The Ohio Leadership Academy is a professional development opportunity for faculty members in Ohio public universities. Those faculty members who aspire to hold leadership positions are encouraged to participate. To increase the number of leaders from diverse backgrounds, underrepresented individuals are particularly sought to participate. Annually the IUC invites the provosts of member public universities to nominate at least one individual from their institutions to participate as an OLA fellow. After a review of all materials submitted with the nomination and ascertaining the nominee's commitment for full participation in OLA, plans are initiated for the year long mentoring experience. Through the program it is expected that participants will gain a clearer understanding of administrative leadership responsibilities while forming an expanded network of colleagues.
The leadership program is designed to accomplish several goals among which are:
- Provide opportunities for individuals identified as potential future higher education leaders to explore their interest in and suitability for academic administration;
- Expose participants to theories and practice of academic administration, especially at the chair and dean levels;
- Provide opportunities for participants to interact with and know Ohio higher education institutions, their leaders, locations, and specific challenges;
- Provide opportunities for participants to network among themselves and with mentors, institutional leaders, and state policy makers and to develop lasting professional friendships; and
- Serve as the first step toward future professional development in academic administration.
Through the participation of faculty from across the state in mentorship relationships it is anticipated that participants will advance their leadership skills and that host institutions will benefit from the objective perspectives and focused services of a visiting academician. Ultimately, it is hoped that through the academic leadership program Ohio public universities will be stronger with better prepared and more widely diverse leaders in positions of significant responsibilities.