Illinois Supervisory Skills Program

The Illinois Supervisory Skills Program provides a common set of critical skills for campus supervisors.  This program, designed with broad campus input, is intended to cover topics that are important for new and recent supervisors to be successful within the university community. The program offers an opportunity to develop self-awareness of management styles and personal biases, to practice strategies for resolving conflict, and to build confidence in leading others through performance feedback and coaching techniques. Participants will learn and challenge each other throughout the semester as they engage with a cohort of peers from other units, motivating each other to create healthy, productive work environments.

This program’s development and launch is assisted by the service of Illinois Human Resources’ Training and Employee Development Advisory Committee (TEDAC).  Learn more about TEDAC here

Program Overview

The program offers a blended learning design to keep learners engaged. The program’s five core sessions will be offered in-person at the I-Hotel, each led by a different program facilitator in addition to a virtual orientation kickoff and closing reflection session. Assignments related to each session’s topics will be given to enhance further learning. Participants will be appointed accountability partners to discuss assignments, share ideas, and offer networking opportunities with other supervisors across different campus units. Expected time commitment would be 8 – 10 hours per month.


Recognize your power to create a positive environment where everyone is respected, appreciated, and individual differences are valued.

Improve accountability by employing problem solving strategies to manage conflict.

Develop practical skills vital in implementing effective performance feedback.


Critically examine personal beliefs, attitudes, and biases about people and cultures.

Increase your confidence to model inclusivity and facilitate dialogue when unexpected issues arise.

Foster teamwork and engagement by involving people in decision making.


Discover your personal managing styles’ strengths and challenges to enhance your communication skills.

Understand the foundations and purpose of coaching to incorporate the principles of continuous performance improvement.

Explore how to support employee development through engaged feedback in planning short- and long-term professional development goals.


Applicants must. . .

  • Be a current academic or a civil service employee with at least a 75%-time appointment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) year of service as an academic or civil service employee at the university. Eligible applicants should have completed the one (1) year requirement by the application deadline of November 1, 2023.
  • Currently oversee status employee(s) or student employee(s) in a supervisory capacity or similar role.
  • Have prior approval from a supervisor and/or department head.
  • Be available to attend all the scheduled program dates.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning, be open to dialogue and discussion, and be willing to challenge themselves through reflection and thought.
Application Process

Eligible employees must complete the online application and be available to attend all the program dates. Application includes:

Review the Illinois Supervisor Competency Model and write a personal essay (500 words or less). Identify a competency you would like to improve upon for professional development. Share a leadership lesson you have learned as a supervisor or from a supervisor as it relates to the skills you hope to gain by completing this program. How do you plan to use these enhanced skills to support the university community?

Obtaining supervisor approval to apply and attend on program dates.

Fully completing application information, including employment information, years of supervisory experience, and number of people currently supervising by application deadline.

Applications are due November 1, 2023. 
Program Dates

Kickoff and Program Orientation
Tuesday, January 16, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Virtual)

Session 1 – Core Functions of Supervision
Tuesday, January 30, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (I-Hotel)

Session 2 – Leading in a Diverse Workplace
Tuesday, February 20, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (I-Hotel)

Session 3 – Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving
Tuesday, March 19, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (I-Hotel)

Session 4 – Managing Performance
Wednesday, April 10, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (I-Hotel)

Session 5 – Coaching Skills for Supervisors
Tuesday, April 30, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (I-Hotel)

Closing Wrap-Up – Reflections and Action Planning
Tuesday, May 7, 2024; 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (virtual)

Program Cost

The participant's department will pay a one-time $250 fee to participate in the program. The Chancellor’s Office will cover the remaining costs of the program. 

Participant Selection

The Illinois Supervisory Skills Program selection committee selects up to 30 participants from all eligible submissions and makes a recommendation to the Program Sponsor for final class participation. This program will be offered once each semester. Selected candidates will be notified via email no later than December 1, 2023. 

Program Committees


Program Coordination: 
Kathy Adams, Employee Learning and Organizational Effectiveness, Illinois Human Resources

Program Facilitators:
Kaamilyah Abdullah-Span, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Angela Reggans, Labor & Employee Relations, Illinois Human Resources
Morris Mosley, Faculty/Staff Assistance and Well-Being Services, Illinois Human Resources
LaTonya Wilkins, Gies College of Business
Kathy Adams, Employee Learning and Organizational Effectiveness, Illinois Human Resources
Latoya Phillips, Employee Learning and Organizational Effectiveness, Illinois Human Resources

Selection Committee:

Katherine Adams, Employee Learning and Organizational Effectiveness, Illinois Human Resources
Margo Kiener, Administrative Operations, Illinois Human Resources
Sue Key, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Kathy Atwood, Grainger College of Engineering
Judi Geistlinger, Faculty and Staff Technology Training Team (FAST3), Technology Services
Eric Ferguson, System Human Resource Service, University Administration

For Training and Employee Development Advisory Committee Member Names Click Here.