Executive Leadership Academy

The Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) is a unique leadership development program for senior cabinet officers who are interested in becoming university presidents.

Apply by Feb. 5.

Developing the next generation of presidents.

The president’s role, as well as that of other senior administrators, has changed. It now requires an understanding of all aspects of the institution—from enrollment to endowment management and from governmental to alumni relations—not to mention inclusion and belonging, athletics, fundraising, marketing, student affairs, strategic planning, and financial management. The president’s necessary expertise also has expanded beyond institutional borders, to include regulatory and legislative issues and crisis communications. Further, it is more essential than ever that the pipeline of senior leaders prepares a diverse range of candidates from all backgrounds to succeed. ELA develops the wide-ranging skills that new presidents and senior executives will need to meet the challenges of today’s educational environment and serve today’s students.

Who Should Participate

  • Campus leaders and cabinet members interested in becoming president/chancellor or other senior executive position.

How You’ll Benefit

  • Comprehensive preparation in the areas of most critical concern to presidents.
  • Participants complete a Professional Experience Plan (PEP), which assesses leadership strengths as well as the opportunities Build a strong and supportive network of peers and mentors. 
  • One on one mentoring from current president and program director. 
What to Expect

A partnership to prepare future leaders.

The Executive Leadership Academy is cosponsored by AASCU, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI). Approximately 35 participants are selected each year – half from AASCU member institutions and half from CIC member institutions. 

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions integrated throughout 
  • Mentorship from experienced presidents  
  • Opportunity for real-time application and impact of tools and trainings via a Professional Experience Plan 
  • Strong relational component—commitment to create and support trust, encourage peer-to-peer learning, confidentiality, and safety among the cohort 
  • Enhance the skills and knowledge of cabinet-level administrators as they contemplate future roles as college or university presidents or other senior executive positions 
  • Opening Seminar (June 13-15, 2024, Washington, D.C.)  
  • Virtual workshops (monthly, July 2024–May 2025 
  • Closing Seminar (June 13-14, 2025, Washington, D.C.)  

In-person programming will not be livestreamed or otherwise recorded. One-hundred percent attendance and participation is expected. 

Dates for the 2024-25 ELA will be posted in fall 2023. 

  • Enrollment and marketing 
  • Endowment and financial management 
  • Government relations 
  • Alumni relations 
  • Inclusion and belonging 
  • Crisis communications 
  • Strategic planning 
  • Applications that are complete, including a nomination/endorsement from a president/chancellor, and submitted by the deadline will be considered.
  • AASCU and AALI staff review applications and select a cohort that reflects the diversity of AASCU institutions.
  • Preference is given to applicants from AASCU member institutions. 

A complete application for ELA includes the following: 

  • Nomination or endorsement from the president/chancellor from your home institution 
  • Clear and concise summary of your personal and professional development goals 
  • Commitment to 100% participation 

Seminars are led by a teaching faculty of AASCU and CIC presidents and chancellors, vice presidents and chancellors, and other national subject matter experts.

The program fee for the 2024–2025 academic year is $3,250 per applicant. 

The registration fee covers program administration, meals during the in-person intensive, and all materials. 

Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations in Washington, DC. 

Limited scholarships are available to accepted applicants from qualifying institutions. AALI and Academic Search provide financial support to enable this program fee to be kept at this level. 

Testimonials

I found the ELA to be among the most valuable professional development activities in my career. In addition to receiving pertinent information concerning the major trends impacting higher education, participants are provided a broad array of opportunities to network with colleagues who have similar professional aspirations.”

Harvey Kesselman

President
Stockton University (NJ)

“The Executive Leadership Academy underscores the principle of distributed leadership – every quality that we enhance and any gap in knowledge, skill, or ability that we reduce or eliminate through the program prepares us for the next level while bolstering our effectiveness where we currently lead.”

Barbara Lyman

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
State University of New York at New Paltz

Ken Iwama, chancellor of Indiana University Northwest, shares his experience at the Executive Leadership Academy.

2023-2024 Cohort

Mary S.

Alexander

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Western Connecticut State University

Heidi

Anderson-Isaacson

Vice President of Student Development and Success

Alverno College (WI)

Stacey

Berggren

Chief Admissions Officer

Northwest Nazarene University (ID)

Jessica J.

Brown

Vice President for Student Affairs & Athletics

North Central College (IL)

Fredrick Chilson

Fredrick

Chilson

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Lewis-Clark State College (ID)

John

Craig

Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Athletics

Calumet College of St. Joseph (IN)

Shawn

Daley

Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

George Fox University (OR)

Michara Delaney-Fields

Michara

Delaney-Fields

Chief Diversity Officer

Stephen F. Austin State University (TX)

Nathan Evans

Nathan

Evans

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs

California State University

Nikki

Fennern

Executive Vice President

Judson University (IL)

Vitaliano B.

Figueroa Jr.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

DoVeanna Fulton

DoVeanna Sherie

Fulton

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Norfolk State University (VA)

Jeffery

Gates

Senior Vice President

Stetson University (FL)

Kamel Haddad

Kamel

Haddad

Dean, Natural and Health Sciences

University of Northern Colorado

Dionne B.

Jackson

Vice President for Institutional Equity

DePauw University (IN)

Angela

Joyner

Vice President for Economic Development and Corporate Education

Radford University (VA)

Monique

LaRocque

Senior Vice President of Learning and Programs/Chief Academic Officer

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Paula

Love

Vice President for Finance & Administration

Jarvis Christian University (TX)

Carissa

Massey

Provost

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Damara H.

Mitchell

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Voorhees University (SC)

William Moultrie

William R.

Moultrie

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success

Western Carolina University (NC)

Richard L.

Ogle

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

“California State University, Stanislaus “

Jesse Pisors

Jesse

Pisors

Vice President for University Relations and Advancement

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Cynthia Polk-Johnson

Cynthia

Polk-Johnson

Vice President for Student Affairs

Tennessee Technological University

Daniel Prosterman

Daniel O.

Prosterman

Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Mount Saint Mary’s University (CA)

Michael

Salmeier

Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Bluefield University (VA)

Karen

Soul

Provost

Centenary College of Louisiana

Undria

Stalling

Senior Vice President of Business and Finance & Chief Financial Officer

Morehouse College (GA)

David A.

Starrett

Executive Vice President and Provost

State University of New York at Fredonia

Traki L.

Taylor

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Frostburg State University (MD)

Eden

Wales Freedman

Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty

Colby-Sawyer College (NH)

Mike Westfall

Michael J.

Westfall

Vice President University Advancement

Oakland University (MI)

Manya Whitaker

Manya

Whitaker

Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff

Colorado College

Joe

Whitehead

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Bowling Green State University (OH)

Dannelle Whiteside

Dannelle

Whiteside

Vice President for Legal Affairs and Organizational Strategy

Austin Peay State University (TN)

Beth

Wolfe

Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management

University of Charleston (WV)

Our Partners

Apply today to join our 2024-2025 cohort.

Application Details

A full submission requires the candidate to submit an application form and an endorsement from the president/chancellor or provost from their home institution. 

Application Requirements

  • Currently serving in a cabinet-or other senior level position 
  • Endorsement from a president/chancellor or cabinet-level administrator from your home institution 

Important Dates

  • The 2024 program will take place from June 2024 to June 2025
  • The deadline for applications and endorsements is February 5, 2024

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