There’s a new training ground for would-be higher education leaders.
Arizona State University and Georgetown University’s presidents announced Tuesday that the two universities are teaming up to create the Institute for Innovation in Higher Education Leadership.
The institute, which will begin as a pilot program this fall, is envisioned as an executive training program that will meet over four long weekends each year.
The program is entering a space somewhat occupied already  by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the American Council on Education and several trade associations. An emphasis of the ASU-Georgetown program is for a variety of college leaders, including executives, trustees and others who aspire to lead in higher ed. "In some ways, if you’re already the president, it’s probably too late. You’re already in the job,” said ASU President Michael Crow.
Crow said the standard model for turning out higher ed leaders -- “Let’s have the academic dean become the chair become the dean become the president" -- may no longer work.
Jeff Selingo, a professor of practice at ASU and a contributing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, said the goal of the institute is to focus on strategic thinking rather than the day-to-day tactical skills that other programs by and large teach.
“What we’re really going to focus on is innovation in the long term,” Selingo said.
He, Crow and Georgetown President John DeGioia came up with the idea for the innovation institute and announced it during a discussion Tuesday at Georgetown. The institute will be a not-for-profit managed by ASU and Georgetown, Crow said.
Potential modules for the institution's curriculum have titles like “The Financially Sustainable University,” “New Delivery Methods” and “Change Leadership.”
Selingo said the price point for the program would be about that of similar programs, like Harvard’s Seminar for New Presidents.
ACE, higher ed’s umbrella trade group, launched an Institute for New Presidents in summer 2012. Other training programs for new presidents are run by sector-specific associations , including the Council of Independent Colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.