Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

One U Thriving

Centers & Offices


Charting a new path for leadership development

The New Leadership Academy Fellows Program (NLA) is moving to the University of Utah! Our efforts are not only integrating into the fabric of One U, but essential to the U’s leadership as a top national research flagship university.

Mary Ann Villarreal  •  February 19, 2021

From the moment I stepped on campus, I have heard from so many of you who are building or deepening your efforts in a space dedicated to equity, diversity, or inclusion. A charge of the new division included connecting the expansive work of EDI under the One U vision, which is underway with many people leading at multiple levels of the U. We are in the first leg of a long relay, but we are moving forward. Our efforts are not only integrating into the fabric of One U, but essential to the U’s leadership as a top national research flagship university.

As we grow our aspirations on the next front, I am thrilled to announce that Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, through a partnership with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), leads the transition of the New Leadership Academy Fellows Program (NLA) to the University of Utah. Originally developed and led by the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan, NLA has over 130 alums at 70 different institutions. With the recent retirement of the program’s director, our university has taken up the important work of ensuring that leaders and leadership development programs prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion in their daily leadership approach. I am especially excited to announce NLA’s transition since I have a personal connection to the program as an alumna of the inaugural cohort in 2015 and, more recently, as a coach and presenter.

NLA combines scholarship, rigorous and field-tested curriculum and case studies, and the expertise and wisdom of leaders and practitioners to provide a dynamic program that provides both opportunities for online and in-person engagement. Fellows take part in the curriculum through small, interdisciplinary groups where their expansive personal and professional experiences contribute to the learning of the entire group. Coaches, who are well-respected leaders in higher education, are provided to Fellows throughout the entire program. They support and offer feedback to Fellows as they develop their leadership skills, deepen their knowledge about leadership related to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and plan for further learning and engagement in higher education.

We have incredibly committed and brilliant and partners working with us as we grow the program in support of higher education leaders through our investment in NLA.

We know that higher education leaders must be prepared and equipped with the knowledge, tools, and courage to lead complex institutions in today’s challenging environment. The vision of NLA is predicated on the following:

  • We still need more leaders representing more diverse backgrounds. Across the system of higher education, we require the insights, perspectives, and representation of individuals whose racial, economic, religious, educational, and cultural backgrounds can better inform and address the challenges we face as our institutions and society changes.
  • We still need to explore, and in many cases to change, expectations held about leadership as practiced in higher education and society. 
  • We have a long way to go to challenge expectations held about the ways in which leadership development programs are organized.

Fellows are typically mid-career professionals from diverse backgrounds and institutions who are seeking to deepen their leadership skills in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are currently preparing for the announcement and application period for the 2021-22 NLA cohort and invite anyone who is interested to visit https://diversity.utah.edu/nla/

EDI  New Leadership Academy  

Skip to content