UVA Launches Cross-Sector Fellowship Program

blogimage_UVATriSectorFellowsToday’s most difficult challenges call for innovative solutions, requiring individuals to break down silos and work together across sectors.

Students at the University of Virginia have taken a step to prepare to meet those challenges, creating a new leadership fellowship program drawn from three UVA graduate schools —  the Darden School of Business, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and the School of Law. Over a series of six sessions, Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows and professors will meet to discuss real-world problems, thinking critically and developing solutions that require multifaceted action.

The first session, “Principles for Better Government Design and their Application (or Not) to Public Universities,” was led by UVA President Teresa Sullivan, who discussed “how a public university draws on perspectives from both the business and nonprofit sectors,” said Darden professor Mary Margaret Frank. The president underscored the importance of fiscal discipline through budgeting, investments based on expected returns, and incentive alignment stressed in the business sector.

Frank added that Sullivan “equally stressed understanding the importance of defining returns to investment in broader ways than simply profit, the ability to motivate others to achieve greatness when profit is not a defined objective, and the power of community engagement – all of which leaders in the nonprofit and government sectors practice every day.”

Leaders from all sectors can benefit from seeing problems from other sector’s perspectives, learning how others approach a problem — whether those are economic, financial, social, or political — and working together to create long-lasting solutions. Through the Tri-Sector Leadership Fellows program, UVA students are preparing themselves to lead cross-sector initiatives to create those solutions.