Rutgers GSE CMSI

MSI Aspiring Leaders

Supported by grants from ECMC Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, MSI Aspiring Leaders is a program developed by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) that brings together prominent leaders from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents.

MSI Aspiring Leaders includes both a leadership forum and mentorship program and has been designed to help promote diversity among higher education leadership, where nearly 60% of sitting university presidents are over the age of 60, and where many see a lack of opportunity for women and people of color.

By providing professional development workshops focused on 21st-century skills as well as two years of post-forum mentorship, MSI Aspiring Leaders cultivates future MSI presidents by strengthening pathways to leadership and building connections between peers with similar aspirations and abilities. The forum includes discussions and workshops on topics such as the presidential nomination process, managing relationships with faculty, using data to make decisions, fiscal management, strategic fundraising, crisis management, and engaging the media. After the forum, mentors and their mentees participate in a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a current or recently-retired MSI president. CMSI facilitates these relationships and provides benchmarks to be completed at various points throughout the two years.

In our effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, MSI Aspiring Leaders will be hosted without program fees for all invited participants. In addition, all meals and materials will be provided by CMSI. Participants will only have to cover the cost of their personal travel and lodging.