About Us

Cultivating a Cadre of Visionary Leaders for the 21st Century and Beyond

Welcome to the realm of transformative leadership at the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, where we champion the ascendance of Historically Black College and University leaders. Here, we pledge our unwavering commitment to nurturing and empowering the trailblazers of tomorrow, ensuring they emerge as formidable pillars of progress in the academic landscape.

“HBCUs are hubs of thought leadership and produce the best and the brightest Black leaders.”

– Dr. Michael Lomax
President and CEO of UNCF

In recent years, these national treasures have collectively experienced considerable threats to their existence. As a result, it is critical that the next generation of senior administrators receive the necessary training and support to become strong, visionary and transformational leaders. Without question, HBCUs would benefit from more stable leadership prepared to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing all institutions of higher education. Developing a cadre of well-prepared leaders must be intentional, strategic and thoughtful.

The Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.) was established in March 2015 to provide bold, engaging and innovative learning and mentoring opportunities for current and aspiring leaders. At H.E.L.F., we intend to play a vital role in this mission by encouraging leaders to “lift as they climb” in order to ensure that HBCUs survive and thrive as national models of achievement.

The Framework

Our work at H.E.L.F. is framed by the following guiding principles

Historically black colleges and universities require committed, prepared and visionary leadership at every administrative level to remain vital, vibrant and relevant institutions in American higher education.

A belief in the importance of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as significant and important contributors to the diversity, excellence, global influence and impact of American higher education.

A rich literature on leadership development and best practices on leadership in higher education exists which provide useful information, insights, wisdom and practical strategies for training aspiring leaders.

Leadership Development

The H.E.L.F. model of leadership development consist of four action strategies:

Sponsoring & Preceptorships

Sponsoring begins from a place of care and plays a critical role in the career development of H.E.L.F. Fellows and program participants. Sponsoring will involve the careful selection of experienced leaders and administrators who will serve as advisors and sponsors to program participants. Preceptorships will involve placement of H.E.L.F. Fellows with academic administrators in institutional settings to support the development of practical leadership skills.

Executive Coaching & Consulting Services

Individual professional counseling, advising and training sessions with H.E.L.F. Fellows and participants will be developed and available. Additionally, the H.E.L.F. team will be available to provide consultation to institutional leaders on issues of leadership development.

Building Communities of Practice

H.E.L.F. will support the development of communities of practitioners and provide a forum for sharing information, insights, best practices, anecdotal and empirical research and professional practice. The communities of practice will also involve extending invitations to practitioners and scholars to provide content for the H.E.L.F. Blog and Podcast to encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas.

Leadership Institute

Annually H.E.L.F. will conduct a four-day conference for H.E.L.F. Fellows and program participants to be immersed in focused discussion and interaction with college and university presidents, administrators, scholars, industry and corporate leaders. Institute attendees will participate in case studies, scenario planning, personal empowerment and spiritual exercises aimed at affirming their commitment to their personal growth, career development and to HBCUs. The Institute culminates with awards acknowledging the life time achievement of a college/university president, innovative leadership and outstanding emerging leadership.