Vivian H. Fisher PSO Leadership Academy

The PSO Leadership Academy gives faculty and staff with strong leadership potential an opportunity to cultivate leadership skills while developing a deeper understanding of the scope and reach of public service and outreach at UGA. After a three-year break, the Leadership Academy was reinstituted in 2011 as part of a renewed commitment to PSO faculty and staff development, especially to prepare them for future managerial and administrative leadership positions. One of the goals of the Leadership Academy is to help participants develop a “big picture” sense of the work of PSO—bigger than just the work of their home units—and activities and projects are designed to help accomplish that. The first class after renewal of the program spanned the 2011-12 academic year. The academy runs every-other-year.

In 2012 the Leadership Academy was officially renamed the Vivian H. Fisher Public Service and Outreach Leadership Academy in honor of former associate vice president of PSO Vivian Fisher, who was instrumental in founding the Academy in 2007. Fisher was extraordinarily dedicated to the University of Georgia and to public service and outreach, serving as a mentor to many faculty and staff. She began her career at UGA in 1979 with the cooperative extension service. She later became a public service faculty member in the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. In 1999, Fisher was promoted to assistant vice president for Public Service and Outreach and then served as associate vice president for Public Service and Outreach from March 2001 until her retirement in January 2008.

Selection criteria

  • Faculty or professional/managerial staff in a PSO unit, Extension, or an academic unit with PSO appointments
  • Academic faculty with an Extension appointment


  • Length of service in present position and in managerial capacity;
  • Commitment to attend all sessions;
  • Approval of dean, director, or department head;
  • Demonstration of existing leadership and/or future leadership potential;
  • Demonstration of service to the university, community and/or unit or institute; and
  • Interest in individual, unit, and PSO leadership development.

Comprehensive Program Goals

  1. Develop a cadre of people within PSO who understand “the big picture” — PSO, UGA, the land-grant mission, the larger political environment, and the state;
  2. Develop a cadre of people who are prepared to compete for vacant managerial and leadership positions for the short- or long-term, as the need arises;
  3. Create a potential pool of faculty and staff members who could chair or serve as productive members of PSO and UGA committees and task forces; and
  4. Promote a culture of professional growth and development and self-empowerment within PSO.

Program Goals for Individuals

  1. Increase leadership capacity in all facets of life, both personally and professionally;
  2. Provide opportunities to improve personal performance and for self-renewal;
  3. Improve ability to compete for leadership positions; and
  4. Provide networking opportunities, broadening exposure and increasing opportunities for collaboration within PSO and across campus.