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The New Leadership Academy, housed at the University of Utah, is a unique nationally recognized leadership development philosophy and program that prepares leaders with the knowledge, tools, and courage to meet the complex challenges associated with equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education and beyond. 

Unlike “diversity training” as it’s been typically understood or practiced, the New Leadership Academy (NLA) prepares those in formal and informal leadership positions to lead with equity in their roles. In addition to developing leaders that look like and come from the communities they serve, NLA draws from theory to reframe leadership as a set of skills that can be taught and applied to practice. The NLA Fellows Program serves as a laboratory and model for what leadership development centered on leading for equity can look like, knowing that issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion should be a central consideration for all issues facing leaders.

The New Leadership Academy Fellows Program has over 160 Fellows and alumni from over 80 different institutions and organizations; four university Presidents, Chancellors, or Provosts; 21 Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, or Vice Chancellors (including Assistant and Associate); 19 Deans, Associate and Assistant Deans; 44 Directors, Assistant and Associate Directors; and dozens of professors and others.

In addition to its ongoing partnership with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), the New Leadership Academy has developed and delivered its curriculum and complementary workshops to the American Council on Education, Wells Fargo, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Strada Education Network, Utah System of Higher Education, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Institute and many others. 

Leaders of the future will need

Knowledge. Tools. Courage.


How do viruses spread?

What laws govern allegations of a campus crime?

Does free speech include anything the speaker really believes to be true?

It once was expected that college and university leaders would have standing within an academic discipline or demonstrate expert knowledge in an area of professional expertise. While that still matters, now we recognize that leaders must also understand how knowledge is created, communicated and translated to different people and into different situations.

Leaders are quick and constant learners.


How is it that a few people seem to translate huge volumes of information into meaning, allowing allows others to act?

Why do people see things so differently based on their sense of status?

How do leaders establish a sense of inclusion while at the same time increasing and making full use of diversity within their organizations?

Tools have long been mechanical devices, measured in their ability to harness nature, replace horses, and eventually even to replace human labor. Tools were made to make things, move things and speed things. 21st century tools are needed to make meaning and to move individuals, groups and institutions to act on the threats and opportunities that surround them.

Leaders only survive if they understand and use tools essential to the leadership process.


Is it a risk or a gift?

How can leaders nurture the courage of those around them and spread it through their organization?

Many of us are aware that the demands on a leader increase with every step in advancement and responsibility. While it begins with a commitment to values and a strong sense of integrity, courage is also a capacity that must be exercised and stretched---it is not an abstraction and it is not momentary, or something to be consulted and brought out at a decisive, heroic moment.

Courage is now.

Meet the NLA Team

Amy Fulton

Director, New Leadership Academy

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Ilana Israel

Program Manager, New Leadership Academy


Cierra Szalony

Program Coordinator, New Leadership Academy

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Erica Rojas

Associate Director of Curriculum, New Leadership Academy

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Lienne Cupal

Research Assistant, New Leadership Academy

Shilpi Kharidia

Research Assistant, New Leadership Academy