The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance Welcomes New Cohort of Aspiring Presidents

Contact: Andrea Hansen, 509-306-1867,

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2022 – The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education has announced the selected participants for the class of 2022. The six-month program is designed for individuals who aspire to presidencies at four-year public research universities and regional comprehensive institutions. Twenty-five participants from institutions around the country will begin their experience with an in-person symposium in Washington, D.C. in September.

Founded by higher education executive search firm AGB Search to prepare participants for the rigors of institutional leadership, the Institute is presented by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and Miami University. Now entering its fourth year, the program is designed to bolster the pipeline of qualified and diverse presidential candidates and has already seen ten of its graduates achieve appointments to college or university presidencies.

“Those who are preparing to serve in leadership roles are faced with unprecedented challenges on a global scale,” said Dr. 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 2022 (Cohort 4) are:

Dr. Erik Ankerberg
Provost, Senior Vice President for Academics, Chief Academic Officer
Concordia University Chicago

Dr. Shantay Bolton
Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration, Chief Administrative Officer
Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Kevin Braswell
Vice President for University Advancement
Tennessee Technological University

Dr. Santarvis Brown
University of Virginia

Ms. Kerry Calnan
Vice President of Innovation & External Affairs
Nichols College

Dr. Meria Carstarphen
Senior Scientist

Dr. Elizabeth Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President
Washington State University

Dr. Bernard J. Costello
Dean of the School of Dental Medicine; Thomas W. Braun Endowed Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Allison Davis-White Eyes
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Fielding Graduate University

Dr. Donald Easton-Brooks
Dean of the College of Education & Human Development
University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Joffery Gaymon
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Auburn University

Dr. Rochelle Gilbert
Executive Senior Director, Office of University Relations & Advancement, Office of the President; Dean, Center For Social Change
Walden University

Dr. Michael R. Graham
Vice President of Operations & Technology
National Louis University

Dr. Dimitria Harding
Dean of Health Sciences, Dean of Career & Technical Education
South Central College

Dr. Corey A. King
Vice Chancellor for University Inclusivity & Student Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Mr. Manish Kumar
Vice President for Finance & Administration
Northeastern Illinois University

Dr. Marc Nivet
Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Antonius Pegues
Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration
Southern University Shreveport

Dr. Shirley Rainey-Brown
Dean of the School of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences
Fisk University

Mr. Magesh Rajan
Vice President for Research & Innovation
Prairie View A&M University

Dr. Shannon Rooney
Vice President for Enrollment Management & Strategic Communications
Community College of Philadelphia

Dr. Sammy Spann
Interim Senior Associate Vice President, Dean of Students
University of Toledo

Dr. Eileen Strempel
Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music; Professor, School of Education & Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi
Dean of the College of Health & Society; Professor
Hawai’i Pacific University

Ms. Dannelle Walker Whiteseide
Vice President for Legal Affairs & Organizational Strategy
Austin Peay State University

Cohort members’ bios and photos can be found here.

The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance is composed of two symposia, four monthly webinars, 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.

Research shows that the average tenure of college presidents in their current positions was six-and-a-half years in 2016, down from about seven years in 2011 and an average of eight-and-a-half years in 2006. The data suggest that a larger pool of qualified leaders is needed to meet the demands of the higher education sector. The presidency itself is also transforming, with more emphasis placed on technology, fundraising and the changing student demographic.

To learn more about the institute, visit

Posted on 04.18.2022