What do scholars in the arts and humanities bring to academic leadership? How do we craft academic careers that contribute to institutional change toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and transformational justice?

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Humanities in Leadership Learning Series (HILLS) program at Case Western Reserve University is committed to developing leadership potential and capacity among faculty in the arts and humanities, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion in higher education administration.

Check out the announcement of the program in The Daily.

The HILLS program has five main goals:

  1. Design, build, and implement a publicly shared curriculum for academic humanities leadership development that can be adapted and adopted by other colleges and universities.
  2. Provide faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the arts and humanities with significant experience in exploring and enhancing their administrative leadership skill and dispositions.
  3. Cultivate a community of graduate students in the arts and humanities who will enter their careers with significant early experience with administrative leadership.
  4. Foster an environment of productive and essential communication among arts and humanities graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and senior administrators.
  5. Establish an international model for promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice in higher education leadership.

Annual HILLS program events

The HILLS program has four key elements, each of which will take place annually. 

  • HILLS Seminar

A semester-long seminar involving a small community of HILLS Faculty Fellows and HILLS Postdoctoral Fellows in the arts, humanities, and humanities-related fields to identify and develop skills and aptitudes and to explore issues, challenges, and opportunities for higher education leadership. In addition to the fall seminar, fellows will participate in follow-up meetings and leadership development opportunities during the spring. Co-facilitated by Professors Joy Bostic and Timothy Beal (Co-PIs) with participation and support from Provost Ben Vinson III (PI) and Dean Joy K. Ward.

Applications for HILLS Postdoctoral Fellows are now closed.

  • HILLS Graduate Symposium

An annual short-term symposium for doctoral students in the arts, humanities, and humanities-related fields to explore issues and possibilities in administrative leadership while in the early stages of their careers. Co-facilitated by Professors Joy Bostic and Timothy Beal (Co-PIs) with participation from Provost Ben Vinson III (PI) and Dean Joy K. Ward. Guests may also include other school deans, CAS associate deans, department chairs, and HILLS Seminar members.

Call for applications coming soon.

  • HILLS Workshops

Two- or three-day workshops focused on different themes, issues, and challenges in academic leadership. Participants include current and former members of the HILLS Seminar and HILLS Graduate Symposium and other interested members of the CWRU community.

  • HILLS Summit

An annual international summit of academic leaders focused on advancing humanities scholars in academic leadership, with a particular interest in promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education administration. Participants will include HILLS Seminar participants, Mellon representatives, invited leaders of search firms, and invited administrative leaders from other institutions. Hosted by Provost Ben Vinson III (PI) with support from Professors Joy Bostic and Timothy Beal (Co-PIs) as well as the HILLS Program Director.

HILLS Leadership Team

Ben Vinson

Ben Vinson III, PI
Provost and Executive Vice President
Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History

Joy Bostic, Co-PI
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Founding Director, African and African American Studies program

professor wers dark suit with blue shirt and gray tie

Timothy Beal, Co-PI
Florence Harkness Professor of Religion
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Director, h.lab

Cassandra Veney, Executive Director
HILLS Program
College of Arts and Sciences