Williams selected for Executive Leadership Academy

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University’s Alaric Williams was selected for the 2024-25 Executive Leadership Academy (ELA) cohort by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

The ELA is a yearlong program to develop the next generation of college and university presidents. The program is jointly sponsored by CIC, AASCU, and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI). 

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as a member of the 2024-2025 Executive Leadership Academy,” Williams said. “For decades, AALI, AASCU, and CIC have had a reputation for developing future leaders in higher education. Being a part of next year’s cohort is truly a privilege. I want to thank Dr. Steve Shirley for endorsing my participation, and I am excited about the learning opportunities I will encounter over the next year.”

Williams began serving as assistant vice president for academic affairs at Minot State in February 2023. He has 20-plus years of experience in higher education.

Williams joins 37 higher education leaders who will participate in the selective program that prepares experienced provosts and vice presidents to take on positions of greater responsibility — including college presidencies. From a competitive pool of applicants, CIC selected 18 ELA participants from its membership and AASCU selected 19 participants.

The first of two seminars kicked off June 13-15, in Washington, D.C., led by current and former college presidents and specialists in key areas related to higher education. 

Since 2009, more than 100 of the participants who completed the ELA program have been appointed as presidents or chancellors, and many more have advanced to other senior administrative positions. The ELA program develops the wide-ranging skills that new presidents and senior executives need to meet the challenges of today’s educational environment.

“Preparing the next generation of leaders is essential. As we have seen, leadership requires a complex combination of skill, character, and vision,” said CIC President Marjorie Hass. “I’m proud that CIC has such wonderful partners in AASCU and AALI to continue offering the ELA program that encourages diversity in higher education leadership. The program has evolved over the past 15 years to ensure that new leaders from varied backgrounds will be equipped to serve all students.”

Some highlights of the ELA program include an individualized professional experience plan designed to fill gaps in each participant’s skills and experience; mentorship by the participant’s current president and the ELA program director; individualized executive coaching; and peer-to-peer participant-led webinars, regional gatherings, and activities. ELA participants will return to Washington, DC, in June 2025 for a second seminar.

“The need for strong leadership in higher education, amid the mounting pressures our institutions face, has never been more important than it is today,” said AASCU President and CEO Charles L. Welch. “AASCU’s long-standing commitment to identify, prepare, and mentor future leaders has been a cornerstone of the association, and the Executive Leadership Academy, in partnership with CIC and AALI, enables participants to develop the wide-ranging skills required to meet the challenges of today’s educational environment and serve today’s diverse student population.” 

Higher education organizations CIC, AASCU, and AALI recognize it is more essential than ever that the pipeline of senior leaders prepares a diverse range of candidates from all backgrounds to succeed. With generous support from AALI, CIC offers fellowships to encourage broad and representative participation in ELA. Preference is given to nominees from under-resourced institutions that otherwise might be unable to support their participation. 

Individuals currently serving in cabinet-level positions in any division of their institution are eligible to participate in ELA. Approximately 35 participants — half from CIC member institutions and half from AASCU institutions — are selected annually to allow for participants from both independent and state-supported colleges and universities.

About AASCU: The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 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.

About CIC: The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help independent institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 06/14/24   

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