The Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership supports Community College
CEOs to build know-how, tenacity and lasting peer networks. Where
once California college leaders traveled to Texas or
Massachusetts for transformational leadership
experiences, they now come to the UC for context-specific
learning designed for their needs. The institute taps the
everyday experiences of community college leaders for intense,
assumption-challenging discourse on organizational change. This
is both safe ground and a place to stretch professionally, a
venue for exploring individual leadership performance
and collective intelligence for the ultimate success of
Three convenings annually: The nine-day
Institute includes a 2.5-day foundational convening in March with
provocative speakers, compelling case studies, personal and
organizational analytics, and reflective assessments to advance
personal and organizational impact. The March session is followed
by a 4-day intensive in July and a 2.5 day-culminating
session in October.
A cohort of peers: Cohorts of 20-25 are shaped
by breadth of experience, geographic representation, and
diversity of backgrounds and roles.
Tailored themes: Each Institute’s theme is
tailored to community college CEO’s needs and interests as
identified in the latest Wheelhouse survey research and
reflective of current contextual issues
Year-long benefits: Fellows are the
first to receive new briefs and studies by Wheelhouse research
affiliates. They may have unique opportunities to discuss local
institutional data with university research staff and develop
leadership perspectives, case studies, and policy viewpoints.
Each Fellow receives a Wheelhouse Leadership certificate issued
by the UC Davis School of Education.
Q&A: More Information about the Wheelhouse Institute
Why should college leaders challenge their thinking
Success for all students requires strategic reallocation of
resources and optimal use of personnel, financial, technological
and physical assets.
The pipeline of future community college leaders is
constricted and the turnover rate of current college CEOs is
rising, leaving an essential education and economic system
Average CEO tenure is far too brief to ensure leaders can
support lasting institutional change and improved
How does a CEO become a Wheelhouse Fellow?
Each cohort is selected based on nominations by our board of
advisors and other leaders in the field. We seed diversity of all
kinds: professional and educational experience, geography,
institutional size and personal background.
If you are a current or interim community college or
district CEO and are interested in participating or learning
more, please tell us here.
What distinguishes the Wheelhouse Institute from other
The institute provides a high-support, high-challenge
environment for learning and leadership development, a small
cohort “space” where leaders can test assumptions and
cross-pollinate new ideas in a forward-thinking, bias-free,
We emphasize contextual learning through diverse and
stimulating inputs and case studies, drawing from a broad range
of experts both within and beyond the field of education.
We provide a unique focus on challenges and
opportunities that face leaders in the California context.
What does the Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership aim to
Leadership acumen and capabilities for resilient and
The importance of research and actionable
strategies/frameworks for decision-making and institutional
One-on-one and group feedback-seeking techniques and
practices to enhance personal and organizational receptivity to
Ongoing and supportive problem-resolution communications with
peers, colleagues, researchers and policy advocates external to
CEOs’ home institutions.
Commitment to facilitating systemic and lasting institutional
change – ”positive disruption.”
How do leaders and their organizations benefit from the
Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership?
Development of individual leadership capabilities and
organizational capacity for change.
Strategies for creating a collective intelligence with senior
level reports and a college-wide energy for innovation and
Models and case study references for responding to emerging
organizational challenges and issues.
Access to a community of trusted colleagues and advisors
within Wheelhouse and among the Institute cohort.
Knowledge and skills necessary to support longevity in
leadership positions that will ensure the lasting impact of CEO
commitment to a college or district
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research, publications, and leadership institutes.
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you are interested in learning more about participation in our
During Session 3 of the Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership, the
Fellows engaged California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy
Ortiz Oakley in a conversation about the important and ambitious
goals attached to his strategic vision for the colleges. This
session took place in an informal setting conducive to candid
sharing of ideas, challenges and aspirations. We’re grateful to
the Chancellor Oakley for joining us at UC Davis.
On Feb. 3, 2017, Dr. Matt Miller guided the first class of
the Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership through its first case
studies. He is a lecturer on education and associate dean for
learning and teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
specializing in higher education.
The inaugural class of Wheelhouse Fellows got together with
others from the Wheelhouse program on Feb. 2, 2017 for a
reception and dinner. Our yearlong professional and
personal development Institute on Leadership is designed for
current and aspiring CEOs and senior executives of California