Strategic talent support and solutions

Succession Development


Succession development is the process of identifying and developing the inherent talent of high performing individuals who have the potential to fill key leadership positions. It increases the availability of experienced and capable colleagues who are prepared to assume these roles.

The Cornerstone Program

In 2014, UVA launched the succession development Cornerstone Program. Cohorts are selected annually and have 30 participants. Participants span the Academic Division, the Health System, and University Physicians Group and are identified in advance by their senior leadership.

The program includes:

  • An individual learning plan based on a 360 feedback assessment tool and accompanying coaching sessions;
  • Eleven half-day classroom learning sessions based on leadership theory, application and tools;
  • 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 colleagues 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 demonstrates 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 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 reach out to Carolyn Cullen to receive a nomination form.

Team Project Highlight: Cohort III

The third cohort of The Cornerstone Program presented their final project presentations to an audience of 150 at their graduation. The projects were submitted by members of the President’s cabinet, and covered a broad range of topics.

View Project Summaries