• Mentor and Coach Component

    The Millennium Leadership Initiative prepares the next generation of executive leaders in higher education. There are two components to MLI. The first is an intensive four-day program of lectures and pertinent sessions that informs and advises the protégés about executive leadership at colleges and universities. Upon completion of the Institute, each protégé is assigned to a current president or chancellor as a mentor, and a former president or chancellor as a coach.

    This mentoring component is the centerpiece of the MLI program. It is comprised of a yearlong protégé-mentor-relationship with a president or chancellor. There are frequent face-to-face meetings, personal consultation, evaluation of career options, and development of strategies for achieving the protégés career objectives. During this experience the protégés remain in their current position with their home institution.

    Mentors will:

    1. Invite protégés for a campus visit to “shadow the president or chancellor,” including meetings with senior staff and key external community leaders;
    2. Provide protégés counsel and assistance to identify career development and leadership opportunities in higher education;
    3. Serve as a liaison to connect protégés to other pertinent individuals and resources as needed; Assist protégés to advance their leadership role in higher education;
    4. Assist protégés to refine and implement a professional development plan for their career;
    5. Provide an evaluation of the yearlong experience; and
    6. Notify the Director of the MLI, in a timely manner, of any problems or difficulties.

    Professional coaching within MLI’s curriculum is designed to provide valuable insights, guidance and support in promoting innovative, inspired, resourceful leaders for America’s colleges and universities. Coaches provide protégés with an opportunity for regular, targeted, individualized attention for the development of their career and personal goals in a safe, structured environment.

    Coaches will:

    1. Open a session with questions like: how are you doing, why did that happen, or what options are you considering currently?
    2. Help protégés improve their performance, increasing their self-awareness, and finding their own path toward achieving personal and organizational goals and career satisfaction and advancement
    3. Help protégés to think through/brainstorm daily problems, interpersonal relations, university issues, their leadership style, in their current position, and in their career trajectory.
    4. Assist the protégé in making progress on their professional development plan; facilitate the strengthening of leadership skills, such as communication, media relations, fund raising, athletics involvement, resource allocation, and entrepreneurship.
    5. Serve as a sounding board for the protégé as he/she progresses through the program.
    6. Bring experience and guidance regarding the executive search.


    • Karusha Naidoo
      Associate Director, Millennium Leadership Initiative and Leadership Development and Partnerships
      (202) 478-4655

    • Map of MLI Presidencies and Chancellorships
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    • MLI Graduates Serving as Presidents/Chancellors/CEOs
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    • Cover Story in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education
      Read article
    • Statements
      Statement from AASCU President Garcia on the Passing of MLI Co-Founder Dr. James Renick 
      Read statement
    • News Releases
      AASCU names 31 higher education leaders to its 2020 Millennium Leadership Initiative.
      Read news release
    • Career Advancements

      Kimberley Ballard-Washington (Class of 2019) has been selected as President of Savannah State University

      Vernell Bennett Fairs (Class of 2020) has been selected as President of LeMoyne- Owen College

      Loren Blanchard (Class of 2004) has been selected as President of the University of Houston-Downtown

      Alberto Cardelle (Class of 2006) has been selected as President of SUNY, Oneonta. 

      Terrence Cheng (Class of 2021) has been selected as President of Connecticut State Colleges & Universities 

      LaTonia Collins-Smith (Class of 2019) has been selected as Interim President ofHarris-Stowe State University

      Laura Colson McLean (Class of 2020) has been selected as Vice President of Academic Affairs of Bennett College 

      Gary Crosby (Class of 2016) has been selected as President of Saint Elizabeth University

      Lesia Crumpton- Young (Class of 2017) has been selected as President of Texas Southern University

      Lorenzo Esters (Class of 2010) has been selected as Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College

      Saul Jiménez-Sandoval (Class of 2018) has been selected as President of California State University, Fresno  

      Morakinyo Kuti (Class of 2020) has been selected as Associate Provost for Research of Central State University 

      Monica T. Leach (Class of 2019) has been selected as Provost of Fayetteville State University 

       Joanne Li (Class of 2016) has been selected as Chancellor of University of Nebraska, Omaha

      Avi Mukherjee (Class of 2019) has been selected as Interim Provost of Marshall University 

      Patricia Okker (Class of 2019) has been selected as President of New College of Florida

      Hiram Powell (Class of 2013) has been selected as President of Bethune-Cookman University

      Patricia Ramsey (Class of 2005) has been selected as President of CUNY, Medgar Evers College

      Karrin Scissum Gunn (Class of 2019) has been selected as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of California State University, Long Beach 

      Dione Somerville (Class of 2014) has been selected as President of Owens Community College

      Ian Strachan (Class of 2018) has been selected as President of the University of the Bahamas-North

      Jaime Taylor (Class of 2020) has been selected as President of Lamar University




      Complete list of MLI Graduates' Career Advancements (pdf)

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