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A group of program participants in a leadership development class

Intensive Leadership Development Programs

Program summary

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.

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8 months

focused on innovation

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4 modules

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2 locations

Washington, D.C., and Tempe, AZ

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Design sessions

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seminars and interviews with innovative speakers

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Leadership coaching

What is the format of the program?

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

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 7-10 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. 


The chance to step back from daily crises to think about the landscape of higher education, to hear from presidents and other leaders engaged with those challenges, and to learn with and from a cohort of colleagues small enough to understand each member's unique situation and challenges, but large enough to reflect the range of American higher education, should not be missed.

Mark Hoveyassociate provost, Wesleyan University


Dates and Deadlines

We are currently accepting application for Cohort 11 (2024-2025).

The application deadline is July 19, 2024.

In person

Module 1 – October 21-23, 2024
Washington, D.C.

In person

Module 2 – January 27-29, 2025
Tempe, Arizona

in person

Module 3 – April 7-9, 2025
Tempe, Arizona

in person

Module 4 – June 9-11, 2025
Washington, D.C.

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
 Program Lead
Cohort Co-Director and Academy Leadership Coach

 Kim D’Abreu
 Cohort Co-Director and Academy Leadership Coach

 Randy Bass
 Vice President for Strategic Education Initiatives 
 Professor of English, Georgetown University
 Academy Faculty

 Steve Galloway
 Academy Leadership Coach

 Gloria González
 Academy Leadership Coach

Kai Stowers
Academy Leadership Coach

Past Faculty and Guest Speakers 

Jose Antonio Bowen
Past President
Goucher College

Jennifer Brown 
 Past Provost 
California State Polytechnic University in Pomona

Bryan Brayboy 
Dean, School of Education and Social Policy
Northwestern University 

Sylvia M. Burwell
American University 

Lisa Camp
Chief of Staff & Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Provost
Case Western Reserve University

Lori Carrell
University of Minnesota Rochester 

Dolly Chugh
Jacob B. Melnick Term Professor 
New York University

Shirley Collado
Past President
Ithaca College

Scott Cowen
President Emeritus
Tulane University

Jennifer Cowley
The University of Texas at Arlington

Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University

John J. DeGioia
Georgetown University

Hesham El-Rewini
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Marymount University

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

Mildred Garcia 

Lev Gonick
Chief Information Officer 
Arizona State University

Nancy Gonzales
Executive Vice President and University Provost 
Arizona State University 

Nathan Grawe 
Professor of Economics
Carleton College 

Brian O. Hemphill
Old Dominion University

Freeman A. Hrabowski III
President Emeritus 
University of Maryland Baltimore County 

Nicole Hurd
Lafayette College

Charles Isbell
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Sukhwant Jhaj
Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Achievement
Arizona State University

Walter Kimbrough
Past President
Dillard University

Patricia McGuire
Trinity Washington University

Juan Muñoz
University of California Merced 

Diana Natalicio
Past President 
University of Texas El Paso 

Ben Nelson
Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Minerva Project

Santa Ono
University of Michigan

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

Carol Quillen
President Emerita 
Davidson College

Susana Rivera-Mills
Aurora University 

Mark S. Smith, MD
MedStar Institute for Innovation

Michael Sorrell
Paul Quinn College

Beverly Daniel Tatum
President Emerita
Spelman College

Jason Wingard 
Past President 
Temple University

Lynn Perry Wooten
Simmons University

People discussing around a table

The academy energized me to look at higher education differently in a time of great change and encouraged me to build new leadership tools to assist my institution.

Paul Atchleyassociate dean, University of Kansas



Module 1.  Leading Change and 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 invites fellows to consider the current state and context of their own institutions and what possibilities and opportunities for innovation exist 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, equity, collaboration and creativity. This module 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: What is my institution designed to do?  How do things actually "get done" on a college or university campus? They will look at systemic issues, seemingly intractable challenges, and will imagine what high-performing universities might look like in the future, as both teaching and research enterprises.

Module 3. Innovation within the University

By focusing on the unique strengths, qualities and aspects of their institutions and inviting a deeper inquiry into the design of the system and structures of the institution, fellows gain perspective on the innovation opportunities, landscape and readiness for change on their campuses. In this module, fellows bring their fieldwork into the program for rounds of feedback, redesign, rapid prototyping and collaborative work with their cohort. Fellows gain new perspectives on leading the innovation process and they further their campus based innovation ideas.  

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. 

Dates and Deadlines

We are currently accepting application for Cohort 11 (2024-2025).

The application deadline is July 19,2024.