• Emerging Leaders Program

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    Early- to mid-career academic and administrative emerging leaders who are exploring opportunities to advance to mid-level administrative positions.

    2021 Timeline and Format

    This year’s program will take place April 2021 to December 2021.

    All programming will be delivered virtually, including:

    • Nine 2 1/2-hour interactive gatherings (monthly)
    • Six one-hour optional networking and reflection sessions (monthly)
    • A participant-led project or initiative (more on this below)

    The cohort is limited to 25 participants.

    Purpose and Objectives

    ELP is designed to prepare the next generation of higher education administrators to be effective leaders; to view every decision through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens; and to further their institutions’ path to equitable student success.

    Participants will:

    1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of the academy and how they relate to each other. Participants will learn from experienced AASCU presidents, senior leaders, and national experts in leadership and student success. Sessions will include theoretical knowledge, practical application, and case study discussions.
    2. Develop critical skills for leading institutional change. Participants will learn and practice leadership, project and change management, and team building skills. 
    3. Build a strong and supportive network of peers. The program includes many opportunities to work together, network, and share experiences and best practices.
    4. Demonstrate leadership skills by leading an on-campus project or initiative. Participants will work with their president/chancellor or cabinet level administrator to identify and lead a project or initiative to apply, demonstrate, and strengthen their leadership skills. The campus leader will provide mentorship and guidance throughout the project/initiative.

    To Apply

    Applications for the 2021 cohort are due Friday, March 12, 2021, and must include:

    • An application form, submitted via Google form or by completing this fillable PDF.
    • A nomination letter from a president, chancellor, or cabinet-level administrator stating the nominee’s qualifications for the program, leadership strengths, and development opportunities. Nominators should submit the letter to leadershipdevelopment@aascu.org.
    • A one-page description of a project/initiative planned by the candidate in collaboration with their nominator. It should include the significance of the project to the university, the learning and leadership opportunities the applicant would gain by accomplishing the project/initiative, and the designated mentor who will guide and advise the implementation process. Click here for a sample description. All applicants will be notified in early April.

    More Information:

    The ELP Experience

    Experience in ELP allows participants to determine where they fit in the academy and to envision what their career path might look like, including a concrete next step. Participants graduate with the skills, connections, and support necessary to navigate the transition to administrative roles and also gain a national network of motivated peers.

    Additionally, ELP provides the opportunity for participants to assess their individual leadership style and strengths and to apply the skills learned in the instructional portion of the program to a project/initiative on their home campus over the course of the academic year.

    The 2021 program will cover the following topic areas:

    • Title IX Campus Accountability
    • Social Media Best Practices
    • Fundraising and Alumni Relations
    • Finance and Administration
    • Academic Affairs
    • Project Management
    • The Role of Government Relations
    • Leading Change
    • Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
    • Managing Staff and Faculty
    • Navigating the Search Process

    ELP Faculty

    ELP has convened an impressive faculty of current and former presidents and chancellors and content experts. Charles Welch, president, Arkansas State University System, and chair of the AASCU Board of Directors, serves as coordinator of ELP.

    Project Work

    Examples of university projects include the following: 

    • Chairing or co-chairing a division, university-wide committee, or task force that requires working with multiple constituencies
    • Managing a project for a division or university strategic initiative
    • Conducting a research project that investigates an important challenge the university faces and provides an opportunity for the participant to influence campus decision-makers using data   

    Registration Fees

    • Participants from AASCU member institutions: $950
    • Participants from non-member institutions: $1,400

    The registration fee covers the virtual program and all materials.

    Scholarships are available to accepted applicants from qualifying institutions.

    Register no later than April 9, 2021.

    Cancellation Fees

    • Participants from AASCU member institutions: $250
    • Participants from non-member institutions: $400

    Cancellations received in writing by March 30 will receive a full refund. Cancellations received by April 4 will incur the above administrative fees. Refunds are not available for cancellations after April 4. Email Susannah Rodrigue at rodrigues@aascu.org and include “ELP Cancellation” in the subject line. 

    Refunds are processed 30 days from date of cancellation.



    Kathleen Scott
    Vice President for Leadership Development and Partnerships

    Susannah Rodrigue
    Program Manager for Partnerships and Leadership Development    

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