Academic leaders are often promoted into roles based on their academic expertise with little, if any, leadership development. NEAL is specifically designed to fill that gap. The goal of the NEAL program is to foster a productive, visionary and collaborative academic leader in the Academic Health Science System. Participants will become members of a community of leaders who have the mindsets and capabilities to successfully run their division, research, education or other academic unit and help their faculty be successful. The next cohort of the program will begin in September 2014. Applications are due April 22 (early bird discount) and June 2.

Meet course director Susan Lieff and hear her thoughts on What Makes a Good Leader?


Participants will be able to:

  • Apply specific reflective and self-management strategies to enhance their leadership style and agility
  • Describe effective academic leadership practices and capabilities
  • Define academic success and pathways for achievement
  • Apply effective tools for interpersonal communication, engagement, negotiation and mediation with faculty members and other academic colleagues
  • Utilize Integrative Thinking™* and complexity informed techniques for solving problems unique to an academic setting
  • Describe methods and systems for enabling change in their academic units
  • Utilize economic management tools for financial decision-making
  • Design performance management strategies for supporting faculty and academic unit success
  • Develop their visioning and strategy skills for their academic unit
  • Identify and navigate the various university and health care system roles and relationships
Based on work developed at the Rotman School of Management

We invite applications from individuals, both nationally and internationally, with faculty appointments in Faculties of Medicine or Health Sciences. Applicants must have been in a faculty position for at least 3 years and have academic leadership roles and/or responsibilities. Such leaders, with or without formal institutional roles, are engaged in the academic mission of research, education or program development.

Their roles or responsibilities could include, but are not restricted to: vice-deans, chairs, vice-chairs, and chiefs of academic departments; research program or institute leads; or university unit heads such as: clerkship, residency, graduate program, clinical education, work placement, curriculum or centre leaders.

Past participant roles have included: Department Chair, Associate Dean, Program Director, Division Head, Academy Director, Site Chief / Coordinator, Research Program Head and Vice Chair, Education.

Enacting leadership is essential to the program and there is a leadership project requirement that participants will need to fulfill.

Three 4-day modules over the course of one year with coaching and web-based distance learning in between. The next cohort will begin in Sept 2014 with subsequent modules in January and May 2015.

Unique aspects of the program include:

  • Focus on university leadership activities or roles within the academic health science network
  • Workplace-based learning
  • Application of learning to an academic leadership project
  • Participants working on context relevant stretch goals and shared issues
  • Individual coaching
  • Leadership shadowing
  • Enabling change in complex academic health science settings.
  • Building collaborative and distributed leadership capacity
  • The development of a network of academic leaders
  • Completion of the program will result in a University of Toronto certificate of added qualification

Participants may need to travel to another setting as part of the course requirements.

Participants will learn to:

Module 1 - Getting Started

  • Apply a variety of reflective and Integrative Thinking™ strategies to academic issues
  • Discuss effective academic leadership practices and capabilities
  • Reflect on their strengths and blind-spots in academic relationships
  • Define and promote academic success for their context
  • Design high performing academic groups and systems
  • Discuss how health care and the university function as a complex and interconnected system
  • Apply frameworks and tools for enabling academic change and innovation

Module 2 - Building Capacity and Momentum

  • Develop awareness of their academic leadership style and organizational alignment
  • Practice approaches to dealing with conflict and challenging conversations that occur in academia
  • Discuss strategies for motivating and influencing others over whom you have little formal authority
  • Apply models of negotiation and conflict mediation to academic issues
  • Describe strategies to enable generative and emergent change in academic units
  • Apply Integrative Thinking™ tools to complex academic issues
  • Recognize and appreciate tensions and significance of various cultures in academia

Module 3 - Creating Resilience and Adaptability

  • Develop a vision and strategy for their academic unit
  • Apply economic principles to academic finance management
  • Design an adaptable and resilient academic unit
  • Discuss approaches to managing and supporting faculty members and reports
  • Describe the leaders role in facilitating the transitions that accompany academic innovation and change
  • Practice compelling communication techniques
  • Apply a strengths based and resilient approach to planning their leadership and ongoing development

  • Zubin Austin, PhD, Associate Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Ontario College of Pharmacists Research Professor in Pharmacy Practice
  • Adalsteinn Brown, AB (Harvard), DPhil (Oxford), Associate Professor-Director, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • Robert Bell, MSc, MD, FACS, CM, FRCSC, President and CEO, University Health Network, Toronto
  • Melanie Carr, MD FRCPC - Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Adjunct Professor, Rotman School of Management
  • Jane Cooke-Lauder, MBA, PhD, CEO, Bataleur Enterprises
  • Susan Edwards, MD, CCFP, Director, Office of Resident Wellness, Postgraduate Medical Education, University of Toronto
  • Edith Hillan, RN, PhD, Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto
  • Jeffery Hoch, MA PhDScientist - Keenan Research Centre of the Li KaShing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Research Scientist, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Director, Pharmacoeconomics Research Unit, Cancer Care Ontario, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Louise Lemieux-Charles, PhD - Professor and Director Emeritus, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • Geoff Leonardelli, PhD, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Karen Leslie, MD, MEd, Director, Centre for Faculty Development, Associate Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Susan Lieff, MD, Med, MMan - Professor and Vice- Chair of Education, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Director, Academic Leadership Development, Centre for Faculty Development
  • Karl Moore, BSc, MBA, PhD - Associate Professor (Strategy and Organization), McGill University, Associate Director Advanced Leadership Program, Associate Professor Dept of Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Robert PrichardOCO.Ont, MBA - Past President, University of Toronto, Current President and CEO of Metrolinx
  • Carol Rolheiser, PhD, Director, Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation
  • Anurag Saxena, MD, FRCPC, Professor, Dept of Pathology, Division of Hematopathology and Anatomic Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
  • Janice Stein, PhD - Professor of Conflict Management and Negotiation, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
  • Anthony Suchman, MD, MA, FACP, Senior Consultant, Healthcare Consultancy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
  • Lynn Wilson, MD CCFP - Associate Professor and Chair, Dept of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, U of T
  • Brenda Zimmerman, PhD - Associate Professor of Policy, Director - Health Industry Management Program, Schulich School of Business, York University

Participants must be able to commit to attend all three modules listed below.

Dates for our 2nd cohort for the 2014-2015 year are:

  • September 29 - October 2, 2014
  • January 19-22, 2015
  • May 11-14, 2015

Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This document lists a number of hotels in close proximity to the venue. Please note that there are many more hotels in downtown Toronto which you may choose to book with and that this list is only a selection.

  • Early bird application rate - $11,250*
  • Full application rate - $12,000*

subject to change

Those who submit their application package by the early bird deadline will be guaranteed the early bird tuition rate should their application be successful. All successful applicants whose packages are received after the early bird deadline will be subject to the full tuition rate.

  • Early bird application deadline - April 22, 2014
  • Final application deadline - June 2, 2014

The Final application deadline for the 2014-2015 cohort is June 2, 2013
Access the application details


Susan Lieff
Course Director
(416) 864-6060 x77413
Email Susan Lieff

Cate Creede
Course Associate Director
Email Cate Creede

Jackie McCaffrey
Project Coordinator
(416) 864-6060 x77418
Email Jackie McCaffrey


NEAL Brochure

NEAL Program Brochure