Intensive program

Intensive program

Intensive Leadership Development Programs

Program summary

A key partner with the academy is Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, which is focused on research and education about the nature and requirements of leadership in the 21st century.   

The eight-month, applied and experiential program focuses on bringing ideas to practice, linking theory to relevant applications and scaling innovations in teaching and learning, leadership, finance and technology that can transform higher education institutions today and in the future.

8 months
focused on innovation
4 face-to-face
2 locations
Washington, D.C., and Phoenix
Design sessions
seminars and interviews with innovative speakers
Leadership coaching

What is the format of the program?

The program is offered in an executive-style education schedule, combining four intensive face-to-face meetings in Washington, D.C., and Phoenix with online seminars and executive coaching sessions throughout the program. Download a sample schedule of an intensive module.

Who are the fellows in the program? What are their titles and institution types?

Most of the fellows who have successfully completed the program have worked in higher education for 5-10 years and are in a supervisory position, either on the academic or administrative side of the institution. Most are deans, associate or assistant provosts, vice presidents and senior vice presidents, and senior directors.

Academy fellows come from all institution types, but mirror American higher education: About 60-80 percent in each cohort come from public colleges and universities, and 30-40 percent from private nonprofit colleges.

What will fellows bring back to their home campuses?

In each of the face-to-face modules, fellows will learn from faculty who are leading experts and practitioners from inside and outside of higher education. From those sessions, fellows will take away tangible ideas that can be applied when they return to their campuses and disseminated to others. 

Who are the faculty teaching in the academy?

At the foundation of the academy is the expertise of two leading institutions – ASU’s innovative model for the next-generation research university and Georgetown’s mission to develop and sustain transformational leadership. Directing the academy is Jeffrey J. Selingo, a veteran higher-education author, journalist and former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The academy sessions are a mix of case studies, simulations and fireside chats with leading thinkers, practitioners and presidents, including: 

Current Faculty

  Jeffrey J. Selingo
  Executive Director
  The Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership

  Darcie Milazzo
  Director for Leadership Development for the Academy
  Academy Leadership Coach

  Kate Ebner
  Cohort Co-Director and Executive Director,
  Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University

  Noah Pickus
  Cohort Co-Director and Associate Provost, Duke University
  Dean of Curriculum and Faculty Development, Duke Kunshan University

  Randy Bass
  Vice Provost for Education
  Professor of English, Georgetown University
  Academy Faculty

  Neil Stroul
  Academy Leadership Coach

  Garry R. Sanders
  Academy Leadership Coach

  Daryl Nardick
  Academy Leadership Coach

  Kim D’Abreu
  Leadership Coach

Past Faculty

Jose Antonio Bowen
Goucher College

Gretchen Buhlig
CEO ASU Foundation
Arizona State University

Lisa Camp
Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives
Case Western Reserve University

Diana Chapman Walsh
President Emerita
Wellesley College

Scott Cowen
President Emeritus
Tulane University

Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University

John J. DeGioia
Georgetown University

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ben Freakley
McCain Institute for International Leadership at
Arizona State University

Charles Isbell
Executive Associate Dean, College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Sukhwant Jhaj
Vice Provost for Innovation, Planning and Student Success
Portland State University

Walter Kimbrough
Dillard University

Ben Nelson
Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Minerva Project

Morgan Olsen
Arizona State University

Christine Ortiz
Former dean of the graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Station 1

Sethuraman Panchanathan
EVP and Chief Research and Innovation Officer
Arizona State University

Sethuraman Panchanathan
EVP and Chief Research and Innovation Officer
Arizona State University

Susana Rivera-Mills
Ball State University

Mark Searle
Arizona State University

Mark S. Smith, MD
MedStar Institute for Innovation

Michael Sorrell
Paul Quinn College

Eugene S. Sunshine
Former Senior Vice President for Business and Finance
Northwestern University



Module 1. Leading change: the context for innovation

Change in any industry is difficult, but it is particularly problematic in higher education with its unique culture and history of shared governance. This module examines the history of innovation within colleges and universities, helps fellows identify opportunities for innovation on their own campuses, and examines the modern-day barriers to innovation within institutions. Fellows explore how, as leaders, they can create the conditions for change by learning about the nature of leading in higher education and expanding their own capacity to contribute to innovation within their institutions. This first course provides the background for understanding how higher education has evolved to the present day. Fellows will consider the current state of their own institutions and will begin to identify opportunities for innovation on their own campuses.

Module 2. Understanding the institution as a system

The dominant model of higher education is rooted in an industrial age that favored a rigid, hierarchical system. The 21st-century economy demands a more flexible system, led with a focus on innovation, collaboration and creativity. This course examines the institution as a dynamic system. Fellows will gain perspective on how to lead within and across the system, drawing upon the dynamics of organizational change. By learning how to better see the structures, cultures and realities of the organization, fellows will answer the question: How do things actually "get done" on a college or university campus? Fellows will learn strategies for both disruptive innovation and "radical incrementalism" that can lead to breakthroughs and long-term success. They will look at systemic issues, such as innovating new financial models, and will imagine what high-performing universities might look like in the future, as both teaching and research enterprises.

Module 3. Innovating within the university: design thinking intensive

Design thinking is a methodology used to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions for clients or end users. Until recently, the process of design thinking had been applied primarily to the creation of physical objects or products. Today, design thinking is used in many contexts and can unlock creative new solutions when applied to strategy, organizational design, curriculum development and how services and programs are conceptualized and delivered. Fellows gain an introduction to the process of design thinking from experts in the application of this process and then work together to develop new approaches to tackling tough problems they are facing on their campuses. This intensive course allows fellows to draw upon logic, curiosity, imagination, inquiry and systemic reasoning to learn how and when to use design thinking to lead innovation.  

Module 4. Becoming an innovative leader in higher education

Higher education is a disrupted field greatly in need of creative, forward-looking leadership, yet many institutional leaders find their communities stuck in the stasis of the past. Today external challenges, both domestic and global, place complex demands on college and university leaders. Talented faculty with the potential to become future university leaders express reluctance to leave the classroom or research lab to serve in leadership roles, and those who do often feel unprepared to navigate the challenging new landscape. This final course focuses on integrating the concepts presented in the previous three sessions while teaching fellows the powerful and strategic skills of developing and articulating a compelling vision. Each fellow will examine his or her own leadership journey and will develop a bold and meaningful vision for the future, while defining how to make the mindset shifts necessary to confidently lead the innovative university of the future.