2020 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute®

2020 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute®

July 8, 2020 to July 20, 2020
Multiple Dates
The Claggett Center
3035 Buckeystown Pike
Adamstown, MD 21710

Institute I: July 8-13, 2020
Institute II: July 15-20, 2020



AAC&U has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute until July 2021. We realize how disappointing this news is, especially as we all crave any resemblance of normalcy. However, until AAC&U is able to reasonably guarantee the safety and wellbeing of its Institute participants, we have no other choice available to us.

In making this decision, we are keenly aware that the next academic year will usher in a new era where leadership in undergraduate STEM reform – at departmental, institutional, and national levels – will be more important than ever. We feel very strongly that the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) has a responsibility to ensure that STEM faculty like you are nurtured, supported, and fully empowered to catalyze change in ways that contribute to a diverse and competitively trained STEM workforce.

Know that we take this responsibility very seriously. Over the next few months, our leadership team, SLI mentors and coaches, and diversity curriculum consultants will be working diligently to design and deploy an enriched professional development curriculum for readying us for the challenges ahead. We will continue to connect with the accepted 2020 SLI participants via email as we plan to roll out exclusive pre-Institute access to the kind of reflective practices that have been shown to be essential for: 1) leading with courage, 2) embracing diverse perspectives with authenticity and legitimacy, and 3) communicating bold, new ideas with thoughtfulness and clarity. Details on our Seminar Series will be made available to you as they emerge.

Please email pkal@aacu.org if you have any questions. In the meantime, please take good personal care—both physically and emotionally—of yourself and your loved ones.


About the Institute

Enlightened institutions of higher education recognize the value of cultivating leadership capacity among STEM faculty and administrators. The PKAL STEM Leadership Institute empowers individuals in fully understanding and implementing the theory and practice of navigating the politics of change, addressing inter- and intra-personal conflicts, and re-structuring the institutional systems that limit our capacity for global competitiveness in science and technology.

This Institute – uniquely designed for early- and mid-career STEM faculty, principal investigators, and administrators – awakens and sensitizes its participants to the systems, structures, and influences of power and privilege within higher education, equipping them with the tools and skills needed to bring about social change in STEM. Nearly 60% of the Institute’s curriculum is grounded in the major tenets of experiential learning, including the state-of-the-art diversity simulation, My Tenure Trek®  (MTT), which guides participants through real world experiences that are representative of cultures, norms, and traditions that are distinctly different from their own. MTT creates deep awareness and clear perspective about the role of microaggressions and implicit biases in higher education, which often undermine national attempts to diversify the STEM workforce.

Overall, the Institute has proven effective in promoting leadership self-efficacy among its participants, with over 65% percent of Institute alumni noting a significant increase in their ability to: 1) facilitate change, 2) effectively respond to problems, and 3) fully consider the impacts of diverse cultures on institutional transformation. 

Who Should Apply? 

  • Early- to mid-career STEM faculty with a desire to improve undergraduate STEM education through leadership development
  • Principal investigators who lead undergraduate STEM reform initiatives
  • Administrators (with STEM disciplinary expertise) of academic STEM units

Individuals from community colleges, minority serving institutions, and/or historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


Questions may be directed to pkalstemleadership@aacu.org.