Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities

A Five College Leadership Development Program

Providing Faculty Leadership Development

A Program to Prepare Campus Leaders

Currently, humanities faculty are under-represented in academic leadership. Through a 3-year $1.6 million Mellon Foundation grant, the Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities Program aims to build a pipeline of humanities faculty into leadership roles by providing targeted workshops, opportunities to practice leadership skills, space for reflection, and community. This grant-funded program is currently entering its second year – both the Introductory and Advanced tracks will also run in the 2024-25 academic year. 

Two Tracks for Humanities Faculty

The program contains two tracks: an Introductory track and an Advanced track, that are aimed at mid-career humanities and humanistic social science faculty who are currently in or considering taking on leadership roles on their campuses and beyond. The Introductory track is aimed at faculty just stepping into a leadership role at the department, unit, or center level. The Advanced track suits faculty with some administrative experience who are curious about or currently serving in a campus-wide leadership role, such as dean, associate dean, committee chair, and the like.  

Stipends for Participants

Both the Introductory and Advanced programs offer a chance to connect with peers across the consortium and hear from leaders and experts in key areas of academic administration. In order to get the most from this selective program, participants are asked to dedicate a significant amount of time to attending and reflecting on the group sessions over the course of a full academic year. In recognition of this time commitment and to support participants’ full engagement with the program, all attendees will receive participatory stipends. In order to encourage participants to explore the national landscape of higher-ed administration, participants also receive a travel stipend to fund their attendance at a national leadership conference outside of their discipline. 

Click on the links below to find out more about each track.

Program Leadership

The Building Academic Leaders program is directed collaboratively by the Leadership Team, with administrative support from Five Colleges Inc. This team, listed below, includes members of all five campuses, as well as Five Colleges staff:

  • Principal Investigator: Sarah Pfatteicher - Executive Director, Five Colleges, Inc.
  • Faculty Director: Pawan Dhingra - Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty, Amherst College
  • Assistant Director: Diana Marginean, Five Colleges, Inc.
  • Michelle Budig: Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, UMass Amherst (Advanced Track)
  • Angela de Oliveira: Associate Provost for Faculty Development, UMass Amherst (Introductory Track)
  • Yaniris Fernandez: Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Hampshire College
  • Elizabeth Markovits: Associate Dean of Faculty and Director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative, Mount Holyoke College
  • Hélène Visentin: Associate Dean of the Faculty and Dean for Academic Development, Smith College
  • Ray Rennard: Director of Academic Programs, Five Colleges, Inc.
  • Administrative Assistant: Bea Cusin, Five Colleges, Inc.


Please contact Diana Marginean ( with any questions.