Online and Face-to-Face Instruction

Principled Academic Leadership (PAL)

If you are interested in forming a cohort for your institution, seeking a seat in an individual-enrollment PAL programor have any questions, please contact NCPRE at

Principled Academic Leadership (PAL) is a professional development program tailored to develop the skills needed to survive and thrive while navigating the special challenges of the academic environment. Through highly interactive programs, sitting and emerging academic leaders consider and practice proven, relentlessly practical tools that can be put into immediate use. Program participants gain concepts and skills needed for dealing with unpleasant and costly elements of interpersonal interactions, those that too often drive people out of leadership positions or that underlie dysfunction in academic units.

Participants build skills for making and implementing decisions required in leadership positions and the conversations that follow. By applying tools and skills to case studies, cohort members work together to develop solutions and approaches to many of the unique hurdles of the academic environment. The program presents strategies for building vibrant academic units and bully-proofing challenged units. Participants are encouraged to evaluate their own leadership needs and growth throughout the program and to reflect on their role and impact as an academic leader.

Over the course of an academic year, participants engage through synchronous online sessions with their cohort, limited to no more than fifteen members. Time between sessions allows for reflection which facilitates deeper learning and exploration of NCPRE’s extensive online Leadership Collection, which includes both videos with experienced academic leaders and a range of written resources from just-in-time Quick Tips to deeper dive Executive Briefings.

Transforming Challenged Units (TCU)

The NCPRE Principled Academic Leadership: Transforming Challenged Units (TCU) consortium offers support for institutions in dealing with units that are troubled or challenged in their ability to function effectively. Consortium resources help identify the features that characterize flourishing academic units and the ways in which academic units can develop these difficulties. The TCU consortium offers, among other resources, early-warning indicators for identifying challenges before they become incapacitating, as well as approaches and solutions for addressing those challenges. Building on our experience in academic administration and leadership, NCPRE supports the Consortium in developing concepts, labels, tools, and approaches for dealing with challenges in a principled, pragmatic, and effective manner.

For more details, please contact NCPRE at

Professional IQ: Preventing and Solving Problems at Work

NCPRE is proud to offer online instruction for professionals interested in ethics and leadership. The 4-course series, “Professional IQ: Preventing and Solving Problems at Work,” is targeted towards people who are seeking or starting new jobs; who are facing dilemmas in their current job; who have just been promoted or who want to be more marketable for a promotion; or who possesses strong technical skills and want to develop leadership skills. The course series is available now as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera.

In the series, learners use real-world dilemmas and ethical problems experienced by professionals around the world to clarify and articulate their personal values as a foundation for the issues they face. Successful people use these skills every day: making strong decisions; recognizing and avoiding career-damaging pitfalls; preventing and resolving conflicts so as to be value-added members of teams; knowing how and when to apologize effectively; knowing how to ask constructive questions that advance work; and honing leadership skills—whether for being influential at work or holding a position of authority. Our position is that these are essential skills for succeeding at work. They are skills that employers value, while often being underemphasized in standard professional curricula. Furthermore, who you are, how you do things, how you interact with others, and how you lead are all underpinned by your personal ethics. In short, ethics are necessary, not just nice; smart ethics, as we define them, are integral to success.

The lectures and course materials focus on familiar, ordinary situations that any person might encounter in the workplace and how to cope with them. As learners work through the course materials, they will explore their values and personal “brands” and reflect on how their personal commitments and convictions prepare them for workplace success. Learners will be exposed to—and learn to avoid or prevent—career pitfalls that lead to the firing of as much as forty percent of new college hires. Learners will practice communication and other skills that will position them as value-added team members and collaborators, preparing them not only for workplace encounters, but similar problems arising in other areas of life.

The course is open to any learner and accepts new learners on a rolling basis. More information on the course and on how to enroll is available at this link.

Courses in the Series

Course 1: Foundations of Professional Identity

Many find themselves frustrated in their careers by lack of preparation for dealing with predictable dilemmas that regularly arise in the world of work. Two in five professionals fired in their jobs after college are terminated for lying or misuse of technology. Easy to avoid! Or is it? What if you find you have to compromise your values to keep your job? What if they ask you to lie or cheat, even though you know if you are found out you will be fired? What if you find out the company is breaking the law? Successful people know about and have the skills taught in this specialization.

Course 2: Shaping Your Professional Brand

You’ve thought about who you are and how you want your career to be. You have some skills to deal with situations that could cause problems. What about the team around you? How do you build functional and constructive professional relationships? How can you add value? What do employers look for when they are promoting? Skill-building in this course will include asking questions, listening, developing likeability (you’d better be stellar if you’re difficult), identifying cognitive bias, apologizing, receiving apologies, and the basics of whistleblowing.

Course 3: Leadership and Influence

The only thing you get to change is yourself, and in the prerequisites to this course we’ve given you real tools to do that. Now, use those tools to influence the course of your future, your team’s future, and your organization’s future. Make a plan for yourself that will help you help others, while learning skills to make it happen. Listening and being sure of your values underpins all leadership skills and being a professional influencer. We’ll go on to look at self-assessment and leadership planning, negotiation, addressing and resolving conflict, and successfully identifying and promoting circumstances you want.

Course 4: Professional IQ Capstone

The capstone project, for those wishing to earn a certificate, is to design a Personal Leadership Credo: personal values, quotes and beliefs; a personal dilemma in 2-Minute Challenge style that gets worked through using the Decision-Making Framework (DMF) and TRAGEDIES model; some personal scripts; and a personal leadership development plan.