Frequently Asked Questions
What is the program about?
The program is designed to enable and assist high school principals to meet their leadership needs. It provides
professional development that is tailored to the unique and demanding role of high school principals.
How does it work?
Principals meet with a team of nationally recognized educators to identify their professional development needs.
Based on principals’ input, The Partnership provides individual assistance, regional staff development activities,
and a Summer Institute at a high quality conference and hotel facility.
Why is the Union Pacific Foundation involved with The Principals’ Partnership?
The Principals' Partnership is a philanthropic program of the Union Pacific Foundation. Union Pacific
Foundation administers the wide-ranging philanthropic activities of Union Pacific Corporation and Union
Pacific Railroad. Union Pacific believes that the quality of life in the communities in which its employees live
and work is an integral part of its own success. To this end, in August 2001, the Foundation made a decision to
focus a major portion of its resources and efforts on education, an area of critical concern for communities
nationwide, and in particular, for those communities located in geographic areas where there is a significant
Union Pacific presence.
Why is Union Pacific interested in high school principals?
Union Pacific recognizes the critical role of the high school principal in school quality and student achievement.
We believe that by strengthening the principalship we also help to strengthen the schools in the communities
where our families live and work, where we have major operations, and from which we recruit our employees.
Is it really free?
Absolutely. As its signature philanthropic program, all costs, including travel to the Summer Leadership
Institute, are fully underwritten by the Union Pacific Foundation. There is no cost to the principal, the school or
the district for Partnership activities.
The Principals’ Partnership Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really have access to a team of education professionals?
Yes. Your region is served by a team, comprised of nationally recognized educators, who will consult with you
on a regular basis and provide services within the scope of The Partnership's mission.
How much time will I be away from my building?
It's up to you. Partnership activities are designed so that you can participate in them without any time away
from your school. The Summer Leadership Institute is conducted during the middle of July, seminars are
scheduled at times convenient to principals in the region, and your team members will contact you in your
school at the times you have selected. Your team members will even use your preferred method of
communication: visits, telephone calls, faxes or email.
Who designs the professional development program?
The Partnership program is designed by principals for principals. Based on needs assessments, focus groups,
and consultation with individual principals, your team plans the Summer Leadership Institute, individual
assistance, and regional activities. Recent topics have included “Anti-Bullying,” “Digital Literacy,”
“Leadership Achievement Gap,” “Parenting,” “Special Education,” and dozens of others. In order to get help
with your most important topic, all you need to do is talk with your team members.
What does your team of education professionals do?
The team, made up of principals, researchers, central office personnel, and other leaders from every facet of the
educational system, meets with individual principals to discuss their needs. They will help conduct research on
important topics, prepare regional activities that respond to widespread interests, build networks within and
across regions, communicate regularly including visits to your school, and provide assistance during the
Summer Leadership Institute.
Who does the training?
The Partnership makes use of the highest quality professional development personnel available. The Summer
Leadership Institute is staffed by some of the most noteworthy international consultants as well as Partnership
principals who share best practices and great ideas.
What happens at the Summer Leadership Institute?
The three-day Institute is designed to foster learning, networking, and professional reflection. We use a resort
and conference center to encourage recreation and relaxation as well as intense study and professional
deliberation. Sessions end by mid-afternoon so that participants can enjoy the recreational facilities and
vacation opportunities in the area. Families are invited to come along and share accommodations with the
participant, although we are unable to pay their travel costs or include them in professional meetings or social
functions. Each principal-participant receives a $100 hotel room credit to cover incidental expenses during the
conference. The Institute is scheduled during mid-July at a location in one of our Regions.
The Principals’ Partnership Frequently Asked Questions
Who is involved in The Partnership?
Only public high school principals are involved. Because Union Pacific is convinced of the importance of the
role of the high school principal, it has chosen to focus its efforts on this very important group of professionals.
Currently, 1,000 principals from Union Pacific communities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho,
Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming are involved.
Besides the Summer Institute, what opportunities are available to me?
Depending on the region, there may be regional seminars or meetings. There also will be regular contacts with
your team and research services from The Partnership.
Do you have a Web site?
WWW.Principalspartnership.com is a vital professional resource devoted just to the high school principalship.
It includes feature articles, resources for implementing Breaking Ranks, professional tools for school leadership,
current Partnership news and events, and much, much more.
Have you been successful?
After our sixth year in 21 states The Partnership has been an unprecedented success. Testimonials from many
Partnership principals say that it has been the best professional development experience of their careers.
Are you connected with any professional groups?
The Principals' Partnership is an independent, philanthropic program of the Union Pacific Foundation. We have
collaborative relationships with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the state affiliates of
high school principals' groups, and other school agencies in each state. For more information about these links,
ask your school consulting team.
OK. What's the catch?
There really isn't one. The program is designed to help one of the most important players in the educational
system. It is open only to public high school principals in selected Union Pacific communities because we
believe that the heart of school improvement is school leadership. For over 120 years, Union Pacific has helped
to build America; now, it is committed to helping build America's high schools.
Who is Union Pacific?
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating
company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-
growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products,
Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul
routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with
Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North
America’s premier rail franchise.