Looking for FAQs for potential applicants? Scroll down to “FAQS for Applicants” at the bottom of this page!

FAQs for Summer 2023 and 2023-2024 WHLI Participants

What are the program dates and locations?

    June 6-15, 2023
    Bridgewater State University (BSU), Bridgewater MA
    BSU – Campus Map
    July 18-27, 2023

    University of Denver (DU), Denver, CO
    DU – Campus Map 
  • Weekend HLI (WHLI)
    Four Staggered Weekends:
    Weekend 1: September 28-30, 2023
    Weekend 2: November 2-4, 2023
    Weekend 3: February 15-17, 2024
    Weekend 4: March 21-23, 2024
    Airlie Hotel, Warrenton, VA (Greater Washington, D.C., area) 

When should I plan to arrive and depart?

  • If you are attending the June or July offering, please arrive between 12-3 pm on the first day of the Institute and check out of your room by 9 am on the second Thursday. When making travel arrangements, please give yourself time to get from the airport to your Institute location. 
  • If you attend the offering over the academic year (WHLI), please be checked in and at the hotel by Wednesday evening.  

What if I arrive before the designated check-in time?

What if I arrive after the designated check-in time?

  • Programming starts shortly after check-in. We don’t want you to miss anything but understand that may not be realistic for everyone’s travel plans. Please get in touch with Shannon Lundeen ([email protected]) if you know you will be arriving late. 

Where do I check in?

  • DU: Nelson Hall
    2222 High Street, Denver, CO 80210 (Campus map – #51)
  • Airlie: Check-in is available at the guest registration area in the hotel lobby. 

What if I must be absent for a day during the Institute?

  • It’s ideal to attend all days of the Institute. If we’re unsure where someone is during sessions, we do wellness checks to see if you need anything. If you learn that you will be unable to attend a particular session or a particular day, please get in touch with Shannon Lundeen ([email protected]). 

Do we have our own rooms

  • Yes, all bedrooms are single occupancy, but room styles for the summer HLIs may consist of singles and doubles in suite and pod configurations. At Airlie (the Weekend HLI), everyone will have their own hotel room with their own bathroom.  

Do we share a bathroom?

  • This depends on what Institute you attend. 
    • At our June offering at BSU, participants will have their own bedrooms in suites with up to three people and share a bathroom. See sample BSU suite configuration for an example.
    • At our July offering at DU, Nelson Hall is all suites, and suitemates share a bathroom. See floor plan for suite configurations. 
    • At the Weekend H, we will stay at a hotel so you will have your own bathroom. 

Will I have access to a refrigerator?

  • BSU: Each suite has a refrigerator with a freezer and microwave.  
  • DU: Mini-fridges are not provided in each room, and each floor has a community kitchen. If you need special accommodations (i.e., lactating mothers), please contact Shannon Lundeen. 
  • At our WHLI, we stay at a hotel. Don’t hesitate to contact the hotel to ensure you can access a mini fridge in your room if needed. 

Do the rooms have AC?

  • Yes, the residence halls and Airlie Hotel are air-conditioned. 

What is the everyday dress code? Do we need to bring business attire clothing?

  • Dress to what suits you best and makes you most comfortable. We recommend wearing layers, especially if it’s warm outside, because the meeting room may be chilly. The temperature in the residence halls will vary.  
  • We suggest business casual attire for the class photo and graduation. 
  • At the Weekend HLI, pay close attention to the weather each weekend because it may impact your clothing/packing choices. 
  • See recommendations of what to pack on the HLI Packing List.

Are linens provided during the summer HLIs?

  • Yes, linens and towels are provided, and guests get a second set during their stay halfway through the Institute.  
  • Please note:  
    • You may want to pack an extra blanket for your bed as the blanket provided in the linen package is often thin.  
    • The residence hall linen packages do not include a fitted sheet. If you would like a fitted sheet, please bring a Twin XL fitted sheet along with you.   
  • See recommendations of what to pack on the HLI Packing List.

What else should I pack?  

Do we have access to a laundry facility during the summer HLIs?

  • BSU: Laundry is free and located on the first floor of Weygand Hall. 
  • DU: Laundry facilities are located on the main floor of Nelson Hall, which can be paid for with quarters or the Speed Queen mobile app. Instructions for the Speed Queen Mobile app are posted in the laundry room. 

Do we have access to a fitness center?

  • DU: Participants can access the Coors Fitness Center at the Ritchie Center. Visit the front desk at the gym to sign a waiver and pay $10 cash per visit. 
  • Airlie offers access to a fitness center 24/7, resort bikes, fit trail, and nature trails on the property. 

If I am driving, what are the parking fees and directions? 

  • BSU 
    • BSU’s main campus is located in Bridgewater, the geographic heart of Southeastern Massachusetts. The campus is approximately 40 minutes south of Boston, 30 minutes north of Cape Cod, and 50 minutes northeast of Providence. 
    • Parking is free at BSU. 
  • DU 
    • The campus lies just south and west of the intersection of I-25 and University Blvd. • DU is easily accessible from I-25, the main route running through the Denver metro area north/south.  
    • Please contact Shannon Lundeen if you will need a parking pass. HERS will invoice participants for parking after the Institute is over. A two-week permit is $55. 
  • Airlie 
    • This 300-acre sanctuary is in the Northern Virginia countryside, just 35 miles outside DC’s Beltway. Directions to Airlie can be found here. Click on the directions icon on the map to get turn-by-turn directions to Airlie, or scroll down for general driving directions. 
    • Parking onsite is complimentary for all guests. 

What airport should I travel to, and what are my public transportation options for arriving on campus?  

  • BSU 
    • Bridgewater is 26 miles from Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and 25 miles from Rhode Island’s T. F. Green International Airport (PVD). 
    • The Bridgewater stop of the MBTA Commuter Rail (Middleborough/Lakeville Line) is on the Bridgewater State University campus. The commuter rail provides service between Middleboro and South Station with stops in Brockton, Randolph, Braintree, Quincy Center, and JFK/UMASS. The commuting time between Bridgewater and Boston is approximately 50 minutes. 
    • The Bridgewater campus is served by Brockton Area Transit (BAT) with five daily round-trips Monday through Friday into BAT’s main hub, BAT Centre. Once on campus, Bridgewater State University Transit Service operates a free on-campus bus shuttle. 
    • Bridgewater’s location is easily accessible by car via interstates 495 (I-495), 195 (I-195), 95 (I-95), and 93 (I-93), as well as routes 44, 24, 18, 106, 104, 6, and many other local roads. 
  • DU
    • Participants should travel to the Denver International Airport (DIA). It takes approximately 35 minutes to drive from DIA to DU’s campus. 
    • Driving Directions from Denver International Airport: 
      • From the airport, take Pena Blvd. to I-70 West (exit to the left)
      • Take I-70 to I-225 South toward Colorado Springs/Aurora (Exit 282) 
      • Use the right two lanes to take I-25 North toward Denver (exit 1B) 
      • Take I-25 to University Blvd. (Exit 205) 
      • Turn left (south) on University Blvd. 
      • Campus runs along the right-hand (west) side of University Blvd., between Buchtel Blvd. and Harvard Ave. 
    • Denver has an extensive public transportation system called Regional Transportation District (RTD). One that recently connected the Denver International Airport (DIA) to Downtown Denver and beyond. 
    • The University of Denver has its own Light Rail stop (University of Denver) on the EFH lines.  
    • Additionally, multiple buses connect the community to the campus with stops on both University Blvd. and Evans Ave. 
    • Please use the following links to understand better the benefits that come with taking public transportation: RTD System Map | Bus and Trains Schedules  
  •  Airlie 
    • The nearest airport to Airlie is Washington Dulles Airport (IAD). It takes approximately 40 minutes to drive from Dulles Airport to Airlie.  
    • There is no public transportation access to Airlie from IAD. 

Will there be planned meals for each day, or will some be on our own?

  • At our June and July offerings, breakfast is provided in the dining hall, and a catered lunch is provided in our meeting space every day that we have a full day of programming. Dinners are on your own, except for the opening night (the first Tuesday evening) and the closing/graduation night (the last Wednesday evening), during which we have a reception and a catered dinner. Both summer HLI locations are within a 10-15 minute walking distance of restaurants. Below are the exceptions of when our meal offerings vary: 
  • Breakfast and lunch will not be provided on (Tuesday) when most people travel. 
  • All dinners are on your own except for the welcome and closing receptions and dinners, held on the Institutes’ opening (the first Tuesday evening) and last full day of programming (the last Wednesday evening).  
  • Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner are on your own (weekend break) 
  • Sunday breakfast is on your own, and we provide lunch once the Institute resumes. 
  • At the Weekend HLI, all meals will be provided, except for dinner on Friday evenings. 

Who do I speak to about dietary restrictions?

  • Dietary restrictions will be collected once each cohort has been established and the application period has closed.  We work hard to ensure everyone has a balanced meal available, no matter their dietary needs. If changes have occurred since registration, please email Shannon Lundeen ([email protected]) to inform her of the changes. When you arrive on-site, please contact Shannon if any questions remain. 
  • While at the Institute, we encourage you to practice agency and check in with the catering staff if you have any concerns. For those with strict dietary restrictions, the staff has often already prepared a special meal and needs you to connect with them to ensure you receive it. 

What is not covered by the program fee?

  • Airfare and travel to and from the airport. 
  • Meals that are on your own. 
  • Any parking fees. 
  • Fitness center fees that are not included in our arrangement with our host facility/campus. 
  • Souvenirs and other items you may purchase during your residency. 

Is childcare available while at the Institute?

  • Unfortunately, HERS is unable to arrange long-term childcare during the Institute. If this is a need, we can discuss options with you however, we encourage you to make other arrangements whenever possible so that your children are under the care of another throughout your participation in the Institute. 

I am lactating. Will I be able to pump and store my milk while at the Institute?

  • While HERS cannot provide access to pumping equipment, you can bring your own and take breaks as needed, and everyone will have a private bedroom at each Institute. For the June Institute, you can access a shared refrigerator and freezer on each residence hall floor to store expressed milk. For the July Institute, mini-fridges with a small freezer are available upon request.   
  • If you need to store expressed milk at the Weekend Institute, please get in touch with us ahead of time so we can work with the hotel to determine if they can provide a mini fridge for your room. 

My partner/child(ren)/friend are visiting during the Institute weekend break. Can they stay with me in the residence hall?

  • For the June and July offerings, the residence halls cannot accommodate guests. 
  • For the Weekend HLI at Airlie, while guests may stay in your room, you must ensure that any minors are under another adult’s care while participating at the Institute. 

FAQs for Applicants 

How do I apply? Go to https://www.hersnetwork.org. In the top right-hand corner of the page, you will see a button labeled APPLY. Click that button to start the application process. The application requires you to talk about your leadership: your current strengths and accomplishments, your vision of leadership within higher education, and your desired future in higher education. We also ask that you secure a letter of recommendation from one senior leader on your campus. There are additional instructions within the application, and we are available to assist you with completing your application. Just email [email protected].

Who should I contact at my institution to secure a letter of recommendation and discuss the potential of sponsorship to cover my program fee?  You should reach out to one of the following individuals at your institution to secure a recommendation and sponsorship to cover the cost of your attendance: 

  • President/Chancellor
  • Provost/Vice-President Academic Affairs
  • Chief Student Affairs Officer
  • Chief Financial/Budget Officer
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Chief Advancement/Development Officer
  • Chief Information Technology Officer
  • Chief Human Resources/Talent Management Officer
  • Chief Enrollment/Admissions Officer

These are the individuals that you’ll want to have invested in your development and supportive of your growth, both during and after the program. If you’ve never met the senior staff officers in your unit, this application provides a great opportunity to introduce yourself or ask your manager to help make the introduction. You’ll want someone at the top advocating on your behalf to ensure you’re granted the time and resources needed to participate.

We will accept a letter of recommendation from your direct manager but a letter from senior leadership will strengthen your candidacy. We’ve included this as an application requirement because we want you to think across the institution and beyond your role. Additionally, we encourage you to discuss the availability of funding for your attendance at the time you request your recommendation. These senior officers typically approve the release of additional professional development funding.

Even if you don’t think funding will be available, we encourage you to still make the ask. No matter what, it will increase your visibility — and you may be surprised by the response. 

How much is the HERS Leadership Institute program fee, and when is it due? Visit the HERS Leadership Institute program page for this year’s pricing and deadline information.

Payment of the program fee is typically due at least 6 weeks before the program start date. This allows participants to receive their pre-institute readings and assignments with enough time to orient themselves to the curriculum and its expectations. This is essential if participants hope to yield the learning outcomes outlined.

Is financial assistance available? We have limited assistance funds available for institutions that are under-resourced and underrepresented at HERS–HBCUs, community colleges, tribal colleges, HSIs, and theological seminaries–to foster cohorts that are as diverse and equitable as possible. 

To be considered for financial support, please follow these steps:

  1. Submit your application for the Leadership Institute by the deadline. 
  2. After you submit your application, contact [email protected] to request our application form for financial support. 
  3. After you submit your application and the request for financial support, our team will notify you if you meet our criteria and if funds are still available.   

I heard that my institution or organization is a HERS partner. How do I apply for the HERS Leadership Institute? First, congratulations for working at a place that values and supports  the leadership of women and people who are gender diverse! Most likely your employer has an internal selection process running through the women’s center, human resources, academic affairs, or the president or chancellor’s office. Please contact us at [email protected] to inquire about your school’s status.

Why the HERS Leadership Institute? 

Why HERS? For five decades, we have been thinking about, improving, and delivering what women and gender diverse leaders need to advance in higher education. There is nothing better than something designed with you in mind. We know the unique challenges faced by women and people who are gender diverse. There are three things every leader needs to be successful: know your organization, identify the resources available to you, and know yourself. At every HERS program, and specifically the HERS Leadership Institute, we create opportunities for you to expand your knowledge of your institution and other higher education institutions. We primarily leverage the collective expertise of the HERS network, over 6,000 women and gender diverse leaders, to accomplish this. We help you build your network before, during, and after your Leadership Institute experience.

  • Have a challenge? Contact your HERS network!
  • Have an idea? Contact your HERS network!
  • Have something to celebrate? Contact your HERS network!

You will leave the HERS Leadership Institute knowing more about higher education and more about yourself as a leader. You will have clarity on how you’ll implement strategies and new tools as a campus leader. You will also have a national network of HERS alums to champion your next leadership goals.  

Why now? Now, when there are challenges to face and opportunities to leverage, is a great time to step into leadership. Everyone is looking for innovative ideas, and we know you have great ideas. You won’t have to wait to lead in today’s environment. You’ll have a chance to try out your ideas right away. You can build strategies for tackling today’s thorniest issues within a community of leaders. There is no reason we can’t catapult together to a brighter future.

Today is the best time. In 6-12 months, the issues we need to solve won’t get simpler or easier. But with the skills and knowledge you acquire through the HERS Leadership Institute, you will be ready to lead the search for solutions.

What will I learn?
The core curriculum of the Leadership Institute covers three areas of focus: Institutional Awareness, Networking, and Self-Knowledge. The program culminates with a self-designed capstone project, wherein participants apply the knowledge they’ve gained to a case study that they can immediately apply or implement within their current role to positively impact their respective institutions.

There are five modules that build off of one another and support your leadership project development. We start with either innovation and change or equity-minded leadership. We then move to communicating change and follow that with self and institutional awareness. We conclude with team (re)building.

The Leadership Institute is about you and how you lead at your institution. You will grow to learn more about the responsibilities of higher education leadership, your institution, how your institution solves challenging problems, and who is tasked with developing solutions. You’ll spend some time increasing your knowledge of your personal leadership identity, and you’ll be challenged to develop the skills necessary to actualize your professional vision.

Who is the Leadership Institute designed 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 means that everyone can learn from one another, and gain insight into the unique perspectives of each role. This setting replicates what could happen on campus if faculty, staff, and administrators were all working together. If you don’t have your career path defined yet and you want to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of your cohort peers, the Leadership Institute is a great space for that.

The HERS Network is representative of a diverse range of racial and ethnic groups, nationalities, veteran and disability statuses, religious affiliations, ages, and years of experience in higher education. We are committed to delivering a diverse and equity-minded leadership space, thereby broadening the range of perspectives and insights enriching each session.

Where and how is the HERS Leadership Institute delivered? The HERS Leadership Institute is currently delivered in two formats: an intensive and immersive setting (completed within 9 days during the summer), and our staggered weekend format (completed in 4 weekends over the span of 6 months during the academic year). Traditionally, the in-person offerings of the HERS Leadership Institute have rotated between the Boston, MA; Denver, CO; and Philadelphia, PA metro areas, although locations are subject to change each year. We are currently looking to expand our programs into other cities as we continue growing. If you are looking for a HERS Leadership Institute in your local area, check https://www.hersnetwork.org/programs/hers-institute/ for more information.

Is there networking? Yes, always! Our cohort-based approach is supplemented by dividing the cohort into teams. Your teams are assigned based upon what you tell us about you, your institution, and your work. Through your teams, you have access to advice, peer mentoring, and growth.

How will I be able to connect with the HERS alum network at large? Yes! Whether virtual or in-person, there are lots of opportunities to connect with the broader HERS alum network. In addition to virtual connections like social media, HERS hosts regional alum receptions throughout the year. Contact [email protected] if you are interested in hosting a reception in your area! 

Which format is better? The answer to this really comes down to your personal preference and capacity for each format. The rigorous curriculum, learning outcomes, and transformative quality of the experience are the same from format to format – only the mode of delivery is different. Each mode of delivery may have pros and cons that may outweigh one another based off what will work best for YOU.

Is there training (or events) specific to women within the BIPOC community, or other intersectional topics? We were in the process of developing new affinity groups for alums. Please stay in communication with us with your ideas and feedback! The HLI does offer vibrant discussions of inclusive leadership and makes space for Black women and other affinity and identity groups to meet and discuss issues unique to their lived experience within higher education.

Will how to negotiate salary as an experienced manager or educator be covered? No, negotiating salary is not a topic included in in the agenda of the HLI. If negotiating salary is of interest to you, we suggest considering Next Stages Next Steps. 

I’m interested in updating my CV to look for my next role. Is this the program for me? HERS has programs dedicated entirely to career development needs, allowing the HERS Leadership Institute to put a greater focus on developing critical leadership and management skills. To view our other programs—like Next Stages Next Steps—visit https://www.hersnetwork.org/programs/overview/. We’d also love to talk to you about our programs. Email us at [email protected] with your questions!