WICHE Receives $1.5 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation

  • Year Published : 2022
  • Month Published : June

Funding Will Establish Leadership Program for Academics in the Humanities

BOULDER, Colorado – The Mellon Foundation has generously awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to develop a leadership program for senior humanities faculty members who want to explore higher education administration with a focus on three key competencies: career planning and development, project management, and organizational design and agility.

Equity centeredness, justice, and intercultural communication will be core to the program design. Funded by the three-year grant, the WICHE Academy for Leaders in the Humanities will allow institutions in the West to grow and diversify their academic administration by preparing humanities faculty to take on leadership roles effectively and confidently. The WICHE Academy will provide campus-based and external mentoring and professional development to fellows selected from institutions in the WICHE region.

“The world needs passionate, values-oriented, and imaginative campus leaders who can seize opportunities and confront challenging campus issues, and WICHE is uniquely positioned to prepare such leaders,” said Raymonda “Ray” Burgman, Ph.D., WICHE vice president, programs and services.

Dr. Burgman will lead the grant as principal investigator. Starting in academic year 2022-23, WICHE will select and collaborate with eight institutions in the West to help co-create the WICHE Academy’s fellowship program. In the following two academic years, 2023-24 and 2024-25, fellows from those inaugural institutions will be chosen as part of a year-long cohort to attend the WICHE Academy for Leaders in the Humanities, webinars, and lectures with guest speakers.

“Effective leadership leads to improved student outcomes, and we aim to improve student success through this work,” said WICHE President Demarée Michelau. “We are thrilled to partner with Mellon on this important work that will prepare highly-skilled postsecondary leaders from the humanities and benefit colleges and universities in the West.”

For upcoming dates and announcements about the WICHE Academy for Leaders in the Humanities, visit wiche.edu.


About the Mellon Foundation
The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at mellon.org.

Since 1953, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education has been strengthening higher education, workforce development, and behavioral health throughout the region. From promoting high-quality, affordable postsecondary education to helping states get the most from their technology investments and addressing behavioral health challenges, WICHE improves lives across the West through innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy. WICHE members include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia). Visit wiche.edu.

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