Program Participants


The Academy is a world-class program designed at the intermediate to advanced level, for those with a minimum of 7-12 years of progressive experience in higher education administration, academic affairs, and/or teaching at the post-secondary level.

We look for professionals with demonstrated experience, interest, and potential. To ensure a high-impact learning experience for all participants, we select candidates from a strong pool of diverse institutions, leadership and faculty roles, and geographic location.

While other leaders may also find the program beneficial, the Academy has been created specifically for leaders working in the higher education sector.


A diverse participant mix is essential to the Academy’s success. Our program is for all leaders looking to significantly boost their strategic diversity leadership skills, REGARDLESS OF LEADERSHIP ROLE.

This means that the Academy is not just for Chief Diversity Officers nor for CDOs in training. You do not have to be a diversity and inclusion expert or specialist to attend.

For any institution to build a dynamic diversity and inclusion capability, the campus community as a whole must rise to the occasion. Lasting change requires more than leaning on a Chief Diversity Officer and one or two individual diversity champions. For this reason, our approach is designed to strengthen the ecosystem of leadership at institutions. We focus on enhancing leaders across multiple roles, to boost their strategic diversity leadership abilities.

The Academy is designed for all those who wish to make real and meaningful change in their lives, organizations and communities. We encourage applications from chief diversity officers, legal counsel, presidents, deans, diversity committee chairs and members, diversity and multicultural affairs officers, department chairs, staff of business affairs, enrollment management, academic affairs, student affairs, marketing and communications, and faculty members across academic institutions.


The Academy’s approach has been developed for both individuals and institutional teams.

Individual Learners

  • When you apply to the Academy as an individual, you will be placed within a five-person strategy pod with other leaders selected from across the country.
  • While every participant will have a chance to interact across the cohort as a whole, the unique benefit of the Academy experience is the valuable experience gained by working within your smaller strategy pod, drawing on the skills of four fellow leaders from varied institutions, responsibilities, approaches and more.
  • The individual learner experience allows you to compare and contrast your institutional experiences with others’, learn about a range of institutional cultures, and build close relationships with a group of leaders embarking on a similar journey.
  • Your strategy pod will receive personal and strategic coaching from Dr. Williams and other recognized learning coaches from the faculty of the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy.
Institutional Teams

  • When you apply to the Academy as a five-person institutional team, this group will comprise your strategy pod. This approach allows your institutional community to develop a stronger and more cohesive leadership team to steward diversity and
    inclusion efforts.
  • This approach also allows your team to be introduced to a wealth of best-practice diversity resources and to work on your specific institutional diversity initiatives within a structured and
    supportive space.
  • Both you and your individual team will receive coaching from
    Dr. Williams and the other recognized learning coaches from the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy.
  • A limited number of institutional teams will be accepted into the Academy each year, to maximize the diversity of learners attending and interacting on the program.