News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


Washington, D.C.— This Saturday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) will welcome 25 senior administrators in higher education to its 17th Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Institute, a premier leadership development program. In addition to enriching preparation, MLI helps vice presidents and provosts become more competitive for placement as a president/chancellor at an institution of higher education. The institute will be held June 11-14, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

“Key to developing a robust leadership pipeline in higher education is providing potential leaders the tools they need to advance their careers,” says MLI Director Mary Evans Sias. “The next generation of higher education leaders must have a solid understanding of the complex issues and challenges facing college and university presidents today. To that end, our protégé’s will pair with professional coaches—experienced college and university presidents—to complete a related project at their home institutions.”

On Saturday, June 11, Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, will deliver the opening general session address, “Presidential Leadership: Central in Advancing Student Success and College Value.” Later that evening, Robert Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, will deliver the Marie McDemmond Lecture to discuss “The Presidency: A Personal and Professional Journey.”

New to this year’s institute is a discussion on hot topics in higher education, to be held Sunday, June 12. Session panelists will offer insight into key issues in higher education, including sexual harassment, racial conflict on campus, transgender students, Title IX, and crisis communications and social media. Following the discussion, protégés will hear from Deborah Stanley, president of the State University of New York College at Oswego, about financial management. From 7-9 p.m., The Honorable Kim Hunter Reed, deputy assistant under secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and former MLI protégé, will discuss the impact of MLI on her career, as well as pressing issues in higher education, during the evening’s dinner session.

On Tuesday, June 14, C. Kirk Read (vice president, managing director of advancement, Royall & Company), Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of Howard University (D.C.), and Laura Jack, vice president for development and alumni relations, Howard University, will discuss advancement and fundraising during that morning’s opening general session. That afternoon, Mark S. Schneider, AIR vice president and institute fellow, will discuss the institute’s project on college value; the protégé-completed projects will be turned in by March 17, 2017.

In addition to extensive media training and one-on-one sessions with advisors, protégés will learn the basics of executive contracts, credential preparation, and how to work with governing boards. The protégés will also visit Capitol Hill for scheduled meetings with their congressional representatives.

MLI was established in 1998 to assist individuals (largely African-Americans, women and other minorities) from groups seriously underrepresented at these exclusive leadership levels. Due to rapidly shifting demographics in higher education, there was a clear need for diversity within these critical leadership roles to match the changing diversity of the student population. Today, MLI continues to maintain its historical preferences while accepting any qualified candidate.  


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.