Meet the Fellows

Program Overview

The Student Success Institute (SSI) for Provosts is a leadership development program tailored to the distinctive needs of established provosts at AASCU member institutions. SSI will help provosts with at least one year of experience in the role to lead and implement the type of transformational change necessary to meet the evolving needs of today’s increasingly diverse student body.

Program Format & Content

The Student Success Institute (SSI) for Provosts will provide the most current and relevant expertise on promising practices in student success, leadership, data and assessment, teaching and learning, and equity. Throughout the program, fellows will have the opportunity to build a strong and supportive network of peers, learn from leading experts in the field, and develop a core set of critical skills necessary for leading institutional change. A key feature of the program is structured time and space to reflect on and advance one’s own leadership style and practice, sometimes alone and sometimes in a small group of peers.


I have been part of other programs for provosts and academic leaders, but the Student Success Institute was different. It has not only provided a great forum for discussing a topic that is currently most relevant to higher education, the discussions were among leaders who fully understand student success and related issues from the perspective of regional comprehensive institutions. The speakers brought in a wealth of ideas that are significant and practical and the program staff were flexible, courteous and understanding of the unexpected demands a provost job can impose. I am glad to have been part of this professional development opportunity.

Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman

Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Colorado State University-Pueblo

I recommend this program to any provost interested in expanding their knowledge of student success. The program was designed to assist those relatively new to the best practices as well as those with experience in the student success area. While forced to hold the meetings virtual, the Sova team put together a remarkable mix of events that allowed the cohort to work collaboratively and share their respective experiences. I came away not only with more knowledge but with a greater sense of how important the work we as provosts do each day in this area.

Dr. Steven J. Berberich

Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Missouri-St. Louis

I have been part of other leadership development initiatives, but I believe that this particular experience is one in which I feel the most genuine sense of community and shared purpose.

Having the opportunity that this Institute has provided to reflect on my leadership skills, form a cadre and community of colleagues, and build a repertoire of resources related to student success will most certainly be beneficial as our campus addresses multiple challenges—and opportunities— related to enrollment, student success, and rebuilding leadership. I am re-energized to engage with the entire campus community in what I know will be robust conversations that will be fully centered around our amazing students, and how we can ensure that all of them have the opportunity for academic/social success.

Dr. Bette S. Bergeron

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, SUNY Potsdam (The State University of New York College at Potsdam)

Leading the academic enterprise during the pandemic has been challenging and forcing institutions to rethink student and faculty success strategies. The AASCU / SOVA leadership program is an excellent professional development opportunity for chief academic officers. The speaker lineup of provosts, presidents and subject matter experts who presented on best practices was very insightful. Some notable program takeaways for me included first year student success strategies, equity centered leadership, and prioritization frameworks for assessing the ROI of academic programs. The networking opportunity and discussions with other provosts also helped me understand a variety of institutional perspectives.

Dr. Ravi Krovi

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Weber State University

The opportunity for structured learning that included national higher education leaders and technical experts, networking opportunities, discussions and assignments with experienced chief academic officers, focus on the role of data in institutional transformation, periodic readings and reflections after each session over a seven-month period, and the intentional focus on equity-mindedness and building culturally-responsive ecosystems to improve student outcomes made the Institute a truly unique learning experience. I felt like I went back to graduate school!

Dr. Peter O. Nwosu

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success, Lehman College

The AASCU Student Success Institute offers an opportunity to collaborate, self-reflect, and improve with a nationwide group of academic leaders. The take-aways are specific, actionable, and effective. As a result of my experience with SSI, I became a better advocate for public higher education, a more effective activist for student success, and a more knowledgeable and self-aware supporter of antiracism and equity. In other words, I became a better leader. Perhaps best of all, I now have a network of friends and colleagues that I can rely on for friendship, problem-solving, and authentic reflection.

Dr. Stacey Robertson

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, SUNY Geneseo

Being a participant in the Student Success Institute and having the opportunity to engage in such transformational discussions related to my leadership role at my university was an absolute pleasure. I found the subjects to be innovative, forward-thinking, and of extreme relevance to my work as the chief academic officer. This leadership-building initiative proved to be extremely valuable as I was able to expand my network and learn from the experiences of so many experts. It is my hope that this initiative continues to grow and help future tertiary leaders to have a positive impact on the generations of tomorrow.

Maria Woodside-Oriakhi

Vice President of Academic Affairs, The University of The Bahamas

How to Apply

Applications are closed for the 2021-2022 cohort of the SSI. Please check back in the early fall to apply for the next cohort!


The Student Success Institute for Provosts is supported by generous funding from Ascendium Education Group.