Mellon Faculty Leadership Development Programs

Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities


This program, Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities, prepares faculty to take on leadership roles in higher education. Funded by a 3-year, $1.6 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, Five Colleges, Inc. is implementing two faculty leadership development programs for early- and mid-career humanities faculty across the member campuses:

  1. A year-long Intro Program for faculty taking on administrative responsibilities for the first time (department chair, head of a center, committee chair) 
  2. A more Advanced Program for faculty who have chaired departments, run centers, or chaired major campus committees and now contemplate a move into a more significant or higher-level leadership role. This year-long advanced program will be launched in academic year 2023-2024.

Intro Program

The Intro Program runs once a year during the entire academic calendar. This program will be launched in 2022-2023, and then be offered in 2023-2024, and in 2024-2025. A cohort of 40 participants will be selected every year. 

The Intro Program will include a range of topics with sessions that will support faculty in building knowledge of their institutions and the higher education landscape, along with navigating the personal transition from faculty to administrator. Topics may include budget and finance, leadership development, maintaining one’s scholarship and teaching, etc. Each theme may be addressed in stand-alone, sequential sessions, or each program session may feature a particular functional area, with guest speakers in leadership positions.

    Program Highlights

    Each annual introductory leadership program will include:

    • Up to eight sessions per academic year, scheduled monthly between September and May. Each session will be held on a Friday from 10am to noon either remotely or in-person. An optional lunch will be offered following each session. 
    • One end-of academic year offsite retreat during which participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their leadership journeys, to integrate their learning across the sessions, and to chart a path for continued development.
    • Assigned reading that will be distributed in advance of the relevant sessions. 
    • A participatory stipend ($3,000 for the academic year).
    • A $2,500 travel stipend to attend conferences related to the participants’ professional development in leadership roles.

    2022-2023 Intro Program

    Session 1: Becoming an Academic Leader
    September 23
    Mt Holyoke College

    Session 2: Building Administrative & Leadership Skills 
    October 14
    Amherst College

    Session 3: Recognizing the Whole Person
    November 4
    Hampshire College

    Session 4: Developing Advocacy and Transformation Goals
    December 9

    Session 5: Providing Faculty & Administrative Support
    February 10

    Session 6: Advancing DEI
    March 10
    University of Massachusetts

    Session 7:  Enhancing Interpersonal Skills & Setting the Climate in your Unit  
    April 14
    Smith College

    Session 8: Closing Retreat
    Date and location to be determined in collaboration with the cohort

    Eligibility Requirements

    This program is intended for tenured faculty who are:

    • affiliated with one or more of the five consortium institutions (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, or Five Colleges).
    • teaching and/or researching in a humanistic field, broadly defined.
    • in the initial year of a first administrative role or anticipating taking on an administrative role in the next year.

    Note: If space is available, early-career faculty will be invited to apply.

    Application Process

    Applications will open again in Spring 2023 when we will be offering both the introductory and advanced tracks. 

    An information session will be held a couple weeks prior to the application deadline to answer potential applicants' questions. 

    Additional information will be provided prior to the next application period. Please visit this page regularly for updates.


    Leadership Team

    Pawan Dhingra
    Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty, Amherst College

    Michelle Budig
    Sr. Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, UMass

    Yaniris Fernandez
    Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Hampshire College

    Elizabeth Markovits
    Associate Dean of Faculty; Director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative, Mount Holyoke College

    Hélène Visentin
    Associate Dean of the Faculty and Dean for Academic Development, Smith College

    Sarah Pfatteicher
    Executive Director, Five Colleges, Inc.

    Elliot Krasnopoler
    Assistant Director, Building Academic Leaders in the Humanities Grant

    Ray Rennard
    Director of Academic Programs, Five Colleges, Inc.

    Matthew VanHeynigen
    Director of Development & Sponsored Programs, Five Colleges, Inc.

    The core leadership team is supported by Bea Cusin, administrative assistant, Five Colleges, Inc.

    Contact Us

    For questions or additional information, please contact Bea Cusin (