Senior Leadership Academy 2023–2024

November 3–5, 2023

About the Academy

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) are pleased to announce the 2023–2024 Senior Leadership Academy (SLA), a yearlong program for administrators in higher education who aspire to cabinet-level positions in independent colleges or universities. Participants will acquire knowledge, skills, and experience germane to the responsibilities and activities central to the work of a vice president or cabinet officer.

Leaders for a New Era

The SLA fills a gap in the current leadership pipeline by preparing talented leaders with the skills needed to advance to a senior leadership position on campus. The SLA also helps participants broaden their understanding of the higher education ecosystem and of the full range of leadership roles needed for institutional success.

“Getting to know other people at the same stage in their careers was extraordinarily meaningful. When one adds to that the extraordinary leadership of the program and the opportunity to learn from successful and truly inspiring presidents and provosts, the entire package was tremendously valuable.”

Timothy Schmitz, SLA 2021–2022, Associate Provost for Administration, Wofford College

Program Details

​The program consists of:

  • Two seminars—one in Tampa, Florida, November 3–5, 2023, and the other in Washington, DC, June 13–15, 2024—led by current presidents, vice presidents, and other senior leaders in higher education as well as experts in key areas;
  • Readings in leadership theory and practice;
  • Professional Experience Plan (PEP), a highly individualized plan to fill gaps in the participant’s expertise and experience;
  • Mentorship by both the participant’s campus mentor and the program director;
  • Individualized executive coaching throughout the program; and
  • Webinars, regional gatherings, book groups, campus visits, and other activities developed by participants.

Program Results

Since 2010, 153 of the participants in the ten cohorts that have completed the Senior Leadership Academy have experienced career advancement.

In addition to the professional advancement of participants, successful outcomes also occur when participants strengthen their leadership in their current positions.

“At first I was disappointed that my Senior Leadership Academy year happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then I realized it was a gift in disguise. Being able to connect with my SLA cohort, my working group, and our mentors was a bright light in the very difficult pandemic year. I looked forward to stepping away from my regular duties and reconnecting with my reasons for coming to higher education in the first place. It also was inspiring to learn about the work of other cohort members—to hear that others were facing the same difficulties and that together we could come up with viable solutions…. We taught each other and encouraged each other through questions, challenges, and doubt, right into the next levels of success.”

Tarshia L. Stanley, SLA 2020–2021, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wagner College

Diversity Fellowship

With generous support from AALI, CIC offers fellowships to encourage broad and representative participation in SLA. Preference is given to nominees from under-resourced institutions that otherwise might be unable to support their participation. Nominators should indicate whether they wish a nominee to be considered for a Fellowship.

Location and Costs

The fall seminar will be held in Tampa, FL, November 3–5, 2023. The closing seminar will be held in Washington, DC, June 13–15, 2024.

The individual program fee for the 2023–2024 academic year is $2,550, which includes all program costs as well as meals during the two seminars. Participants or their institutions are responsible for travel and lodging expenses.

“SLA encouraged a profoundly introspective process of discernment and development over a sustained period. I was so grateful for the time, space, and framing for this reflection, making it an ongoing priority in the midst of the busyness of the academic year.”

Hilary Williams, SLA 2021–2022, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Colby-Sawyer College

Contact Information

For questions about the nomination process, selection process, or program logistics, contact Mike Donnelly, assistant to the senior vice president for academic programs, CIC, at or (202) 552-8986.

For questions about program content, contact Javier Cevallos, president, AALI, at or (202) 263-7488.