 305-348-2111