Nominations for 2021–2022 Executive Leadership Academy Are Due January 22

ELA brochure coverStrong presidential leadership of independent colleges and universities is needed now more than ever. Cabinet-level leaders—including provosts and chief financial, advancement, and student affairs officers—who are contemplating the move to a college presidency should consider participating in the Executive Leadership Academy (ELA). Cosponsored by CIC, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), the ELA prepares experienced provosts and vice presidents for presidencies and other senior-level positions.

The 2021–2022 ELA will consist of several components, including summer and spring seminars in Washington, DC; experiential activities throughout the year; executive coaching by the program director; a series of readings on presidential leadership; and case studies that illuminate the challenges presidents often face. Participants will receive mentorship from both the participant’s president and Linda Bleicken, ELA program director and AALI president. By completing the program, participants will acquire considerable knowledge, skills, and experiences that are germane to the responsibilities and activities of a president or other senior leader.

Approximately 40 cabinet officers, drawn from all divisions of the institution, will be selected for the 2021–2022 ELA cohort—roughly half from CIC and AASCU member institutions. The president to whom the senior officer reports must nominate the candidate and commit to mentorship during the yearlong program. Nominations are due by January 22, 2021.

In the past decade, the ELA has assisted more than 100 independent college and university leaders to attain professional goals and career advancement. Marcheta P. Evans, an alumna of the 2016–2017 ELA who became president of Bloomfield College (NJ) in 2019 said, “The ELA experience for me was life changing. The opportunities it created to learn from national leaders and to gain friendships for the rest of my professional and personal lives have been unparalleled in my leadership experience. ELA is definitely for those who want to progress in their leadership experience.” Evans is formerly provost and vice president for academic affairs of Our Lady of the Lake University (TX).

And Mark Biermann, an alumnus of the 2018–2019 ELA who became president of Blackburn College (IL) in 2020, remarked, “The ELA was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it for anyone considering a presidency. The speakers were uniformly excellent, their presentations were relevant and engaging, and they covered a wonderful range of important topics. The opportunity to network with peers from other colleges and universities made the experience even more powerful and beneficial. The time for focused self-reflection was invaluable. The ELA definitely helped me to clarify my thinking with regard to pursuing a presidency.” Biermann previously was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs of Valparaiso University (IN) and dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs of Wartburg College (IA).

The program brochure along with the ELA nomination form and more information are available on the CIC website. For questions about the nomination process, selection process, or program logistics, contact Kerry Pannell, CIC vice president for academic programs, at or (765) 720- 4916.