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NLA celebrates another year of firsts and the largest fellows cohort yet

This summer, the New Leadership Academy (NLA) hosted 37 fellows and 28 alumni from across the nation in Salt Lake City, Utah for its annual Summer Institute. Founded in 2015 at the University of Michigan, and now in its second year at the University of Utah, NLA is a program and philosophy of leadership development built on prioritizing leading from the multiple lenses of equity, diversity, and inclusion. NLA provides the knowledge, tools, and courage for participants in both formal and informal leadership roles to act—both as individuals and collectively—to meet the challenges associated with highly contested and complex environments.

With this most recent graduating cohort, the New Leadership Academy Fellows Program now includes a network of more than 190 fellows and alumni from over 80 different institutions and organizations; four university presidents, chancellors, or provosts; 21 vice presidents, vice provosts, or vice chancellors (including assistant and associate); 22 deans, associate and assistant deans; 57 directors, assistant and associate directors; and dozens of professors and other professionals.

Additionally, for the first time since its creation, NLA piloted a health sciences-specific, small team case clinics where six fellows from University of Utah Health (physicians, faculty, postdoc, and administrators) met throughout the Summer Institute with Alvaro Rojas-Peña, research investigator with Transplantation Surgery at University of Michigan Department of Surgery. This small group met regularly to workshop real-life case clinics and collaborate on designing action plans. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to participate in a co-lead workshop with José E. Rodríguez, University of Utah associate vice president for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (UHEDI), and Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, associate vice president for Health Science Education. The Health Sciences pilot was a rousing success, says NLA Director Amy Fulton, and plans are already underway to make it a full-fledged track within the program in January 2024. The NLA Health Sciences will offer mid-career professionals in the health sciences—clinicians, faculty, administrators, researchers, and staff—a unique approach to leadership development that will prepare leaders to adapt and respond to dynamic health sciences academics and healthcare contexts.

Through a curriculum rooted in research and scholarship, NLA reframes the way institutions and organizations can make both, immediate and long-lasting progress toward equity-centered goals—even when individual, systemic, and societal pressures seem to be pulling in different directions. Over the past six months, this year’s class of 37 NLA fellows engaged in leadership self-reflection, critical thinking, application of theory to practice, and problem solving to develop personal and institutional action plans. “The entire program was intense and packed with critical information—but the NLA was also very supportive of us all throughout the process,” said Sonia Pruneda-Hernandez, acting dean of Education and Social Sciences at Montgomery College, and one of this year’s fellows. “The whole experience was rigorous but rewarding.”

This leadership experience culminates in an immersive and intense five-day Summer Institute where fellows discuss Shared Equity Leadership (Kezar et al., 2021), transcultural leadership, strategic diversity planning, communication strategies and negotiations, leading through ambiguity, contemporary challenges and opportunities in higher education, crisis management, case clinics, and many other topics. Additionally, fellows take part in career development, leadership coaching, networking opportunities, and hear from numerous world-class speakers and scholars.

 The application and nomination process for next year’s 2024 NLA Fellows Program is already underway. Applications and nominations submitted for the early-bird deadline will be accepted until Monday, September 18—and regular deadline applications can be submitted up until Monday, October 23. The NLA Health Sciences Fellows Track will soon be accepting applications as well.

For more information about the New Leadership Academy and how to apply to the 2024 NLA Fellows Program or the NLA Health Sciences Fellows Track (website section forthcoming), please visit the New Leadership Academy website.

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Erica Rojas, MPA

Aug 03, 2023 3:40 PM