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Tennessee’s colleges and universities are some of the state’s most important resources for a strong economy and citizenry. Those stepping into executive roles must be prepared to lead.


In February 2016, in conjunction with its 60th Anniversary, TICUA launched its Leadership Initiative for campus faculty, staff, and administrators to prepare them with the knowledge and skills to build healthy campuses and foster student success.  

The TICUA Leadership Initiative is comprised of two programs: the Executive Leadership Institute and the Advancing Leaders.

Executive Leadership Institute

The TICUA Executive Leadership Institute is an innovative leadership development program for senior campus officials. It is designed to strengthen campus leadership teams and prepare the next generation of leaders for college or university executive roles. ELI participants, known as Pressnell Fellows, are selected by their institution’s president to participate and learn from national, regional, and state educators for the nine-month program.

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Advancing leaders

Designed for aspiring campus officials seeking to advance to a more senior role within their institution, the TICUA Advancing Leaders is a two-day intensive summer workshop that helps advancing leaders to evaluate their own skills, gifts, and calling against the primary leadership skills needs in today’s private higher education environment. Each TICUA institution president annually selects two advancing leaders to participate.

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Legislative Awards

Since 1996 TICUA has had a program of awards presented to recognize exemplary leadership and dedicated service on behalf of Tennessee's independent colleges and universities. TICUA presents three awards: the William Baird Legislative Leadership Award, the Harold Bradley Legislative Leadership Award, and the TICUA Congressional Award for Excellence in Education Policy.

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Hall of Fame

Tennessee’s Independent Colleges and Universities have been home to some of our state’s most distinguished and impressive residents— from Nobel laureates, Grammy-winning artists and Pulitzer Prize winners to faith leaders, entrepreneurs and government leaders.

The TICUA Hall of Fame recognizes these distinguished alumni, their indelible contributions to our state and country, and the institutions who helped shape them.

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