The Western Academic Leadership Academy convened its fifth cohort of aspiring academic leaders for an intensive seminar, July 10-12, at WICHE’s learning center in Boulder. Fifteen individuals from eight states (AK-3; AZ-1; CA-1; CO-3; HI-1; ID-2; MT-2; OR-1; and WA-1) participated in general sessions on a range of topics related to the roles and responsibilities of the chief academic officer as well as small group discussions of case studies and career exploration. The customized curriculum includes a special focus on higher education issues in the West.
The 2019 cohort will continue to participate in activities mentored by the faculty throughout the year with the culminating seminar taking place at the annual meeting of the Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum) in April 2020. The faculty, all sitting or recently retired provosts, are members of the Forum which sponsors the Academy. Guest faculty with special expertise in such topics as managing external relations, strategic partnerships, and legal issues; and promoting diversity and inclusion; also led some of the sessions.
The Forum’s executive committee launched the Academy in 2014 to build a more robust pipeline of talented academic leaders prepared to advance to the chief academic level in anticipation of a significant number of retirements in that role in the WICHE region during this decade. When the 2019 cohort graduates in April 2020, the Academy will have trained nearly 75 new leaders for the WICHE region.