NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University English Professor Dr. Lea Williams has earned a spot in the 2021-22 Council of Independent Colleges and the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Senior Leadership Academy, a nationally competitive program.

Williams is one of 41 participants chosen to participate in this program, which is designed to offer midlevel leaders at independent colleges and universities leadership training for future promotions in cabinet-level positions.

In her nomination letter, referring to Williams as a “remarkable candidate,” Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Sandra Affenito said, “Leading in today’s academy requires a broad and extensive understanding of the context of the ever-evolving higher education landscape and the talents and skills to advance a forward-thinking leadership agenda.”

Williams has served as interim college dean in the College of Liberal Arts and serves as department chair and as faculty development coordinator. As interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts in Spring 2017, Williams oversaw five departments consisting of approximately 100 faculty members and nearly 1,800 students in the various programs.

As chair of the Department of English and Communications, Williams leads one of the unive\ersity's largest and most complex departments and mentors other faculty. As Faculty Development Coordinator, Williams oversees applications for faculty independent and research study leaves and hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual professional development monies. She also directs the committee’s review and exchange of feedback.

“As Dr. Williams contemplates her next steps, the opportunity to reflect upon her leadership experiences and engage with colleagues through the dynamic SLA curriculum would enable her to enhance her understanding of higher education beyond her current role at the institution and preparing her for future opportunities beyond the institution,” Affenito said.

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About the Senior Leadership Academy:
The Senior Leadership Academy (SLA) is a yearlong program for midlevel administrators in higher education who aspire to senior leadership positions in independent colleges or universities. By completing the program, participants will have acquired considerable knowledge, skills, and experiences that are germane to the portfolio of responsibilities and activities central to the work of a college or university vice president or cabinet officer.

The Council of Independent Colleges and American Academic Leadership Institute developed the Senior Leadership Academy in response to presidents and provosts who noted that many talented people on their campuses serving in mid-levels of leadership responsibility would benefit from professional development opportunities to become better prepared to assume senior “line” responsibilities at the vice presidential/cabinet level. The SLA helps to fill the gap in the current leadership pipeline through the preparation of leaders who show promise of developing the talents and skills needed to succeed in a senior leadership position on campus. The SLA also helps participants achieve a better understanding of the broader context within which their own institution operates and a perspective on higher education beyond their current role.

About Norwich University
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army Capt. Alden Partridge and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

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