Four UNK employees selected for inaugural systemwide leadership development program

Miechelle McKelvey
Miechelle McKelvey
Toni Hill mug
Toni Hill

Four University of Nebraska at Kearney employees are among 16 University of Nebraska colleagues who have been selected to participate in a new systemwide program that aims to develop the next generation of higher education leaders.

NU’s “Developing Excellence in Academic Leaders” (NU DEAL) program, sponsored by the Office of the President together with the system provost and campus chief academic officers, launches this fall with an intensive two-year curriculum that will help participants develop their leadership skills, expand their networks and explore key issues and challenges facing the University of Nebraska and higher education.

Nita Unruh Mug
Nita Unruh
Chandra Diaz mug
Chandra Diaz

The 2022-24 NU DEAL fellows from UNK include:

  • Chandra Diaz, associate dean of the College of Education and assistant professor and advisor of middle-level education;
  • Toni Hill, associate professor and director of the early childhood and family advocacy program;
  • Nita Unruh, department chair and professor of kinesiology and sport sciences;
  • Miechelle McKelvey, department chair and professor of communication disorders.

Over the course of the program, the fellows will hear presentations from NU System President Ted Carter, system vice presidents and members of the Board of Regents, visit each NU campus to engage with senior leaders, and discuss complex and timely higher education topics including:

  • Strategic planning
  • Philanthropy
  • Higher education finances
  • Facilities and infrastructure
  • Opportunities and challenges related to teaching, learning and research
  • Academic leadership skills, attributes and styles
  • Building and maintaining diverse and inclusive university communities

“This is a time of immense change and opportunity for our industry, requiring skilled, strategic leadership from people who not only deeply understand the issues, but can set a bold vision for the future and inspire others to come along,” Carter said.

“Our goal with this new program is to develop a deep bench of exactly these kinds of leaders. I am thrilled with this initial cohort of fellows – talented leaders who are already having a tremendous impact on our students and state, with great potential to do even more to create positive change for our university and all of higher education.”

Applications for the 2023-25 cohort of NU DEAL fellows will open next spring. More information about the program is available here.