Thank you for the support and for broadening my graduate education. Although I am not entering a career in academia, the lessons I have learned through PLDI are invaluable. Learning to analyze various stakeholder perspectives and recognize diverse leadership competencies and strategies has undoubtedly prepared me for the road ahead.
Allison Faig, PLDI Fellow

About PLDI

Each year, the PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) welcomes a select group of Rutgers doctoral students from a broad array of disciplines to its two-year program.

Traditional discipline-based doctoral education is devoted to preparing students for careers in scholarship and teaching, but often these future faculty members complete their degree with little preparation for academic and administrative leadership roles in their institutions. A critical need exists for individuals who also understand the structure and dynamics of colleges and universities, know the challenges these institutions face, and possess the interpersonal and organizational knowledge, competencies and aspirations to provide effective and ethical leadership in addressing the critical issues confronting higher education.

Why a PreDoctoral Program?

While it may be years before new doctoral graduates move into formal leadership roles, leadership expertise is needed immediately for working in teams and workgroups, pursuing research funding and support, participating in mentoring and advising relationships with students and colleagues, and for assuming the many informal leadership roles at their institutions. Through participation in the Institute, students can become more effective members of the academic community, more capable leaders and collaborators within their disciplines and their future places of employment, and for these reasons, more marketable and well-prepared for influential careers.


PLDI is open to any Rutgers University doctoral student. Students who wish to be considered for participation in program will need to be nominated by a program director, department chair, dean, or vice-president. The program will place particular emphasis on recruiting women and minorities in order to enhance diversity among future academic administrators nationally.


The PreDoctoral Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) program is sponsored by the University Center for Organizational Development and Leadership (ODL), the Graduate School-NB (GS-NB), and the Graduate School of Education (GSE) with support from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the School of Communication and Information (SC&I).

Contributions in support of ODL leadership programs have been provided by Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, the Mellon Foundation, Anne Thomas, Francis and Mary Kay Lawrence, and other Rutgers faculty and staff.

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