January 4, 2021

Statement From AASCU President Mildred García, Ed.D., on the Passing of Millennium Leadership Initiative Co-Founder Dr. James Renick

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

WASHINGTON, January 4, 2021 – “Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Dr. James Renick, one of the founders of the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI). Renick passed away Jan. 3, 2021, at the age of 72.

A friend and colleague, Renick was a giant in the higher education world. He led two AASCU institutions as chancellor: North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also served as provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Jackson State University (Miss).

He and his colleagues who founded MLI in 1998 had grown increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of progress that people of color and women had made in achieving a college presidency. Today, MLI has proven itself as the path forward for diverse leaders to advance to the highest ranks of postsecondary education.

We honor his unwavering dedication to strengthening the leadership pipeline and his service to higher education. He leaves an unparalleled legacy, and his work continues through the initiative he had the vision and forethought to help establish. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 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. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at www.aascu.org.