WASHINGTON, DC – A new class of 32 exemplary, senior-level higher education professionals will participate in the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), according to a press released by the association. 4 of the 32 are senior-level higher education professionals are at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Gary Brown
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Elizabeth City State University

Clay Gloster
Vice Provost for Graduate Research and Dean of the Graduate College
North Carolina A&T State University

Anthony Graham
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Winston-Salem State University

Kristie Kenney
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Talladega College

MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.

During the past year, it has become more evident how important diversity, equity, and inclusion are,” said Dr. Mary Evans Sias, director of the program and assistant to AASCU’s president. “With the selection of this class, we are hoping to reflect the diversity of this nation and the institutions that our protégés serve. We are proud to welcome our next class and are grateful to them for joining with us to secure the higher education leadership pipeline.”

Since MLI inception 22 years ago, 662 protégés have graduated from the program. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advance significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.

“As a protégés of MLI’s inaugural class of 1999, I gained an invaluable network of colleagues and honed leadership skills that I’ve throughout my presidencies,” said AASCU President Dr. Mildred García. “I look forward to meeting with and mentoring members of the 2021 class. These leaders will help higher education continue to advance and overcome unprecedented challenges.”

In 2020, AASCU restructured MLI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 institute will also feature virtual programming – four meetings a month from March 17 to May 26. Additionally, it includes a tentative, in-person meeting in the fall. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.

View the full list of protégés.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning and teaching centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. For more information, visit www.aascu.org.

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