The HERS Institute is a transformational, leadership development program for women in higher education, founded to fill leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic women, 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 noncompetitive space, participants are also encouraged to champion the growth of other participants. Alumnae of the HERS Institute 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 Institute is neither a conference nor a workshop on an isolated topic. Instead, the curriculum takes a holistic approach to leadership, asking participants to develop not only their strategic change management skills, but also more self-awareness of themselves as leaders. Over the course of the intense, 12-day residential format, the approximately 60–70 program participants, plus faculty, share their knowledge and experiences to support each other’s growth. The curriculum covers three areas of focus: Institutional Awareness, Networking and Self-Knowledge.

The program culminates with a self-designed leadership project for each participant, in which participants apply the knowledge they’ve gained to a project to positively impact their respective institutions. The program concludes with a graduation and reception, where the hard work that takes place at the Institute is rightly celebrated and lasting bonds are formed with others in the HERS Network, providing innumerable opportunities for career advancement and growth.

Program FAQs


One of the distinguishing features of the HERS Institute faculty is that they are practitioners and scholars, hand-picked based on their breadth of experience and scholarly work. The HERS Institute faculty is comprised of proven leaders; many of them either were or are chief officers, and can bring in real-life situations for participants to dissect and discuss, in addition to sharing research and scholarship on leadership in higher education. Additionally, the Institute presents a series of moderated panels featuring both chief academic and chief executive officers, wherein participants have the opportunity to ask officers questions about their experiences. These panels tend to be a program participant favorite of the Institute.

Who Should Attend

The HERS Institute is designed for women (both faculty and staff) who generally hold mid-to-senior level positions in higher education. The ideal candidate for the Institute is passionate about positively impacting their respective college or university, as well as the higher education sector overall. That said, participants need not be pursuing an administrative path—as long as they have a desire to emerge as a more dynamic leader, for themselves and their institutions, they will find a place at the HERS Institute. The HERS Institute is an inclusive organization, welcoming all participants who identify as women. In addition, the HERS Institute celebrates diversity. Ideally, participants will represent a range of racial and ethnic groups, 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.

Upcoming HERS Institute Offerings

We cater to the schedules and preferred learning preferences of our participants by offering the HERS Institute in two unique formats: (1) our intensive 12-day residential format and (2) our staggered 4-weekend format.

Need time to digest information and try out ideas before returning with fresh questions? The gradual transformation of the latter format may work best for you. Want to fully immerse yourself in a transformational experience and emerge bursting with ideas? Consider the former. If you have questions about which is the right fit for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.


Intensive 12-Day Format

Applications now being accepted

June 8 – 20, 2020
Golden, CO (Denver metro area)

    • Early application deadline: October 15, 2019 (5 p.m. MT)
    • Early decision date: November 5, 2019
    • Regular application deadline: February 4, 2020 (5 p.m. MT)
    • Regular decision date: February 25, 2020
    • Program Fee: $8,499 ($500 early application discount if application submitted by October 15, 2019)
    • Accommodation Fee: $1,100

July 6 – 18, 2020
Bryn Mawr, PA

    • Early application deadline: October 15, 2019 (5 p.m. MT)
    • Early decision date: November 5, 2019
    • Regular application deadline: February 4, 2020 (5 p.m. MT)
    • Regular decision date: February 25, 2020
    • Program Fee: $8,499 ($500 early application discount if application submitted by October 15, 2019)
    • Accommodation Fee: $1,100


Staggered 4-Weekend Format

Weekends (Sep, Nov, Feb, March), 2020-2021
Natick and Wellesley, MA

Application opens November 15, 2019

    • Weekend dates:  September 24 – 27, 2020, November 12 – 15, 2020, February 4 – 7, 2021, March 18 – 21, 2021
    • Early application deadline: March 1, 2020
    • Early decision date: April 1, 2020
    • Regular application  deadline: April 15, 2020 (5 p.m. MT)
    • Regular decision date: May 15, 2020
    • Program Fee: $8,999 ($500 early application discount if application submitted by March 1, 2020) 
    • Accommodations: Because this is a staggered weekend format, participants will be responsible for their own hotel arrangements 
Apply to the HERS Institute

HERS Institute Inclusive Excellence Tuition Rate

In keeping with our mission of “equity and excellence in higher education,” and wanting to align with campus missions to support and educate diverse communities, we proudly offer an inclusive excellence tuition rate to institutions which have historically promoted access and inclusion and which today lead the way in terms of advancing women leaders. These include community colleges and those designated as either a tribal college or university or a historically black college or university (HBCU). To qualify, applicants must be considered full-time faculty or staff at one of these institutions as defined by their most recent Carnegie Classification. If you qualify and would like to be considered for this rate, you can request consideration while completing your HERS Institute application. If awarded, the inclusive excellence tuition rate will be equivalent to half of the regular HERS Institute tuition, not including early application discounts or accommodation packages specified at each location. The goal of offering this special tuition rate is to build the strength and diversity of the HERS Institute. Therefore, priority in awarding the rate will reflect different institutional types, regions of the country, and other factors relevant to the learning and growth of the HERS Institute participants. For further information about the HERS Institute Inclusive Excellence Tuition Rate, please email us at