Senior Leadership Academy

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) are pleased to announce the 2017–2018 Senior Leadership Academy (SLA), a year-long program for mid-level administrators in higher education who aspire to senior leadership positions in independent colleges or universities. By completing the program, participants will have acquired considerable knowledge, skills, and experiences that are germane to the portfolio of responsibilities and activities central to the work of a college or university vice president or cabinet officer.

View the program results to date.

Read an article on the academy in the Independent.

 Current Status for 2016–2017

Approximately 30 participants from independent colleges and universities have been selected to participate in the program. The fall seminar will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 4–6, 2016. The closing seminar will be held in Washington, DC, June 22–24, 2017.


Up to 30 participants from independent colleges and universities will be selected for the program, which is intended for individuals whose next position most likely would be a cabinet position in academic affairs, student affairs, finance and administration, enrollment management, or advancement and who would like to advance in responsibilities in college administration.

A participant’s current position may be assistant or associate provost, assistant or associate vice president, academic dean, assistant or associate dean, academic division chair, or administrative director. Under certain circumstances, general counsels and faculty senate chairs may be included as well.
To submit a nomination, please refer to the brochure and online nomination form.
The nomination packet is due by Friday, January 27, 2017, 5:00 p.m. EST. Selection of participants will be announced by Friday, February 24, 2017.

 American Express Foundation Diversity Initiative for SLA

​CIC just recently received word that the American Express Foundation will support CIC’s efforts to increase the gender and racial and ethnic diversity of the leaders of independent colleges and universities by providing funds to CIC that will cover most costs of participation in the Senior Leadership Academy for approximately 12 additional participants. Preference for these awards will be given to nominees from under-resourced institutions that otherwise might not be able to support a participant in SLA.

Through the grant, CIC will make awards that include:
  • A fellowship of $2,000 that covers the full program fee; and
  • A stipend of $1,500 (to be used toward lodging during the two seminars that are part of the year-long program).
If you already have nominated someone for the 2017–2018 Senior Leadership Academy who is a woman or a person of color and whom you now wish to be considered for this award, please send a message to Barbara Hetrick, CIC senior advisor, at If you would like to nominate an additional participant who meets the criteria for SLA and the award, please complete a nomination packet for the additional candidate by Friday, January 27, 2017. If you have not yet nominated someone for this program, please consider nominating more than one candidate—both those who are eligible for the American Express Foundation award and others.


The fall seminar will be held in San Antonio,TX, November 3–5, 2017. The closing seminar will be held in Washington, DC, June 21–23, 2018.



The program fee for the 2017–2018 academic year is $2,000. The fee includes all program costs as well as meals during the two seminars. The SLA is supported generously by AALI and Academic Search, Inc. The participant or his or her institution is responsible for travel and lodging expenses. Support to offset some of these costs is available to a small number of participants at institutions with limited funding for professional development.



For questions about the nomination, selection process, or program logistics, contact David Brailow, vice president for development, CIC, at or (202) 466-7230.

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