The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance Welcomes Incoming Class of Aspiring Presidents

Contact: Andrea Hansen, 509-306-1867,

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2023 – The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education has announced the selected participants for the class of 2024. Now entering its fifth year, twenty-seven participants from institutions around the country will begin their experience with an in-person symposium in Washington, D.C. in September.

The institute has shown incredible success since its inception, reflected in the demonstrated achievements of its fellows. To date, 18 of the past participants have become presidents or chancellors of higher education institutions, and many other participants have successfully progressed on the pathway to the presidency with commendations and new positions.

The success of the institute comes at a critical moment in higher education. “Those who are preparing to serve in leadership roles are faced with unprecedented challenges on a global scale,” said Nancy Zimpher, co-founder and director of the institute. “Our aim has always been to ensure these up-and-coming leaders are ready to immediately step into their roles and guide their universities with confidence.”

The participants of the Class of 2024 (Cohort 5) are:

Dr. Joann Bangs
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Ottawa University

Dr. Michael Bedell
Dean of the College of Business & Technology
Northeastern Illinois University

Dr. Jeffrey T. Burgin
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Southern Illinois University

Dr. Karen E. Bussey
Deputy Chief of Staff
Fayetteville State University

Dr. Dawn B. Crim
Consultant, Office of Human Resources
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. W. Samuel Easterling
James L. & Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering
Iowa State University

Dr. David Ferreira
Provost & Chief Academic Officer
Charter Oak State College

Dr. Zillah Fluker
Director of Executive Leadership
UNCF Institute for Capacity Building

Dr. Georita M. Frierson
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
University of Southern Maine

Dr. Uttam Gaulee
Professor, Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership & Policy
Morgan State University

Dr. Jody M. Goins
Executive Vice President for Administration
Lincoln Memorial University

Dr. Michel A. Hodge
Interim Vice President, Enrollment Management & Strategic Initiatives
CUNY College of Staten Island

Dr. Steven Holley
Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance
University of Mississippi

Dr. Barbara J. Johnson
Executive Vice President & Provost; Professor of Education
Talladega College

Dr. Kathy Johnson
Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Ms. McCeil Johnson
Vice President of Accreditation & Regulatory Compliance
University of Phoenix

Mr. Michael Johnson
Chief of Staff
University of Houston

Dr. Karen Kettler
Dean of the College of Sciences
West Liberty University

Dr. Jill C. Louters
New Rockford-Sheyenne School District

Dr. Paul Marthers
Chief Enrollment Officer
Emory University

Dr. Altaf Merchant
Dean of the Milgard School of Business
University of Washington, Tacoma

Dr. Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Marshall University

Dr. Jason W. Osborne
Professor of Statistics, Institute for Responsible Gaming; Past Provost
Miami University

Dr. Charles B.W. Prince
Chief Transformation & Sustainability Officer
Dillard University

Ms. Amanda Sbriscia
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Holyoke Community College

Dr. Narketta Sparkman-Key
Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives & Global Affairs
James Madison University

Dr. Archie Tucker, II
Senior Vice President of University Advancement
University of Texas at Tyler

Download institute cohort members’ bios and photos.

The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance is composed of two symposia, four online workshops, attendance at the AGB National Conference on Trusteeship and a shadowing experience with a sitting president. The institute features more than 30 higher education expert presenters including current and former presidents, trustees, search consultants and other sector professionals.

Recently released data from the American Council on Education’s 2023 American College President Study shows that the average tenure of college presidents continues to shorten. Now more than ever, universities need a larger pool of qualified leaders to meet the demands of the higher education sector. The presidency continues to transform as institutions emerge from a three-year pandemic, grapple with high-profile crises and strive to meet the needs of the changing student demographic.

The institute is providing solutions to these challenges by fortifying participants with mentorship and AGB Search Managing Principal and institute co-founder Rod McDavis is optimistic about the future of higher education presidents. “There is now an opportunity to create a different style of presidential leadership,” says McDavis.

To learn more about the institute, visit


The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education is designed for small groups of participants who aspire to presidencies at four-year public research universities and regional comprehensive institutions. Presented by AGB Search, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and Miami University, the Institute is designed to bolster the pipeline of qualified and diverse presidential candidates in preparation for higher education leadership.

Posted on 04.28.2023