Utility Management Certificate

Program Overview

Over 250 utility managers from more than 33 utilities have participated in Willamette University's management program, designed exclusively for the utility industry. Now in its ninth year, the Executive Development Center of Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management is pleased to present this professional development opportunity, for professionals working in electric or gas customer-owned or investor-owned utilities.  The program is designed for managers and individual contributors who are interested in learning more about utility finance and strategy in additional to developing professional competencies critical for utility management roles.  

The Fall 2014 program curriculum has been expanded to include:

  • Utility Finance:  Understand utility financial drivers and learn how to apply financial concepts to utility operations and planning.
  • Rates and Regulatory:  Understand the key elements relating to utility cost recovery, how rates are set, cost allocation, and rate design concepts.  This segment includes a mock rate hearing in which program participants will participate.
  • Emerging Trends:  Interact with industry experts to better understand significant opportunities and challenges facing utilities today in technology, energy resources, energy efficiency, and workforce challenges.
  • Public Policy and Stakeholder Relations:  Understand how the utility is influenced by public policy and can in turn, influence it.  Learn how to represent the utility in stakeholder settings and in regional forums.
  • Leadership:  Develop the skills needed to become a stronger leader.  Learn how to manage and influence teams and projects more effectively.   Develop more persuasive written and verbal presentations.
  • Strategy:  Develop and present a long-term strategy for the utility of the future, to deliver customer value and meet investors’ expectations while adapting to industry changes and workforce challenges.

Willamette’s instructors include industry subject matter experts and university professors, and the format is experiential-based learning.  The instructors teach concepts and the participants get to apply those to case studies and real life examples.   Many exercises are based on case studies of real or hypothetical utilities.

The program allows participants to network with peers across many utilities, so they learn from each other, not just from the instructors. When four or more participants come from the same utility, they will have the opportunity to complete the strategic plan exercise focusing on their own company.  All who successfully complete the 10-day course of study will receive a certificate of completion.  Participants may apply to receive (4) semester hours of academic credit or complete the program for non-credit professional training.

Continuing Education Opportunities for Utility Leaders

Are you up to speed on the broad array of subjects needed to lead at your company?

We have developed a new program to continue building the knowledge you gained during the Utility Manager Certification and want to invite you join before we open the program to others.

The Utility Roundtable on Emerging Issues will give you a working knowledge of critical issues impacting the utility industry and their organization. Our program is innovative and designed for busy executives who need to stay informed on emerging issues.  Each month, the program will focus on a specific issue and includes: Self Study Guide, select reading and a teleconference with an expert for in-depth conversation on that month’s issue. 

In addition to keeping you informed on key emerging issues our program will help you build your external network and share your thoughts with your peers.

To date, we’ve explored some intriguing issues, including:

  • Wall Street’s view of Oil and Gas.  CLIP from our teleconference with Mike Zenker, hedge fund expert.
  • The Challenge of Integrating Renewables into the Grid.  CLIP from our discussion with Elliot Mainzer, Acting Administrator of BPA.
  • A new method for managing change in your organization.  CLIP from our call with Brian Klapper, change expert
  • What’s next for Smart Grid?  CLIP from our call with Paul De Martini, Smart Grid and emerging technology expert.

Over the next few months we’ll have Kate Gordon, VP Energy and Climate at Next Generation, speak with us about the political/societal side of the changes to the utility industry, Lorenzo Kristov of the California ISO on transmission planning for the age of renewables, and Tobias Whitney of NERC on cyber security and CIP v5.

In order to keep the experience highly interactive, we are only accepting 100 people.  The program cost is $3000/year, but as a grad from the Utility Management program your cost will be reduced to $2500/yr. 

Want to check out the program? We are happy to include you on one of our future calls at no cost.  Just email us.

Fall 2014 Program Session

Oct 6-10 & Nov 3-7, 2014

This is a two week session, with reading assignments and project work during the program.

Participants must attend both sessions to complete the certificate.


Willamette University
Portland Center

905 NW 12th Avenue, Suite 110
Portland, Oregon

Register Online