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By Liz Warren-Pederson


Tucson, Arizona.
Photo by David A. Harvey.

After building a successful track record of programs geared toward developing public leaders, Eller Executive Education has expanded its engagement with the City of Tucson.

Associate dean of executive education Stephen Gilliland presented at a retreat of the mayor and city council in December. That month, mid-level managers in city government participated in a week-long custom Eller Executive Education program on leadership.

“We know there are respected leaders in continuing education right here in Tucson,” said City human resources director Lani Simmons. “Gathering managers from different divisions offsite also gives us a chance to reinforce our learning through networking.” The program paired Eller faculty with city leaders, such as the chief financial officer and the budget director, to cover topics including city planning, project management, negotiation, ethics, and communication.

Stephen Gilliland

Associate Dean of Executive Education Stephen Gilliland.


Eller Executive Education is also working with the city to develop a new general plan. “The idea is to take what we know about leadership, the business sector, strategy and planning, and to share that with the city so that it can be more strategic in visioning and planning,” Gilliland said.

Engagement with the City of Tucson, he said, is one way the Eller College demonstrates its commitment to the community. “There hasn’t been enough sharing between the UA and the city government, and yet, we have so much to offer each other,” he said. “I would like it to be an ongoing process, not a one-shot deal.”

Learn more about the dynamic programs of Eller Executive Education, including Foundations of Public Sector Leadership, offered April 1-5 in Tucson.