Strategic talent support and solutions

The Cornerstone Program

In 2014, UVA launched the succession development Cornerstone Program. Cohorts are selected annually and have 30-40 participants. Participants span the entire organization, including the Academic Division, UVA Health, UVA Physicians Group, and other entities, and are identified in advance by their executive leadership.

Listen to Carolyn Cullen, UVA HR's Director of Talent Management, chat with President Jim Ryan on his podcast, 'Inside UVA,' about the Cornerstone Program.

President Jim Ryan and Carolyn Cullen headshot
apple podcast iconApple Podcast         spotify podcast icon Spotify Podcast       Transcript

The program includes:

  • An individual learning plan based on a 360 feedback assessment tool and accompanying debrief session;
  • Monthly classroom sessions based on leadership theory, tools, and application;
  • Exposure to executive leadership;
  • Focused individual mentoring;
  • Participation on and presentation of a team project.

While participation in the program does not guarantee promotion or advancement, it prepares participants for possible future leadership roles and offers opportunities for personal development. We are finding tomorrow’s leaders among today’s.

Nomination Process

Great candidates are high performers who demonstrate the leadership and management qualifications necessary for future senior leadership potential. Consider what diverse experiences and skills this candidate may contribute to the program's overall learning experience.

Candidates are nominated by Vice Presidents and Deans across Grounds before June 1. There are 30-40 spots in the program, which begins in September and lasts 12 months. On average, the program requires approximately eight hours of participation each month. Items to consider when nominating:

  • Does the candidate possess future senior leadership potential?
  • How is the candidate a high performer?
  • How does the candidate currently demonstrate leadership and management?
  • What are some significant accomplishments of this candidate?
  • How do you see the candidate contributing in the future?
  • What diverse professional experience(s) does the candidate offer?

If you are Vice President and/or Dean, who wants to nominate a high-performing employee, please fill out the nomination form.

Cornerstone Program Cohorts

Participants of The Cornerstone Program present their final project presentations at a graduation ceremony in September. The projects are submitted by members of the President’s cabinet, and cover a broad range of topics. The graduation programs for Cohorts III - VII are linked below, and include team project highlights and participant bios.

Cohort III - 2016-2017 Cohort IV – 2017-2018 Cohort V – 2018-2019 Cohort VI - 2019-2020 Cohort VII - 2021-2022 Cohort VIII - 2022-2023