By Tom Andriola. The UC IT Leadership Academy marked a milestone in March 2022—concluding its fifth session since 2015. This is a celebration for the entire UC Tech community, with about 150 technology leaders from every UC campus, health system, and location having participated in the program.
The academy was founded in 2015, in partnership with the systemwide UC CIO’s office and UC Berkeley Executive Education, and is directed by Professor Andrew Isaacs through the UCB Haas School of Business. The program focuses on developing participants’ competencies in areas essential for today’s technology leaders: collaboration, innovation, strategic reframing, communication, and change leadership.
Faculty from Haas, one of the top ten business schools in the world, work with Professor Isaacs to produce an outstanding curriculum. Through the courses, discussions, and exercises, participants strengthen their leadership tool kit and prepare themselves not only to serve the university better, but also to position themselves for future career opportunities. As Professor Isaac says to each cohort, “We have the best job in the world here at UC,” meaning we should learn and do everything we can to advance positive change for UC.
By joining a cohort, the participants embark on a journey that is both individual and collective. Each person identifies and connects with different professors, content, and frameworks. Collectively, they share the experience as a cohort—and incorporate the cohort into their professional network for the rest of their careers. Importantly, that network includes a diverse range of roles and backgrounds, as we encourage participation by individuals outside traditional IT organizations.
The program has been an incredible success. Gartner recognized it as best-in-class and highlighted UC in a case study published in 2019. Indeed, some time after attending the program, many participants have moved forward to the next step in their careers. Frankly, it’s a testament to the commitment of UC’s senior IT leaders to the professional development of their tech communities. Having been a part of creating the academy, I am honored to play a role in its ongoing execution, working closely with Professor Isaacs. Also, as co-director, I get to join each cohort, and thus get a refresher on the content over and over (like a perpetual renewal benefit). I can think of no better way to serve the mission of this great university than to stimulate one’s mind, seek out new knowledge, and apply that knowledge to the greater good