- AIHEC, HACU, and NAFEO Together in Ambitious New Leadership Initiative
- W. K. Kellogg Foundation Sponsors MSI Leadership Fellows, Awards $6 Million to Alliance for Equity in Higher Education
Washington, D.C., Sept. 18, 2002—Today, leaders of the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education pledged to identify and mentor the next generation of presidents and senior executives for America's Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The Alliance, a first-of-its-kind national coalition of associations and institutions that serve students of color, launched this bold initiative with the support of a four-year, $6 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
The specific focus of the project is presidential and senior leadership. Organizers predict that by the end of this decade, at least half of the individuals who participate in this Kellogg MSI Leadership Fellows program will have served or be serving as a president, provost, or other high-level senior leader at a minority-serving college or university.
The new project builds upon a long-standing relationship between the Foundation and the Alliance, a three-year-old coalition that represents the largest and broadest partnership of MSIs in American higher education.
Alliance members include:
- America's 32 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) which are represented by AIHEC, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium;
- More than 200 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and more than 100 Associate HSIs represented by HACU, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; and
- 118 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other predominantly Black institutions represented by NAFEO, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
Leaders of MSIs share common objectives that draw them together and make it imperative that both current and emerging leaders bridge cultural boundaries and strengthen their abilities in key areas. They must excel in their ability to cooperate rather than compete for scarce resources; to join forces to effect policy change at the national level; to collaborate on solving common issues; and to work in partnerships with majority institutions.
Moreover, in addition to the overall program emphasis on common concerns, each member organization is expected to address its own unique goals and objectives and to develop leadership principles relevant to the population it serves.
In announcing the new initiative, leaders of the Alliance member organizations noted that the demand for leaders in the minority-serving institution community far exceeds the supply, yet there has been little attention paid to the task of identifying and educating the next generation of leaders. They also acknowledged the need for a new vision of leadership development to serve MSIs.
Communication Director Diane Cullo, who spoke on behalf of AIHEC Executive Director Gerald Gipp, said, "We are keenly aware that leadership development for the future means adopting new models of leadership. Models that exalt control and authority must be replaced by a new vision of leadership as it occurs in the context of minority-serving campuses."
"The core mission of our institutions remains the same - providing high quality education for all students, but especially for underserved populations. Yet, the growing diversity in our society brings its own set of increasingly complex challenges, including the need for leadership that bridges the political, racial, cultural, and economic boundaries in our communities," said Dr. Antonio Flores, President of HACU.
"Over the next decade, many of the current leaders of MSIs will be retiring which makes the comprehensive intergenerational transfer of knowledge imperative," said Dr. Fred Humphries, President of NAFEO. "The Kellogg MSI Leadership Fellows project provides a unique opportunity for us to transfer knowledge, expand the horizons of leadership, and foster good will across our communities."
In phase one of the project, an advisory group of representatives from various constituencies will be convened to begin the planning the Kellogg MSI Leadership Fellows program. Principal responsibilities will include designing the curriculum for the program, determining selection processes for both fellows and mentors/host institutions, and establishing support for the leadership development program within MSI and higher education communities. The first class of Fellows will be selected during fall of 2003.