GPD LEAD

Leadership Enhancement for Graduate Program Directors

GPD LEAD is a professional development and support program for Graduate Program Directors and staff offered by The Graduate School. Workshops and discussion sessions offered twice monthly during the academic year on a variety of topics of common concern run by the Graduate School in collaboration with a variety of offices on campus.

The objectives of GPD LEAD include:

  1. Dissemination of key policies and procedures governing graduate education
  2. Skill building in leading and evaluating graduate programs and graduate student success
  3. Community building, support and practical advice from peers on managing the challenges of graduate education in your program
  4. Best practices in admissions, annual reviews, mentoring, and fostering cultures of excellence and inclusivity.

Fall 2022 Schedule

All meetings are 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Remaining GPD LEAD meetings will be on Zoom
Zoom sessions will be recorded and all resources from sessions will be available on One Drive.


Friday, Sept. 30Graduate Admissions
Associate Dean Wilmore Webley, Lindsay DeSantis, Director of Admissions

This session will review what you need to know as GPDs and administrative coordinators about Grad School processes of admissions. We will also talk about application fee waivers, how to introduce more holistic evaluations of applicants and the advantages this has for increasing under represented students in your program.


Friday, Oct. 14Graduate Student Funding Sources
Heidi Bauer-Class, 
Associate Director, Katie Mooney, Director of Student Assistantships, Sheilagh Hanley, Director of Finance and Administration

This workshop will give you an overview of the sources of internal funding for graduate students offered by the Graduate School, the workshops we offer to help students write successful proposals, and what you can do as GPD to enhance the success and experience of students who receive prestigious external fellowships. 


Friday Oct. 28. Annual Reviews, dismissals, SOL
Kate Woodmansee, Senior Associate Registrar, Associate Dean Beth Jakob, guest GPD

In this GPD LEAD session we will discuss the value that a formalized annual review process has both for students and for your program.

Annual reviews help identify problems and stumbling blocks so remedies can be taken early. They can be a time for building a stronger sense of cohesion among faculty and grad students.
We will discuss some of the criteria to keep in mind in organizing an annual graduate review and have some examples from the highly successful review process used by Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

We will also review Graduate School policies and answer questions about requests for extensions of the Statute of Limitation, Withdrawals, and best practices to follow in academic dismissals.


Friday Nov. 18. Grad Students as Employees/Title IX updates
Jocelyn Tedisky, Assistant Provost for Academic Labor Relations, Jules Purnell, Equal Opportunity Office

This workshop has critical information for both current and new GPDs.  The dual roles of graduate students as both students and employees can create some confusion.  Assistant Provost Tedisky will help parse some of this out, and also review essential features of the GEO contract.  The second part of the workshop will be dedicated to informing you of updates to Title IX reporting and answering questions you may have about your reporting responsibilities as GPD.


Friday Dec 2. Data gathering on your graduate program.
Krisztina Filep,
Director Operational Analytics

Discussions around the data available to departments, specific to graduate students, and how it can be used for a variety of purposes (reporting, accreditation, strategic planning, etc.). The session will include training to familiarize you with the university’s dashboards to support data-driven decision-making, as well as guidance for equity-minded sense-making and analysis. After attending, you will have access to detailed dashboards about the university.

Note that all GPDs are required to complete FERPA and Flagship Analytics trainings. Please do this before the session if possible. You can visit the University Analytics and Institutional Research website for more on trainings or email oir@oirp.umass.edu.


GPD LEAD 2021-2022 Resources