The University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced this week the launch of a new Darden Executive Education program on Grounds, aimed at preparing high-potential executives of color for "C-Suite" roles in the communications industry. Occurring in four sessions over a seven-month period, the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) is presented in partnership with the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). Since the program's inception in 2001, NAMIC had offered this transformational executive development experience in collaboration with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Anderson Graduate School of Management.
The 43 competitively selected participants in ELDP Class XII, who arrive this week for the first module (9-12 October 2012), hail from a dozen U.S. states, along with two participants who occupy international posts. Close to 20 sponsoring organizations, all among the biggest names in the cable telecommunications industry, are represented by this stellar cadre of executives.
"NAMIC proudly announces the new cohort for our signature executive leadership program," said Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, NAMIC's president and CEO. "Our new partnership with the Darden School is guaranteed to strengthen the critical business competencies that all senior leaders must command to be successful in our evolving business."
In moving to Darden, this next iteration of ELDP will benefit from the School's top-ranked educational experience and strong record of commitment to cultural diversity - exemplified in its high percentage of faculty of color among leading business schools.
"We are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to build on such an impressive program history, which has resulted in measurable impact on hundreds of high-performing executives, as well as the companies that benefit from their leadership," said Lou Centini, senior director of Darden Executive Education and ELDP program director.
Centini and Professor of Business Administration Erika James, Darden's faculty leader for ELDP, worked closely with NAMIC to redesign the program so as to capitalize on Darden's hallmarks - case-based as well as other teaching methods, collaborative learning teams, a close-knit residential community and strong one-on-one career coaching.
"We are ratcheting up the rigor and intensity," Centini said, explaining that participants have assigned work to complete in advance of each module, as well as follow-up accountability after program completion.
Taught primarily by Darden professors, supplemented by external consultants and faculty, ELDP focuses on both personal development - to aid participants in navigating their careers - and core academic content - ranging from strategic thinking and enterprise perspective (the first module's topics) to finance and decision making. Darden is also introducing an "executive wellness" component, recognizing the importance of overall personal wellbeing to success.
"These are highly driven, seasoned executives - most of whom are running some aspect of their businesses," said James, who has taught in ELDP since its inception. "The program helps broaden their perspectives, forge strategic cross-industry relationships and directly apply their learning to current challenges.
About the Darden School of Business:
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering three formats of its MBA degree program (MBA, MBA for Executives and Global MBA for Executives), as well as Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, the highest-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled leaders who are ready to make an impact.