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Leadership Development

The League's involvement in leadership development began with the "Leaders for the 80s" project in 1980. This joint effort of the League for Innovation and the American Association of Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC), initially funded by FIPSE, was designed to assist community college women to assume major policy-making positions in community colleges. The successful original program evolved into a spectrum of programs serving women leaders at all levels, and led to the establishment of the self-sustaining National Institute for Leadership Development (NILD), now housed and operated by the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Graduates of the programs, most now senior administrators, have come from every state, several United States territories, and Canada. The ability and performance of women who have participated in the programs have had a major and lasting impact on community colleges and their staffing patterns.  

In 1985, the League for Innovation and The University of Texas at Austin received funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch a major new community college leadership development project with several important elements that have continued and expanded and comprise the heart of the League's activities in leadership development.  

The Executive Leadership Institute, has prepared hundreds of men and women for presidential positions. The purpose of the institute is to provide an opportunity for potential community college presidents as community leaders to review their abilities and interests, to refine their skills, and to participate in discussions on leadership issues with outstanding community college and other community leaders in North America. Participants in the Executive Leadership Institute are selected from among applicants who have served in senior positions of leadership in community colleges, formally reporting at the campus or college CEO level, and who are qualified for the presidency by their educational, experiential, and community leadership backgrounds. 

The Expanding Leadership Diversity project, which ended in 1999, was designed for participants currently serving in mid-management or faculty leadership positions to advance into senior-level decision-making positions in the nation’s community colleges. The key objective of this project was to ensure the continuing development of
a pool of talented minority community college leaders. Designed to ensure a diverse stream of qualified individuals in the leadership pipeline, the project placed an emphasis on developing mentors and participation in leadership and community problem-solving experiences. Several hundred participants have now completed the program. 

Leadership Abstracts, is a series of thought-provoking, yet brief articles devoted to leadership issues. Over the years, the series has gained considerable respect as a significant and timely source of valuable information on community college leadership and is distributed monthly to 15,000 presidents, trustees, senior administrators, and higher education professors in two-year colleges and universities across the world.