The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School

UNC Kenan-FlaglerLocation: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Accreditation Status: Business

Innovation Statement

The Leadership App is a state-of-the-art course app for UNC Kenan-Flagler’s comprehensive and one-of-a-kind MBA Leadership Immersion program.

Call to Action

University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Kenan-Flagler Business School launched its leadership initiative in 2005, which has grown to become one of the most highly advanced and comprehensive leadership program among business schools today.

Because developing leadership is an educational hallmark at UNC Kenan-Flagler and increasing the school’s digital presence is a critical strategy to attracting top students, engaging stakeholders, and growing the school’s global reputation, creating a mobile app for leadership met several strategic and marketing priorities.

The project also gave the school the opportunity to develop a course app—the first ever for the university. To produce the break-through app, the school partnered with Adobe during the development of its new digital publishing solution release—DPS 2015. UNC Kenan-Flagler was the only education partner selected with four leading companies to debut an app at a global launch event in July.

From a production perspective, developing this app (the school’s fourth) included several challenges such as working virtually with several divisions of a complex Fortune 100 technology firm; coordinating and integrating multiple content, academic, and programmatic areas of the school, and overcoming multiple design and technical challenges under a highly compressed deadline to meet the Adobe launch date.

Innovation Description

The Leadership App presents the UNC Kenan-Flagler’s hallmark strength in leadership to current students, prospective students, recruiters, and the broader business community. It first launched as an iPad app and was followed by iPhone and Android versions.

The app includes the following features:

  • Interactive content about the school’s leadership methodology and offerings across all programs
  • Student profiles showing different leadership development paths—ranging from students who came to UNC Kenan-Flagler with extensive leadership experience to others with less—and how each enhanced students’ strengths and addressed their weaknesses through tailored program selections
  • A rich leadership library featuring insights and articles from the school and other publishers

The MBA Leadership Immersion course app—a portal for this one-of-a-kind experience that takes students out of the classroom and off campus. It will keep students connected to course materials and with classmates, faculty, and coaches during competitions, simulations, and treks to cities and Outward Bound challenges. The secure course app component will be accessible to enrolled students when the class begins in March 2016.


The Leadership App is a unique way to present a unique program. It is important in the way it builds the school’s brand, maps the complex array of leadership offerings for students, and engages with key audiences—both internal and external. It presents UNC Kenan-Flagler’s unique leadership model, examples of personal development journeys, and an overview of the array of program offerings. The app also marks the a first for the school in the university in that the course app component will serve as a mobile resource (design for both Apple iOS and Android platforms) for distributed student and instructor teams engaging in real-time, personalized learning and development. As such, the app further differentiates the Leadership Immersion, the capstone course to the MBA experience, which is already unique among all business schools.

Digital, and its mobile counterpart, has already proven to be the most important consumer lens, whether it’s used for shopping, entertainment, research, or connecting through social media. Students do not suspend their expectations and habits when they walk onto a campus or into a classroom. In fact, as millennials, and increasingly, digital natives, those expectations are stronger than ever. The Leadership App positions UNC Kenan-Flagler to meet those expectations now and in the future.



← Back to 2016 Innovations That Inspire