Indiana University


Tobias Center Vision

The enduring mission of the Tobias Center is inspiring leadership excellence on a national scale.  Special access to the Center’s work will be furnished to Indiana citizens for the distinct purpose of enhancing leadership within the state.


Hoosier Fellows Program » Overview

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Hoosier Fellows program information

The primary mission of the Hoosier Fellows program is to enhance the leadership skills of a small group of high-potential leaders through a year-long study of leadership with the Tobias Center.

The Hoosier Fellows program:

The program's design encompasses the elements of leadership that scholars have developed over the years and the contexts in which leadership is exercised.

The Vision
The Hoosier Fellows Program is a thoughtful blend of theory and practice. The examination of leadership is conducted in an environment of academic excellence and ongoing research. At the same time, it is solidly grounded in real world experiences. Every month a new theme is explored. Sessions are led by outstanding IU faculty as well as by leading outside experts.

The Hoosier Fellows experience provided an opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge base, thought process and contacts within the community while engaging in both classroom and hands-on experience. The team that puts the Hoosier Fellows program together is very committed and helps put together the state's premier learning experience for business professionals serious about growth.

Jim Pearson, President and CEO,
NICO Corporation

Hoosier Fellows Class of 2006

Selection Criteria
Each year, the Hoosier Fellows Program admits 15-20 high-talent experienced leaders from all around Indiana. They represent a cross-section of business, education, government, religion, medicine and the non-profit sector. Ideal candidates hold positions of increasing responsibility and show promise for steady moves upward. It is preferred that the Hoosier Fellows hold a baccalaureate or more advanced degree, but in lieu of that, leadership experience may be considered. The program is designed for but not limited to the more experienced, senior level executive.

Program Format
The Hoosier Fellows meet monthly for ten months starting in January. There are no meetings in July or August. The sessions begin on a Thursday evening with dinner and an evening program and conclude about 3:00pm on Friday afternoon. Many of the activities are held in Indianapolis, but other sessions take place in a variety of locations that offer laboratories on leadership. There is homework to do between sessions. Hoosier Fellows are expected to be present at all meetings.

The tentative dates for the 2017 class are:

January 26-27, 2017 February 16-17, 2017 March 23-24, 2017
April 26-27-28, 2017 May 11-12, 2017 June 22-23, 2017
September 21*-22, 2017 - *depart at 10:30am on 9/21 October 5*-6, 2017 - *depart at 8:30am on 10/5 November 2-3, 2017

December 14-15, 2017



Participating in the Hoosier Fellows program provided a unique opportunity to study a diversity of leadership styles and lessons through case studies, speakers and the experiences of other program participants. But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the program was the forum it provided for me to reflect on my personal leadership journey and the attributes of the leader I aspire to be.

Ashley Allen, HR Project Consultant
Eli Lilly and Company

Hoosier Fellows Class of 2011


Program Cost
The program fee for the Hoosier Fellows program is $11,000. This fee covers all costs for the program including, books, meals and lodging at the ten monthly sessions and helps defray the cost of speakers, materials and administration. Fellows may be sponsored by communities, companies, or other organizations. The Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence is able to offer a limited number of partial fee reductions. This special consideration is based on organizational limitations (in the case of non profit and government employees) and individual need.

The Hoosier Fellows program provides a unique opportunity to pursue leadership excellence through first-rate instruction, in-depth individual assessments, and hands-on interaction with senior executives representing a wide range of industries and disciplines.

Charlie E. Smith, President & CEO
Countrymark Cooperative

Hoosier Fellows Class of 2007

The Hoosier Fellows program is dedicated to developing leadership in high potential experienced leaders. In this way, the Hoosier Fellows program is different from the various community leadership programs throughout the state whose goals are to develop leaders who can work to help those communities work better. Our goal is complementary: the focus is on the individual and his or her performance within the organization. Hoosier Fellows gain new skills and leadership competencies. As a result, their organizations become stronger and more successful. Ultimately, enriched leadership in many sectors of the economy clearly benefits local communities and the state as a whole.

Key Elements of the Program and Its Delivery

Speakers and Program Materials
Recognized speakers who are leadership experts present workshops and spend time in small group discussions with the Hoosier Fellows. Distinguished University faculty members lead portions of each session. The program participants are provided with books and other written materials to read between meetings. The current and classic leadership literature offers varied perspectives on substantive leadership issues and helps form the basis of inquiry and examination.

In keeping with other aspects of the Tobias Center and its research mission, a distinctive feature of the Hoosier Fellows Program is the sharing, and debriefing of narratives or stories about leadership, especially any trials or crises experienced. Such narratives are a part of the research program of the Tobias Center and help to unite and improve the networking of the fellows themselves.

The Hoosier Fellows program structures shared experiences that call for reflection about what leadership in context is. These shared experiences sometimes require the fellows to meet elsewhere than Indianapolis. Examples of shared experiences can include examinations of leadership in the military, religious organizations, nonprofit, sports, and other venues. The reflections on leadership are accomplished both in groups of various sizes and individually. Participants are encouraged to keep journals of their thinking and development.

I enjoyed the highly participatory nature of the Hoosier Fellows program and the diverse membership of our class. Listening to and debating different perspectives of leadership and life helped me grow
as a person and as a leader.

Reagan Rick,
President and CEO, Central and North Florida, Fifth Third Bank

Hoosier Fellows Class of 2007

The Hoosier Fellows program focuses on leadership elements and leadership contexts. The elements include various leadership styles and the circumstances that make these styles successful and how different situations may require different styles. Other sessions focus on thinking strategically, leading change, ethics and legal issues, and a study of leadership failures and successes. Leadership is studied in experiential contexts including leadership in such arenas as the military at Ft. Knox or Camp Atterbury, benedictine leadership at the St. Meinrad Archabbey, sports leadership as they experience serving on a racecar pit crew, and team-building at Bradford Woods.

Assessment and Coaching
The program includes an in-depth individual executive skill assessment and coaching process.  The purposes are:

  • to provide participants with greater insights into their leadership strengths and
    development opportunities,
  • to help them create development plans targeted to their individual needs and goals, and
  • to provide them with on-going coaching and feedback throughout the Fellows program.

Performance is measured on several behaviorally-based competencies covering leadership capabilities, analytical capabilities, work style, and interpersonal skills. 

An experienced assessor and coach with a doctorate degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology works with the Hoosier Fellows throughout this process.

Additional Information
If you have questions or would like additional information about the Hoosier Fellows program, please contact:

Larry Smith
Managing Director
Phone: 317.274.4871
Fax: 317.278-6196


  • Application Form
    Please mail application materials to:
    Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence
    BS 4032Q
    801 West Michigan Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46202-5151