Wheelhouse Institutes

Wheelhouse Institutes


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 students. 

​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 and challenges.   

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Wheelhouse Institutes

Why should college leaders challenge their thinking at Wheelhouse?

  • 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 in jeopardy.
  • Average CEO tenure is far too brief to ensure leaders can support lasting institutional change and improved effectiveness.

Hear from the Wheelhouse Fellows

Fellows describe the unique Wheelhouse experience in their own words

We met with Omid Pourzanjani, Vice President of Instruction, Golden West College, Edward Bush, President, Cosumnes River College, Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President, Gavilan College, Rowena Tomaneng, President, Berkeley City College, and Linda Rose, President, Santa Ana College about the ways that they’ve benefited from their experiences as Wheelhouse Fellows.

Hear from the Wheelhouse FellowsHear from the Wheelhouse FellowsHear from the Wheelhouse FellowsHear from the Wheelhouse FellowsHear from the Wheelhouse Fellows

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Photo Gallery: Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Visits Fellows

Chancellor Ortiz and Dean Lindstrom engage with Wheelhouse Fellows

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. 

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Photo Gallery: Inaugural Class of Wheelhouse Institute

Fellows work with Dr. Matt Miller and Dr. Michal Kurlaender

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 fellows also participated in a research discussion with Michael Kurlaender, Department Chair, Chancellor’s Fellow and Professor at the UC Davis School of Education, as well as Lead Research for Wheelhouse.

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Photo Gallery: Wheelhouse Institute welcome reception and dinner

Inaugural Class of 21 Wheelhouse Fellows comes together for a meal and conversation

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 community colleges.

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