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 2015 program curriculum includes:

  • 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:  Understand how the utility is influenced by public policy and can in turn, influence it. 
  • Stakeholder Relations:  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 how to direct projects more effectively.
  • Executive Presentation Skills: Develop more persuasive written and verbal presentations.
  • Customer Experience: Consider the composition of utility customers and what different groups are seeking in terms of service and support from the utility.
  • Strategy and Risk Management:  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. Conduct risk analysis to develop mitigation planning in the strategic plan. 

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.

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Fall 2015 Program Session

Oct 5-9 & Nov 2-6, 2015

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