American Academic Leadership Institute

The American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), headquartered in Washington, DC, is a non-profit organization which works to strengthen academic leadership in all sectors of public and private higher education. Dr. Linda Bleicken, President Emerita of Armstrong State University, is president of AALI.

AALI is the parent organization of Academic Search. As the subsidiary of the American Academic Leadership Institute, Academic Search provides significant funds each year to AALI so that it can deliver professional development programs to educators who have been nominated by their campuses to enhance their leadership potential. The subsidy from Academic Search makes it possible to offer all of AALI's programs.   


  • Identification and development of leadership talent
  • Seminars and workshops for academic leaders in various administrative positions to enable them to be successful in their roles and to advance the institutions they serve
  • Consultation to academic leaders and boards of trustees concerning traditional and emerging issues facing higher education and its governance
  • Assistance during periods of administrative leadership transition
  • Support for higher education research and publications

More than 80 administrators take part in such annual AALI programs as the Executive Leadership Academy, which prepares cabinet officers for presidencies; the Becoming a Provost Academy that targets chairs and deans; and the Senior Leadership Academy, jointly offered by AALI, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), which prepares administrators from all divisions in higher education for cabinet positions. In addition to funding AALI’s year-long leadership programs, Academic Search, Inc. financially supports the Millennium Leadership Institute, an AASCU program that provides underrepresented groups in higher education interested in career advancement, specifically the presidency, an opportunity to take part in an intensive four-day professional development institute, followed by a year-long mentoring component.

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Members of the Board of Directors for AALI include the following current and former presidents:

Dana G. Hoyt
President, Sam Houston State University

Scott D. Miller
Vice Chair
President,Virginia Wesleyan College

MaryAnn Baenninger
President, Drew University

Linda Bleicken
President, American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 

Kenneth W. Dobbins
President Emeritus, Southeast Missouri State University

Richard Ekman
President, Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) 

Mildred Garcia
President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Thomas L. Hellie 
President, Linfield College 

Deborah F. Stanley
President, SUNY Oswego

AALI Board Emeriti

Walter D. Chambers
Chair Emeritus, Board of Directors, , American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 
Former Chair of the College of New Jersey

Ann Die Hasselmo
President and Director Emerita, American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 
President Emerita, Hendrix College

Muriel A. Howard
Board Member Emerita, American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 
President Emerita, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

AALI Officers

Linda Bleicken
President, American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 

Shawn M. Hartman
Secretary and Treasurer, American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI) 
Director of Finance and Administration