Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lois A. Wims, Ph.D., was selected to serve as a protégé in the Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute’s Class of 2017, a program co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
The initial phase of the program takes place June 2-6 in Washington, D.C., and its aim is to “to prepare, enhance, and advance the prospect for qualified candidates, who have progressed in their professional careers, to compete successfully, for positions of president or chancellor at universities or colleges, public or private,” according to the MLI Institute. The leadership development program requires protégés to commit to a yearlong mentoring relationship with a currently sitting president or chancellor, with whom they would regularly communicate. Protégés also benefit from monthly professional coaching sessions from a retired president or chancellor in the year following the MLI leadership development program.
The Class of 2017 protégés were admitted via a “rigorous selection process administered by a selection committee composed exclusively of presidents and chancellors,” according to the MLI. Selected candidates hold a terminal degree or equivalent experience as a senior executive and were nominated by the president of their college. They also had to demonstrate that they have the leadership experience necessary to achieve a presidency or chancellorship or to advance in their careers.
The program affords participants the opportunity to “develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network to compete for, and attain, the position of college or university president or chancellor. MLI reinforces the vital role that diversity plays in the institutional mission and helps diversify the executive team on campuses,” according to the MLI.
The MLI also reports that, since its inception 18 years ago, the institute has graduated 492 participants, and 114 of them have become university or college presidents. Another one-third of the MLI graduates significantly advanced their careers.