Staff Professional Development Academy

The Staff Professional Development Academy is a year-long, cohort style professional development and educational program open to all non-academic, full-time civil service and SPS employees.

Program Goals

  • Creates a network of leaders at all levels and areas of the university to further promote and sustain a culture of shared leadership at NIU.
  • Exposes participants to multiple facets of university goals, operations, governance, and current higher education landscape.
  • Focuses on professional growth and enhancing staff’s leadership skills, such as consensus-building, conflict resolution, self-awareness, and creating shared goals.

Program Structure and Topics

The cohort of up to 15 employees will be selected to participate in ten monthly sessions (four hours each) throughout the year each focused on specific topic related to university organization, the key functions of university, and university goals, complemented with interactive professional development components. Additionally, each participant will also be matched with a mentor for the duration of the program.


  • Staff at all levels are encouraged to apply.
  • Permanent, 12-month, SPS or civil service employees (except SPS with rank or tenure).
  • Applicants should have a minimum of three (3) cumulative years of service at the university by the program application deadline.
  • Support of supervisor and/or department head.

How to Apply

Complete online application includes following:

  • Current résumé.
  • Letter of Interest (up to 500 words) indicating candidate’s interest, expectations for the program and future career goals.
  • Completed evaluation form by candidate’s immediate supervisor.

*Supervisors can nominate employees to be invited to apply.

The deadline to submit all materials is Wednesday, June 1, 2022

More Information

For more information about the program goals, curriculum, and the application process, contact Michaela Holtz, Office of the President Staff Fellow, at or attend a virtual informational session:

Contact Dr. Freeman

Office of the President
Altgeld Hall 300

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