Amy NielsenProfessor Amy Nielsen of the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Special Education will be part of a cohort of 36 higher education professionals from across the country participating in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) put on by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Since it was created in 2015, ELP has helped to prepare early- to mid-career emerging leaders in academic and administrative roles who aspire to advance to roles with greater responsibility and oversight.

"I feel privileged to have been chosen to participate in AASCU’s Emerging Leaders Program,” said Nielsen. “I look forward to learning and thinking about leadership and institutional change through the program so that I might support the multiple initiatives occurring across campus as UNI grows and adapts to meet the needs of our students and community.”

With a curriculum designed to develop the skills and competencies necessary for the next generation of higher education leaders, the 2022 ELP cohort will engage with a rich and experienced bench of faculty to cover topics such as equity and social justice leadership, navigating and leading through change, finance and administration, leading as a provost, and more. The group will meet for an in-person retreat, monthly virtual workshops and small-group sessions for reflection and study of promising practices. Additionally, each member of the ELP cohort will demonstrate their leadership skills to their campus community by leading an on-campus project or initiative with the support of their president/chancellor or cabinet-level administrator.

“The diverse and motivated campus leaders in the ELP class of 2022 reflect the strength and value of what happens when the AASCU network comes together,” said Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System, former chair of the AASCU Board of Directors and ELP coordinator. “We are pleased to bring the ELP cohort to Washington, D.C., for three days of in-person programming for the first time in three years and look forward to lively discussions and insightful learning experiences that will inspire and equip participants to shape our institutions to promote inclusivity, equity and student success. I look forward to a great year of learning and personal development.”


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.


Andrew Morse, Chief of Staff,, 319-273-6144.