CHAPEL HILL, NC – The University of North Carolina System has named a select group of 24 participants to the first cohort of the UNC System Executive Leadership Institute. 

The program was designed to build the next generation of top leadership from within the UNC System. The 10-month program will focus on providing an overall view of the UNC System and leadership opportunities.

The participants include:

  • Afua Arhin, Interim Dean, College of Health, Science and Tech, Fayetteville State University
  • Bradley Ballou, Chief of Staff, UNC Wilmington
  • George Battle, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and Risk Management, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Lee Brown, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Fayetteville State University
  • Julie Byerley, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Chief Education Officer at UNC School of Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Drake Fowler, Deputy Executive Director, The North Carolina Arboretum
  • Alyn Goodson, Vice Chancellor for Operations and General Counsel, Elizabeth City State University
  • Jim Harper, Department Chair and Professor of History, NC Central University
  • Laura Herndon, Associate Vice Chancellor for External and University Relations, UNC Asheville
  • Jesh Humphrey, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel, UNC Charlotte
  • Camille Kluttz-Leach, Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Winston-Salem State University
  • Esther Leerkes, Associate Dean for Research Health and Human Sciences, UNC Greensboro
  • Stephanie Luster-Teasley, Chair Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, N.C. A&T State University
  • Constance Mallette, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Winston-Salem State University 
  • Bethany Meighen, Vice President for Student Affairs, UNC System Office
  • Anthony Nelson, Dean Department of Business, NC Central University
  • Sherine Obare, Dean, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nano-engineering, N.C. A&T State University and UNC Greensboro
  • Jaime Raynor, Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Western Carolina University
  • Engle Revels, Director of Admissions, UNC Pembroke
  • Shun Robertson, Senior Associate Vice President for P20 Policy and Programs, UNC System Office
  • Susan Scott, Chief Growth Officer, UNC-TV
  • Julie Smith, Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development, NC State University
  • Jennifer Troyer, Dean and Professor of Economics, Belk College of Business, UNC Charlotte
  • Jeff Whitworth, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Infrastructure and Chief Technology Officer, UNC Greensboro 

The Executive Leadership Institute is designed to share and leverage best practices by building collaboration and partnerships among participants and their institutions. 

In turn, experienced administrators will be prepared for more demanding roles and re-energized in current roles. 

“As part of the Strategic Plan, the UNC System has begun systematically measuring—at all levels—engagement, retention, succession planning, and investment in professional development in order to promote System-wide improvements in these areas,” said Dr. William L. Roper, interim president of the UNC System. “The Executive Leadership Institute is at the heart of fostering a culture of promoting and engaging leadership talent from within and throughout the System.”

Learning modules are designed to deepen expertise essential for success at the executive level. Three interactive and experiential immersion modules will be delivered via a hybrid of virtual and face to face at three institutions (UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. A&T, and UNC Charlotte) over the course of the ten month program. The team and individual executive coaching component will be provided in partnership with UNC Wilmington.

As a part of the UNC Board of Governors’ commitment to diversity, the board’s Committee on Historically Minority-serving Institutions (HMSI) worked closely with the ELI leadership team with the goal of ensuring that at least one-third of participants would be selected from the System’s six HMSIs.

“One of our goals was to collaborate with the System’s Human Resource staff to provide opportunities for qualified candidates at each of our HMSIs,” said UNC Board of Governors member Darrell Allison, who chairs the HMSI committee. “I’m happy to state that we exceeded our goal and 10 out of 24 participants in this inaugural class will be representing these institutions. The potential of the UNC System Executive Leadership Institute could have a long-lasting impact by effectively building a pipeline of strong leaders across all of our institutions and affiliates in the coming years.”

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate, an assessment of the pilot experience and the benefits of a mentoring relationship. Participants will have the opportunity to pay it forward as mentors for future cohorts, ensuring promising talent continues to develop across the UNC System. For more information, visit the Executive Leadership Institute website.