Calling all current participants! Attending an HLI this year and looking for answers to your Frequently Asked Questions? Visit the HLI FAQs page!

A Leadership Development Program for Higher Ed Professionals

The HERS Leadership Institute is a transformational, leadership development program for higher education professionals, founded to fill leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic leaders, each capable of ushering their respective institutions into a more inclusive and equitable future.

Participants are asked to share their vision of leadership and what they hope to contribute to their respective institutions and are then challenged to develop the skills to actualize their professional vision. As a non-competitive space, participants are also encouraged to champion the growth of other participants. Alums of the HERS Leadership Institute (HLI) emerge better-skilled and more confident in leading with their unique voice, providing a much-needed infusion of bold, new leadership to their respective institutions.

The HERS Leadership Institute is an inclusive program, with a focus on women and people who are gender diverse. All HERS programs and services are open to all regardless of gender identity. 

The HERS Difference

Join a diverse network of 6,000+ alumnae nationwide.

Increase your campus visibility and unleash your voice to influence positive institutional change.

Choose a format that best fits your busy life and preferred learning style.

Find the Right HERS Leadership Institute for You

We offer multiple program formats with different start dates to serve the full spectrum of learning needs within our community. The rigorous curriculum, learning outcomes, pricing, and transformative quality of the experience are the same from format to format – only the mode of delivery is different. 

Intensive HLI

9 consecutive days

June 6-15, 2023
Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
July 18-27, 2023
University of Denver, Denver, CO

Early Registration Program Fee: $8,499*
Regular Program Fee: $8,999*
*Please note that in addition to the program early-bird fee of $8,499 (or regular program fee of $8,999) there is a flat housing fee of $900. This price includes a private bedroom and linen package along with breakfast and lunch on all scheduled program days as well as two dinners.

Application period has closed for summer 2023. Applications for summer 2024 will open by mid-September 2023.

Early deadline: December 3, 2022

Early decisions released: December 17, 2022

Early payment due: January 29, 2023

Final deadline: February 1, 2023

Final decisions released: February 24, 2023*
*Applicants whose materials were complete and submitted by Feb. 1

Final payment due: March 15, 2023

Weekend HLI

4 staggered weekends 2023 – 2024

Weekend 1: September 28-30, 2023
Weekend 2: November 2-4, 2023
Weekend 3: February 15-17, 2024
Weekend 4: March 21-23, 2024

Location: Airlie, Warrenton, VA
(Greater Washington, D.C., area)

Early Registration Program Fee: $8,499*
Regular Program Fee: $8,999*
*Please note that all participants are expected to stay on site at the Airlie Hotel for the duration of the program, at a cost of $2,256–$188/night (including taxes) for 12 nights. Should a participant choose to stay off-site, that will be an additional cost to the participant.

Early Registration total cost (program fee + housing): $10,755
Regular Program total cost (program fee + housing): $11,255


Early deadline: March 6, 2023

Early decisions released: April 3, 2023

Early payment due: May 1, 2023

Final deadline: May 15, 2023

Final decisions released: May 31, 2023

Final payment due: July 3, 2023

Submit Your Application by the early deadline to receive a $500 discount
Start an application to your preferred HLI format.

Apply Now

Learn more about our formats and which is best for you.

Request Information

The HLI Curriculum: Learning Objectives

At the HERS Leadership Institute, you will learn more about your institution, assess your network and connections, and develop a richer appreciation for your unique leadership capabilities. We will primarily spend time developing skills related to managing and leading a successful change process within your institutional setting. We will discuss topics that bridge the gap between faculty, staff, and students — and cover four main learning outcomes:


Participants are first asked to share their vision of leadership and what they hope to contribute to their institution. They then develop the leadership skills necessary to actualize their vision. Through this process, each participant develops a richer appreciation for their unique leadership capabilities.

Institutional Awareness

Our facilitators, as both practitioners and scholars, provide practical, evidence-based approaches to operating within an institutional context. The cohort is presented with real-life case studies to dissect and discuss, and participants are invited to share their own knowledge or experiences to increase the diversity of thought.


As a non-competitive space, participants are encouraged to champion the growth of all members of their cohort, building personal and professional bonds that will last a lifetime. Collectively, these cohorts form the backbone of the HERS Network, an invaluable resource for alumnae throughout their career.

Immediate and Practical Application

Throughout the Leadership Institute, participants apply their lessons to a self-designed Capstone Leadership Project, which they can then pursue on campus in their current role. These personal case studies in organizational change demonstrate the readiness of alumnae to lead.

HLI Facilitators: Subject-Matter Experts

One of the distinguishing features of the HERS Leadership Institute are the facilitators and panelists, practitioners and scholars each, who are hand-picked based on their breadth of experience and scholarly work. They are proven leaders, featuring both chief academic and chief executive officers, who can share research and scholarship on the topic, as well as bring in real-life situations or cases for the cohort to dissect and discuss.

Areas of expertise include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Innovation and Change
  • Equity-Minded Leadership
  • Communicating Change
  • Budget and Fiscal Principles
  • Navigating Legal Issues
  • Team (re)Building

Who This Program is For

The HERS Leadership Institute is a transformational leadership development program for higher education professionals. The HERS Leadership Institute is designed for faculty and staff who generally hold mid-to-senior level positions in higher education and have a desire to emerge as more dynamic leaders for themselves and their institutions. The HERS Leadership Institute is an inclusive program, with a focus on women and people who are gender diverse. All HERS programs and services are open to all regardless of gender identity. 

This setting replicates what could happen on campus if faculty, staff, and administrators were all working together, allowing everyone to gain insight into the unique perspectives of each role and learn from one another.

Participants will represent a range of racial and ethnic groups, gender identities, nationalities, veteran and disability statuses, religious affiliations, ages, and years of experience in higher education, thereby broadening the range of perspectives and insights brought to each session.

I learned so much from the HERS Leadership Institute and my required interviews with senior leadership at my institution. I knew that I wanted to pursue a leadership position on campus in the future, but HERS made me realize that I could and should do it now. I was so inspired by the experience that I applied for a position on campus that became open right after I completed the program, and I got it! It will be a sharp learning curve stepping into this role at this time, but I welcome the challenge.

Dr. Malika Jefferies-EL, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Boston University
HERS Leadership Institute alum, Wellesley Weekend 2019-2020

Why Apply and Why Now

During this critical moment for higher education, we recognize the pivotal impact that institutional leaders can make. Higher education needs bold leaders like you, who are committed to making a difference and creating more equitable learning opportunities, to guide the industry into the future.

Don’t let the uncertainty clouding the near future of higher education keep you from establishing some certainty in your own. You are ready. Face the approaching challenges and opportunities in your career with newfound skills and confidence. Submit your application for the HERS Leadership Institute today and put yourself on the path to your ultimate career ambitions.

Application Requirements

The online application includes numerous sections.

  • Personal Information
  • Professional Background
  • Education History
  • Leadership Attributes (short essays)
  • Letter of Recommendation

As you work on the application, your work will be saved automatically. You can return to your application multiple times to make changes to sections that have been saved or begin work on new sections. Download our application requirements one-pager to plan for the completion of your application before the deadline.

Letter of Recommendation tip: Put in your request for a letter of recommendation at least two weeks prior to the application deadline. Place your request to a senior officer who knows your current leadership work, and who you want to get to know for your future leadership advancement.

In the application portal, we have included a list of senior officer titles that we prefer applicants contact for a recommendation. Typically, these officers approve the release of professional development funding at institutions as well. We encourage applicants to discuss the availability of funding to sponsor their attendance with these individuals at the time they request a recommendation.

Start an application to your preferred HLI format.

Apply Now

Learn more about our formats and which is best for you.

Request Information

Additional information on the learning outcomes, who this program is for, application requirements, and more can be found on our HERS Leadership Institute (HLI) FAQs webpage.