• 2023 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI)

    MLI 2023

    The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)’s Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) was established to assist individuals derived from groups seriously underrepresented at these exclusive leadership levels. Due to rapidly shifting demographics in higher education, there was a clear need to bring diversity to this critical leadership level to reflect the changing diversity of the nation’s student population. As a result of more than a decade of success in meeting this challenge, the MLI continues to maintain its historical preferences while accepting any qualified candidates.

    MLI attracts a prestigious faculty of presidents and chancellors and experts in advancement and fundraising, governance, leadership building, financial management, and the executive search process. Participants experience both theoretical learning and practical, hands-on training through case studies, workshops, and close interactions with presidents and chancellors.

    Apply Now to Participate in the 2023-2024 Cohort

    All submissions require an endorsement form (completed by president/chancellor) and application form (completed by candidate) to be submitted by Feb. 6, 2023.



    The 2023 MLI program is designed for senior academic and administrative professionals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of higher education seeking to advance to the presidency.

    Participants apply to the MLI program and are admitted through a rigorous selection process administered by a selection committee composed exclusively of presidents and chancellors. Successful applicants will demonstrate the leadership experience necessary to achieve a presidency or chancellorship in higher education or to advance to the role of vice president or provost. In addition to the above experience, candidates must possess a terminal degree or have significant experience as a senior executive. Equivalent experience outside the academy in government or the private sector is acceptable. All candidates must be nominated by a president or chancellor, or by a chief operating officer from a large complex university or organization.

    The 2023 MLI program will take place from June 2023 to spring 2024.

    Programming will be delivered in a blended format, with in-person and virtual programming. In-person programming will not be livestreamed or otherwise recorded. One-hundred percent attendance and participation is expected. Virtual programming will take place on select Tuesdays between 3 and 5 p.m. ET (exact dates TBD).

    The program will feature:

    • Up to six interactive 60- to 120-minute virtual sessions (August–February)
    • An opening in-person seminar at AASCU's Washington, D.C., office (June 7–10, 2023)
    • A closing in-person seminar at AASCU's Washington, D.C., office (March 13 – 15, 2024)
    • Mentoring with current AASCU presidents and chancellors (October 2023–May 2024)
    • Coaching with retired/former AASCU presidents and chancellors (November 2023–March 2024)

    The cohort is limited to 25 participants.  

    • For applicants from AASCU plus MLI or AASCU plus APLU member institutions: $5,500
    • For applicants from AASCU or APLU member institutions: $6,500
    • For applicants from non-member institutions: $7,500

    Upon acceptance to MLI, participants must register no later than Apr. 28, 2023.

    The registration fee covers program administration, meals during the in-person seminars, and all materials. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation in Washington, D.C.

    For a list of AASCU member institutions, visit www.aascu.org/members.

    Cancellation Fees

    • Participants from AASCU member institutions: $500
    • Participants from non-member institutions: $750

    Cancellations received in writing by Apr. 3 will receive a full refund. Cancellations received by Apr. 17 will incur the above administrative fees. Refunds are not available for cancellations after Apr. 17. Email Sara Gassman and include “MLI Cancellation” in the subject line.

    Please note that limited scholarships will be made available to accepted applicants.

    To be announced.

    2022 MLI Testimonials

    “Profoundly transformational! Eye-opening and edifying! Thank you. I deeply appreciate being exposed to such an outstanding group of presenters and colleagues. I am changed for the better.”  
    “Epiphany after epiphany … excellent! Great use of my time.”  
    “I felt like I had the privilege of sitting at the various presidents’ kitchen tables and hearing the real and authentic conversations.”