UNCF Launches Executive Leadership Institute for HBCU and PBI Presidents and Board Chairs

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Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org

Roundtable with Prairie View A&M University President, Dr. Ruth Simmons and Dr. Roger Ferguson of TIAA-CREF

UNCF announces the launch of its UNCF Executive Leadership Institute (ELI). The mission of ELI is to increase engagement, knowledge-sharing and collaboration among presidents and board members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

Funded by the Kresge Foundation, ELI will accomplish its mission by delivering a leadership curriculum and engagement model designed specifically for institutional presidents and board members of HBCUs and PBIs. ELI was conceived based on the belief that transformational change in higher education institutions is only possible when executive and governance leadership are aligned, informed and interconnected to other leaders engaged in the pursuit of similar missions and goals.

“HBCUs and PBIs with the right leadership, resources and vision operate as transformational organizations for their students, alumni and communities,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “In an era where collaboration is key to any institution’s survival, ELI will encourage relationship development across our community and support leadership as they implement strategies and programs to benefit the diverse individuals and communities HBCUs and PBIs serve.”

The UNCF Executive Leadership Institute will implement two complementary but distinct programs:

  • In February, the Executive Leadership Series will invite board members at HBCUs and PBIs to participate in a virtual webinar series designed to amplify best practices in board engagement and stewardship, while encouraging relationship-building and networking among HBCU and PBI board members.
  • This summer, the Executive Leadership Institute will launch the Presidential Leadership Institute, a cohort experience developed in conjunction with the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, for select HBCUs and PBIs that seek a higher level of engagement and the opportunity to collaborate with other presidents and boards.

“The modern day Chief Executive Officer serving at our HBCUs require a unique skillset in addition to the best in class core competencies required to lead,” said Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr. president of Wiley University and co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation. “The philanthropic support of The Kresge Foundation and partnership with the iconic brand UNCF demonstrates a palpable synergy in our shared commitment to ensuring HBCU leaders glean from passionate and committed administrators who can share from their lived experience while simultaneously creating a collegial web to support leadership at HBCUs.”

“At a time when all colleges and their students face unprecedented challenges from COVID-19, a terrible recession and the ongoing legacy of racism, it’s critical that HBCUs and PBIs, the bedrock of African American higher education, are strong,” said – William F. L. Moses, managing director, education, The Kresge Foundation. “We are delighted to support UNCF’s Executive Leadership Institute, designed to strengthen HBCUs and PBIs as they navigate the complex terrain of fiscal management, governance and accountability in a new, more complex, era.”

UNCF has invited HBCU and PBI presidents, their boards and other interested parties to attend the Executive Leadership Institute kickoff roundtable, held virtually on Friday, January 29, at 3 p.m. EST. The roundtable conversation will explore the dynamics of building successful relationships between institutional leadership and boards. Dr. Lomax will moderate the conversation with Dr. Roger Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA-CREF and Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University.


About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


About Higher Education Leadership Foundation
The Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.) was established in March 2015 to provide bold, engaging and innovative learning and mentoring opportunities for current and aspiring leaders. At H.E.L.F., we intend to play a vital role in this mission by encouraging others to “lift as they climb” in order to ensure that HBCUs survive and thrive as national models of achievement. Our mission is to prepare principled, highly skilled, transformational leaders in higher education with an interest in assuming positions of leadership at the nation’s HBCUs.